School Books in Ethiopia

How a member's hiking holiday benefitted a remote school in Ethiopia

School Books in Ethiopia

Welcome! Welcome! was the greeting, surprisingly sang in English, which met Rotarian David Chalmers when he visited a primary school in the Janamara District of the Simien National Park of Ethiopia. 

David was trekking in the remote Simien Mountains when he heard what seemed to be school lessons being chanted in English a short distance off the mountain trail. On enquiring of his guide, David was informed that it was indeed a primary school and that visitors were always welcome. After the singing of the Welcome song, David met the teachers; there were 4 teachers for the 260 pupils in the school which had been built by the local community so that their children could receive an education. 

At the outset of their education, the children were required to learn English as teaching materials and text books are all in English. David noticed that there didnt seem to be too many school books in the classrooms and the teachers confirmed that they were very short of books and writing materials.

On returning home, David told the Rotary Club of Dunfermline about his visit to the school and it was immediately agreed to provide a sum of 750 US$ (470) for the purchase of books and writing materials. Funds were dispatched, books and writing materials purchased and these have been delivered to the school on the back of mules as there are no roads in that remote area of Ethiopia. 

President Graham Steedman of the Rotary Club of Dunfermline commented Over these past few years our Club has carried out international projects in Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Kenya and I am delighted that we have now extended our reach to Ethiopia.