In September 2008 we invited 85 friends to a celebration and raised money to drill a well and build bathrooms for the Zata Primary School, located in the Tigray Region of northern Ethiopia. The school has been educating students for more than 40 years, bringing hope for a brighter future to thousands of young children. Amazingly they achieved this without access to clean water or bathroom facilities for the students and teachers. In May 2009, Charity: Water, a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations, drilled the well our friends and family funded. By the summer of 2009, the bathrooms were completed and they now have access to facilities that allow them to live cleaner, healthier lives.
Our First Visit
During the building process, we received photos and video. When the well was done, there was only one thing left to do – visit the school and meet the students. With the help of a local guide, Glory Ethiopia, and A Glimmer of Hope, we planned our trip and visited the school at the end of September 2009. Nothing could have prepared us for the reception we received or what we felt that day. Who could have guessed that a little help given to others would change our lives forever.
Shutters and Doors
We spent the day visiting with the students and seeing what it was like to attend school in rural Ethiopia. We met the teachers and toured their classroom buildings, each illustrated with teaching murals. One building appeared to be unfinished – no plaster or murals and no shutters or doors. Talking with the teachers, we decided to help again and raise the money for the shutters and doors. This would be our first project for Friends Helping Others.
Christmas wishes really do come true. We started our campaign to furnish classrooms for the Zata School in November of 2009 and In just over three weeks we received enough donations to purchase 200 school desks for the Zata School. By Christmas Day, 2009, 90 Friends had given generously to enrich the lives of the 1000 students who attend this rural school. We worked with A Glimmer of Hope, an organization committed to bringing an end to extreme poverty in rural Ethiopia. They employed Ethiopian craftsmen to make the desks. The desk were deliverd to the school October of 2010. In March of 2011 we went back to see the desks in place and spend some time with the students.
Click here to learn more about our follow-up visit to the Zata School.
See the list of Donors who are enriching the lives of the Zata Students here.