New school for orphan and street children in Wolisso
April 2011- Help-for-Hope was in Wolisso, Ethiopia to met the leaders of the two projects and define the concept of a new school and a first track & field facility for orphans and street children. Wolisso is located at 100 km from Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia and is the cradle of top Ethiopian runners. Yet for too many children in Wolisso, the dream of a better future remains...a dream.
Construction of the school is under way. The objective is for the school to be operational in fall 2011 to welcome local children with demonstrated need, including street children from ages 6 to 10. These children will receive primary school education (including English), support, counselling and a warm meal a day.
The school will also offer a small pre-school facility, to provide children exit from life on the streets before they start school. Total cost to complete the school construction: CHF 30ʼ000.
The good news: the existing stadium in Wolisso is very well utilized and is full of life! It is a centrepiece of the village, a place where children gather. Local girls and boys from early school age to teenagers train every day of the week under the supervision of a coach – as many as 70-80 at a time. The motivation and willingness of the runners is impressive. The talent is there, the facilities not.
These children run on an untarred road many without shoes. There are no showers. Progress is more difficult, injuries more likely. At the most basic level, Help-for-Hope intends to lay an eight-lane 400 m track, so that sports can become a school of life for the children of Wolisso. The stadium can also become a place to train for other elite athletes, who in turn can be an inspiration to the children of Wolisso.
Currently, there is only one such track in Ethiopia, in Addis Ababa, and that track is reserved for the national team....
Some of the orphan teenage athletes with Help-for-Hope founders and members.
November 2011 - The new school for street children is now almost finished.
The bad weather in Ethiopia this summer (lots of rain) delayed some of the work but today, we can see how well the construction has progressed. Hopefully, the children will start attending school around Easter.
The walls are now completed as are the roofs. Protective shutters have been installed.
The floor has been fitted with a drainage system (made up of large stones) to protect against possible future flooding.
What remains to be finished is the floor coverings inside each class, the walls need to be painted, and the classrooms have still to be equipped with tables and chairs.
When this is completed, the children will finally be able to attend their new school and begin a new chapter in their lives.
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