Building Classrooms, Ensuring a Stable Future in Nakie Negao

Tamania J. Naqi, Social Media Coordinator Nakie Negao is a small community in the Bale Mountain Region of Ethiopia. Our story today is about a school in the heart of this community. This elementary school has 1,250 students from grade one through eight and it is the only school within a six kilometre radius with grades seven and eight. Any student in the region wanting to continue to high school must pass through Nakie Negao Elementary School. Capacity constraints require that the school turn away students each year because the current classrooms are already over-crowded.  The buildings are made of mud blocks and the students bring cow dung to spread on the dirt floor to reduce the dust which often contributes to respiratory infections. Most students sit on eucalyptus wood logs or rocks.

Education is a growing priority in the community which is primarily agrarian. The shortage of farmland and population growth has helped to convince the parents that education will provide better opportunities for their children in the urban centers rather than trying to continue to divide the farmland. Students are eager to continue their studies, however, the condition of the school stifles their dreams.

CEF through its partnership with Partners in the Horn of Africa wanted to bring a better educational experience to the children of Nakie Negao, Ethiopia. The project funding was provided with two main objectives in mind: an increase in size to accommodate all the students from surrounding schools and to improve the classroom conditions.

For this purpose CEF contributed $25,000 to Partners in the Horn of Africa towards the construction of two cement classroom blocks. Each block will contain four classrooms, a cement block library with books & furniture and a cement block latrine for the school.  By increasing the size and improving the conditions of the school, CEF wants to ensure that students in the area have a healthy, safe environment conducive to learning.

The local government has agreed to provide additional teachers and provide textbooks if the community builds the new classrooms. All these resources will help ensure a secure future for the children of Nakie Negao.

As the building of the classrooms starts in Ethiopia, we will continue to keep you updated about the project through images and stories from the ground.