Hagere Selam means “place of peace”. Currently this school now has the capacity for 500 students on eight grades studying in one shift.
This capital project was principally financed by The Band Aid Trust and was dedicated by Sir Bob Geldof, Founding Chairman of the Band Aid Trust, on 24 November 2009 at an impressive ceremony attended by many local and international officials. Our newly re-formed EYES Band and Circus performed an emotional rendition of “Feed the World” and “Do they know it's Christmas” with hardly a dry eyes in the audience. Truly a day to remember as Sir Bob remarked “This is the best school I have seen - ever”.
Of note is that this school has two thirds girls registered. In 2010 electricity is coming to this village and we are negotiating funding to install it in all classrooms which will enable the introduction of a third evening shift for those farming children who are unable to be free during the day-time.
The school opening ceremony brought an immediate and palatable uplifting of community spirit and their justifiable pride. Their school has brought them closer access and better long-term educational facilities to (in one shift) over 500 of the most vulnerable rural youngsters, many of whom without this school, probably would not have this opportunity to attend any education at all.
Education is a long-term investment. The impact on education and future poverty reduction whether locally, regionally or nationally can only be judged after years if not decades of implementation. Its measure of success is dependent on so many other factors beyond our control such as climate, harvests, stability; that it makes us consider that in all honesty it would be disingenious of us to make any grand claims.
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