"The School of St. Yared - an educational blue print for eradicating poverty in marginalised communities in Ethiopia."
Some years ago Beryl and Peter Bailey set aside some windfall shares in their own private charity. The money was looking for a ‘home’ where it could ‘make a difference’. Whilst visiting family in Perth, Western Australia, they read a press article on the remarkable work being done by Australian, Jacqui Gilmour, through her charity, Hope for Children, and particularly The School of St. Yared project in Addis Ababa. They were inspired by Jacqui’s dedication and the incredible story of the school’s co-founder, Yared Wolde.
When Beryl visited the school in January 2015 it became clear that renting sites for the school was untenable in the long term. In discussion with Yared and Jacqui (co-founders of the project) the Bailey Charity agreed to help with land purchase with a view to building a new school. All land is held leasehold from the State. A good site had been identified. Negotiations with a plethora of State agencies took an inordinate amount of time and resources.
But the exceptional work of the school had not gone unnoticed. In autumn 2015 the Ethiopian authorities offered the project three disused school buildings from which to expand. The sites are in Addis Akaki Kality, an area equally impoverished and where need is even greater than that of the current catchment.
This school offers some of the highest quality education available in Ethiopia to some of the most deprived children in Addis Ababa. The school was seeking to broaden the educational experience of its children. Amongst other things, the Bailey’s small private charity funded the International Primary School Curriculum and a senior teacher to further its implementation. This small ‘investment’ paid off handsomely. During his two year tenure, Steve Venour from Australia did some astonishing work, well outside the parameters set, built an excellent cooperative teaching team, changed the classroom ethos, and achieved tremendous results with the children and the school. A huge bonus was the voluntary work of Sallianne (Steve's wife) producing promotional video footage and the school newsletter. Steve and his family have returned to Australia but the momentum continues.
In national examinations the children of St. Yared’s achieve scores well in excess of those achieved by the local public and private schools. And it would be difficult to find a happier and more motivated student body than the children of The School of St. Yared.
The challenge has been accepted in the full knowledge that, whilst a great deal of hard work lies ahead, there is now a clear opportunity to achieve the goal of expanding the school through to High School and a student body of over 1000.
Beryl and Peter's small private charity has its limitations. They have therefore established the public charity, St. Yared’s Trust (UK), to appeal to a wider public donor base. The Trust will dedicate its energies to expanding The School of St. Yared, and equipping its students with the life/work skills they need to move out of poverty, and enable them to make a significant contribution to the development of their communities and their country.
Beryl Bailey, Jacqui Gilmour & Yared Wolde
Steve, Sallianne & family
Beryl and Peter Bailey live in Haslemere, Surrey, and are retired (from careers in financial services and new technology development respectively). They are graduates of the University of Leeds.
Working on this project has added a fascinating and immensely rewarding dimension to their retirement. They welcome the participation of others with energy and commitment to give to the project.
If you would like to be involved please contact us: