Monday, January 21, 2013

Fundame; it begins

Whats next: 13 km up the road to Mudula sits the Fundame 1-8.  The schools been around for over a decade educating the communities children, and doing their best to prepare them for the local high school in Shinshicho.  There is a library, but since its creation it has relied  on a meager collection of a couple hundred out-dated books for its nearly 1000 students. In short, the schools students, like most on the road to Mudula, are unprepared when they begin first grade, and they lack the supporting literacy resources to assist them in their preparation for high school.  Consequently, these inadequacies paired with numerous other factors lead to an estimated 70 percent failure rate of Shinshicho high school seniors of the national exam.

Starting this past Satuday, Ethiopia Reads began the process of preparing the community for the implementing of the construction phase of a much needed KG and the sponsorship of a ER library.  

What that means:  Ethiopia Reads will be empowering the local community to work together to build a structure that will better that when finished will prepare Fundame's young minds for the rigors of primary, middle and high school.  In addition ER will hire local artisans to craft furniture for the schools students and staff as well as bookshelves to house 3,000-5,000 new and up to date volumes.  No drastic change will occur overnight, but the cumulative effort of on going support from ER, the Fundame community, and inspirational people like the Moss family will ensure that those critical changes will one day happen.

How were doing it: Today was the big talk with the labor force.  Over 400 people showed up.  It was a long one, but a successful day lead effectively by Ejigu, Temesgin and a couple select village elders.   The ER projects were talked through at length, ER expectations of temporary workers were explained, contracts were gone over, and the ER temp worker lottery was put to use.  

Each of the 183 men and 221 woman's names were recorded on master lists and then copied on small cuts of paper. The names were then separated by sex and placed in their respective bins to be drawn out by the attending village elders.  May sound a little goofy to some, but its a fair, and very importantly, a transparent way to chose our weekly work force.  It also takes me and the ER field management team out of the blame game of "why dont I get to work this week."  Every name drawn is listed on paper in chronological order, and will be posted on the schools outside gate to help remind the community of when each person is expected to report for work.  

Tomorrow 12 woman and 8 men will work together to begin the process of leveling the land.  3 days latter we will digging post holes, and erecting a fence.  It will go fast, so make sure to check in from time to time.  

The introductions

Ejigu taking center stage when discussing daily pay rates

Ejigu getting some assistance from one of the Fundame school teachers

Fe of the ladies listening in

Ejigu playing securit guard as we record all the names.  2 at a time.
Temsgin, Getan, and a volunteer from Fundame working together to record names

One of the piles begins

44.5 meters by 21 meters of potential


  1. Hello, my daughter is doing her FCCLA project at school on Ethiopia Reads. We really like the pictures on your blog that shows the hard work of building a library by HAND! She is planning a fundraiser. Could she possibly use some of your photos in her display?


  2. Thanks for giving me a heads up Laurel. Go for it. Let me know how it goes.

  3. Thank you!!! I will get back in touch with you after she's finished her fundraising and presentation!

    Laurel :)