Education creating lasting change

Turning dreams into reality for an Ethiopian community

Long-term development work turns dreams into reality for the next generation

The years 1984 and 85 were the harshest ever for Ethiopia. Millions of people died of hunger and many children were left orphans. It was during this time that World Vision began work in the Mehal Meda area (Menz Gera and Menz Keya) in the Amhara region of central Ethiopia.

Now populated with more than 54,000 people, the area has been transformed. While early field work conducted by World Vision included emergency lifesaving, rehabilitation and area development, today the focus is on education.

World Vision has helped remove barriers to education like undernourishment, poverty and lack of clean water, and has worked with the community to increase the number of schools from 30 to 115. Children in the region are now able to not only hope for – but achieve – their dreams.

Children in the Mehal Meda area of central Ethiopia are succeeding both in the classroom and beyond.

Edilawit, 11, is a Grade 6 student. She first joined World Vision’s sponsorship program when she was four. “Maths is my favourite subject. I want to be a paediatrician because I love children. I love World Vision because they provide me with educational materials, cloth, chickens, and other materials. I know that World Vision loves me and cares for me,” said Edilawit.

Sponsorship has also supported Grade 6 student Kalkidan in working towards her goals: “I want to be an engineer so as to build roads, bridges and big buildings [for] my community,” she said. And in Mehal Meda, children’s dreams are becoming reality. The region is producing young professionals in a range of disciplines, with 220 local students attending university.

Former sponsored child Mebrat, 21, is among the local students who have joined university – he’s pursuing civil engineering at Wachamo University. “World Vision is the reason for my success. It provided me [with] educational material, rewarded me (bags and supplementary books) for achieving outstanding results in my education. There are many children supported by World Vision who are now in school, in universities, and on different work. World Vision’s contribution is immense – its name is synonymous with hospital, school, clean water, and agricultural inputs in the community,” Mebrat explained happily.

Tamire is a history teacher at Zemero preparatory school. He says World Vision’s contribution has been huge: “World Vision is everything for the children, families, and the community. We are transformed because of its life changing intervention.”