If you are travelling through Ethiopia you will be amazed by the beauty of the country but many travellers also notice the poverty of the local people that is still widespread and ask me if there is anything they can do to help. It is not advised to give
pens, bottles or money to children who are begging as it will make them quit school because they will learn that begging is more profitable then attending school.
I believe that it is better to donate in bulk to a school or an organized project. This way the gifts are evenly and fairly spread among the children and they are encouraged to get an education. I have therefore adopted two projects in the area. If you would like to use a little bit of your time to visit one or both of the projects and maybe make some donations, just let me know and we could make it a part of your visit to Gondar and the Simien Mountains to make your trip even more memorable!
The Ambaras school lies in the Simien mountains, roughly between Sankaber en Geech camp. The school has been erected in 2008 by an international foundation. They funded the buildings for the primary school. In 2013 two more buildings for the secondary school were added by Ethiopian sponsors.
This school is located in the area where I grew up as a child. When I was young there was no school around and I had to go far to get my education. I am really happy that there is a school nowadays so the children in this area have a much better chance to get an education and a brighter future.
The school provides education for 539 children in primary school and 180 students in secondary school. Some of the children have to walk 2-3 hours one way each day to reach the school and get an education. The school provides 1 piece of bread for every child and for a lot of children this is the only meal they will get that day.
As there are no structural sponsors anymore today the school is in desperate need of benches, reading desks and blackboards. They also need school materials like pens, pencils, notebooks etc. constantly. Many of the children do not have proper clothes or shoes but as you would have to provide these for more than 700 children this is almost impossible to do. I therefore prefer to focus on the school materials.
The Kindu Trust is a small Ethiopian sponsorship organisation that has been working for over 15 years to improve the futures of children (and their families) in Ethiopia. They are based in Gondar, only a 10 minute walk from the main square in the center. As there are many disadvantaged families in Gondar I really admire them for all the work they do in their own small way.
Their Child Sponsorship programme exists to create an environment which improves the wellbeing of disadvantaged children and enables them to go to school and improve their opportunities for the future. They provide uniforms and school materials for the child and access to healthcare for the whole household as well as direct funding for essentials like rent, food and water – the basics that mean a child can be healthy and go to school, instead of work to provide income for the family.
The trust always welcomes visitors to come around and get introduced to their work. You can meet the children and buy small souvenirs or a traditional meal to support their work. They love to receive toys for the small children, school materials and clothes.
The Kindu Trust has its own website: KindTrust.org