Waanki Gopo Community
Waanki Gopo is a remote village in the Oromia region in East Africa. The majority of the population work only to provide enough food for their family by growing and harvesting maize, sorghum or beans. Very few people are involved in trades. Most buildings are affected by termites, water is scarce and of poor quality and there is limited road infrastructure which makes it difficult to deliver basic resources for healthcare and farming.
We conducted a needs assessment in September 2012 to identify the needs of the Waanki Gopo community and Village school. The community identified five key challenges affecting the overall development:
Following the needs assessment, we scoped four projects:
1. Waanki Gopo Road Project,
2. School Building Project,
3. Water and Sanitation Project,
4. Child Scholarship Program.
The Road Project
In 2015, a bridge was constructed on the outskirts of the village which reduced a 27km journey by car from 3.5 hours to 1.5 hours. The bridge has had a direct impact on trade, the ability to receive healthcare and has assisted with getting materials into the village for the building project.
The School Building Project
The centre of our focus for Waanki Gopo is improving the access to quality basic education. The village’s school has approximately 1,400 students and 24 teachers. On average, a child will walk 38 minutes to get to school and they will share their books between 2 other students.
Only 1 in 3 primary aged kids in rural areas of Ethiopia attend school — epdc.org
In August 2015, construction began on building three new classrooms, two water supply points and a block of six toilets. All of the buildings are built using cement, steel and brick to make them immune from termites. Right now, the foundations have been completed and the brick-work is well underway with the project scheduled to complete in February 2017
Development of the new Waanki Gopo school:
Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world
Child Scholarship Program
The Village School Project also partners with individual students to provide scholarships. We currently support 37 kids. Here are a few stories:
Mitki is 18 years old. He is an orphan and lives with his aunt, 2 brothers and 1 sister. He is the oldest and none of his siblings go to school.
Mitki’s favourite subject is maths, and in his free time he helps his aunt with farming. Mitki would like to become a civil engineer when he is older.
With his monthly stipend Mitki was able to buy a battery so that he could study at night.
Ebise is 13 years old and the 5th born in her family.
She is an orphan and her older sister must work to support the family. Her sister had to undergo much hardship to buy basic stationary for her siblings. Ebise didn’t want to trouble her sister, but was sad that her desire to learn could not become a reality.
With her monthly stipend, Ebise can purchase exercise books, pens and uniforms for herself as well as her brothers. She has been able to gain more positivity and confidence in her learning.
Hiskel is 12 years old, an orphan who is the youngest of 5 children. His favourite subject is English and he likes to play football in his free time.
When he grows up, Hiskel would like to be a doctor so that he can help others.
With his monthly stipend Hiskel purchased a chicken. He now collects the eggs and sells them to make a small income to help his family.
What it has done for students and community
The Scholarship program has made a lasting positive impact on the community and its students. Since the program has been active teachers have observed a number of improvements which include:
- Reduction in dropout rates
- Regular school attendance
- Improved class participation
- Improved motivation
- Improved protocol (Sanitation, clothing and style)
- Improved follow up and improvement on doing homework and class work
$11/month can provide a child and their family with access to the education that they deserve.