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Update: Fall 2012

The old classrooms

Investing in education is essential to breaking the cycle of illiteracy and poverty in Jimma. With your help, the community now has 8 new classrooms, 5 teacher residences and 12 school latrines, which will go a long way to ensuring that children in this community get a decent education.

Before the new classrooms were built, overcrowding in run-down facilities was a serious issue. Crammed 40 or more to a classroom, children would sit for hours on the dirt floor without the benefit of desks, chairs, or books. The few latrines on the school's property were crumbling. And in these conditions, good teachers simply didn't stick around.

The new classrooms

For children who made it to school, against all odds, very little of quality awaited them, making it difficult for their families to justify the sacrifice of sending them. For girls, the lack of safe, private latrines, in particular, created a big barrier to attending school. The result was that many children dropped out.

But with new classrooms for almost 200 children, separate boys' and girls' latrines, and better residences for teachers, the future just got a whole lot brighter for this community. These investments will help keep kids in school and give them the tools they need to pull themselves out of poverty.

Economic empowerment of women is another top priority for this community. To that end, 58 Village Savings and Loans groups were established among nearly 600 women who are now getting access to financial services, financial literacy and training so they can earn an income and support their children.

"Before we joined the savings and loan group," says community member Awayesabu, "we didn't have money to cover our daily expenses. But now we can also provide our household with everyday needs."

Thank you! Your support is vital to these women and to their families, and they are committed to working together as a community to make lasting improvements.

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