"The School of St. Yared - an educational blue print for eradicating poverty in marginalised communities in Ethiopia."
St. Yared’s children come from some of the most impoverished and marginalised communities in Addis Ababa. Parents/carers are for the most part illiterate and unskilled, earning what they can as day labourers or menial workers … anything to ‘earn a crust’. They live in a constant state of work, food, and shelter insecurity. Children have to make a contribution to the household from a very early age, either as ‘bread winners’ (shoe shine boys, collecting firewood, begging, etc) or as carers for other family members. There is little or no healthcare, malnutrition and disease is common, and many of the children have suffered severe emotional traumas.
Under these circumstances few of these children can sustain the “free” education offered by the State. They are effectively “off the radar” as far as education is concerned.
The School St. Yared seeks to change this dynamic by creating confident, articulate and well rounded young adults capable of playing leading roles in society.
The policy of one school place per family
Contrary to expectations this policy is not divisive. It ensures the benefit is spread widely through the community, engaging as many families as possible in the project, and exposing them to the school’s social programmes. The project benefits as it has a greater pool of supporters to call upon.
The Selection Process
Funding is limited. We must ensure as far as possible that a student's education can be sustained so that they can go on to make a difference to their communities.
"The first criterion is extreme need"
Local councils invite applications which are vetted by them to confirm need (orphan or vulnerable child status). A vast number apply. Applications are limited to 500. Half are put forward for review by senior school staff and the parents committee (who live in and know the community well). Some street children not on the councils’ lists are added in.
The children undergo an aptitude test conducted by the teachers who spend a great deal of time with each child. The children’s homes are visited, again to confirm need.
Finally, senior staff and the parent committee select the students who will be offered places.
"The more children we have sponsored the more places we can offer."
Meet Some of Our Children at Home
Is there room for us?
Doing the test