Restoring & Expanding Education

Restoring & Expanding Education

ECDC has a longstanding track record of investing in education in Ethiopia

through distribution of books to public libraries throughout the country in collaboration with the regional educational offices.

A classroom under a tree, Axum, Tigray.

Restoring and Expanding Education: ECDC has a long-standing track record of investing in education in Ethiopia via the distribution of books to public libraries throughout the country in collaboration with regional educational offices. Over one million educational books have been distributed to various regions in Ethiopia, including Amhara region), Oromia, and Tigray. Moreover, in addition to distributing books, ECDC had initiated building schools in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia.

ECDC’s REVIVE Initiative will build on this foundation, supporting innovative approaches to rebuilding education infrastructure and fostering a dynamic, trauma-informed learning environment.

The Context

The Tigray region, one of Ethiopia’s 10 regional states, has a rich 3,000-year history and a remarkably resilient population. Unfortunately, the region has faced immense challenges as it endured a protracted and devastating war followed by a prolonged siege that persisted for over two years. This crisis finally culminated in a ceasefire in November 2022.

The aftermath of this devastating war has been characterized by a path of destruction, resulting in extensive damage to infrastructure, heightened food insecurity, loss of countless lives, and the disruption of essential public services, including education and healthcare. The repercussions have been profound, with millions of individuals internally displaced both within Tigray and spilling over its borders, including into neighboring countries such as Sudan.

The impact on the education sector in Tigray has been particularly severe. Before the war, the region’s education system was making substantial progress in enhancing access and equity, and advancing toward achieving Sustainable Development Goals aimed at providing quality education for all. 

Regrettably, the conflict altered the landscape drastically. School buildings were intentionally targeted and demolished while educational resources were plundered and set ablaze. Tragically, numerous educators and staff members lost their lives or endured unimaginable hardships. The disruption to the curriculum has resulted in substantial learning disparities and a significant loss of valuable time for the young students of Tigray.

Map of Tigray region, Ethiopia.

 

The diligent efforts and remarkable progress made over the past 30 years were abruptly reversed, and a staggering 2.4 million children now find themselves deprived of access to education and their aspirations temporarily deferred.

As per a recent report released by the Tigray Region Education Bureau, in the aftermath of the conflict, the education infrastructure endured substantial devastation, with 88.27% of classrooms bearing damage, 96.45% of desks in disrepair, and 31.65% of administrative buildings vandalized. Tragically, both teacher colleges were utterly obliterated. All the other universities in the region have been damaged.

Educational resources bore the brunt of the impact with 63.49% of student textbooks, 58.67% of teacher guide materials, and 53.4% of library reference books suffering damage. Additionally, 85.96% of desktop computers, 79.5% of copiers and printers, and 86.6% of laboratory kits and instruments were vandalized.

Tragically, the war also claimed the lives of approximately 2,146 members of the school community, including 1,911 students, with a majority, 84%, of them being female.

(Learn more: Postwar recovery of the Tigray education system: challenges and support needed – Tigray Education Bureau)

Students in Tigray are forced to sit in “classrooms” such as these, due to devastations their schools have seen during the war. (Photo credit: Tigray Education Bureau)

Our Efforts

Over the years, ECDC has been involved in supporting the education sector in Tigray Region. Recently, ECDC built an elementary school, the Meseret Teferra Elementary School gave it to the local government. When the war broke out, ECDC had been in the process of constructing the 2nd Phase of the project, a secondary school. After a disruption due to the war, we have now resumed the construction work after carrying out restorative maintenance on the already functioning elementary school at the hands of the invading forces. Learn more: (link)

Over the years, we’ve witnessed the power of education to uplift and transform communities.

Dr. Tsehaye Teferra, President and CEO 
Restorative maintenance has recently been completed and student are now back in their classrooms.

As a testament to its decades of dedication to knowledge dissemination, ECDC has also built a public library in the region. This library stands as a beacon of learning, fostering a culture of curiosity and exploration.

 

Axumite Heritage Foundation, ECDC’s overseas program built this public library in XX. While it was being constructed, the ancient building known as the Inda Nebr’Id, (“Governor’s Place”) served the community as a library after undergoing the first maintenance. although community members and staff defended their library during the conflict, at great cost and risk, costly repair and maintenance is being carried out to restore the damaged equipment and restore IT rooms to their original state. Meanwhile, the Public Library has reopened its doors to give service to students whose education was interrupted during the three-year siege and war. After the Library, erected in the grounds of the Inda Nebri”id, was completed, the Inda Nebr-Id was further renovated and restored.
Entrance of Axum Library, re-opened after closure during the war. (Nov. 2023)
High school students in Axum, spend long hours at the Public Library in an attempt to make up for the lost time due to school closure during the three-year closure during the war. The public Library became operational in 2002. (Nov. 2023)
Axum Public Library. (Nov. 2023)

We appeal to everyone to extend a helping hand to a region grappling with a multitude of challenges.

Donate Now!

To learn more about ECDC’s REVIVE Initiative Contact:

Alemayehu G. Abera, (Ph.D.), Overseas Program Coordinator:

Email: aabera@ecdcus.org

ECDC: https://www.ecdcus.org/

In recognition of the evolving demands of the modern world,

the REVIVE Initiative places a strong emphasis on advancing e-learning and computer literacy.

Through strategic partnerships and tailored programs, we aim to equip the youth with essential digital skills, ensuring they are prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. ECDC has already designed a project proposal for establishing Computer Literacy Incubation Centers “CLIC” in schools and is interested in supporting Tigray Education Bureau’s endeavor to establish satellite education TV station.

The Context

In the often-overlooked corners of our world, where societies grapple with the aftermath of conflict and hardship, the transformative power of e-learning emerges as a beacon of hope. In these underprivileged and war-torn communities, traditional education infrastructure is not only scarce but has also been targeted by the war, leaving countless young minds devoid of the opportunities to learn and grow.

ECDC recognized that e-learning, a technological lifeline that transcends physical barriers, will offer a fighting chance for education to those who need it most.

In the heart of post-war recovery, e-learning becomes a catalyst for change, breaking down the walls that circumstance has erected. Through accessible digital platforms, underprivileged students can gain access to a wealth of knowledge that might otherwise be out of reach due to the daunting task of post-war reconstruction. This dynamic approach to education not only empowers young minds with valuable skills but also fosters resilience, instilling a sense of possibility and ambition in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.

E-learning’s impact is not merely academic; it is a tool of empowerment that rebuilds the educational landscape in war-torn communities. By providing a virtual classroom where none might exist physically, e-learning becomes a force for societal transformation, offering a pathway to knowledge, growth, and a brighter future.

In these communities, where the echoes of conflict linger, e-learning is a testament to the unwavering belief that education is a fundamental right, capable of transcending even the toughest circumstances.

In the endeavor to bring the promise of education to underprivileged and war-torn societies through e-learning, it is crucial to acknowledge the critical need for comprehensive support.

Beyond the virtual classroom, there exists a tangible requirement for the development of essential infrastructure. In many of Tigray’s cities and villages, where conventional resources are scarce or unreliable, building alternative sources of electricity becomes a pivotal step. Sustainable energy solutions not only ensure the continuous functioning of e-learning platforms but also contribute to the overall development and self-sufficiency of these communities.

Moreover, the success of e-learning initiatives hinges on creative solutions to address the challenges of internet accessibility. Recognizing that traditional connectivity may be inconsistent or unavailable, innovative strategies are required to bridge the digital divide. This could involve the deployment of community-based networks, satellite internet solutions, or other novel approaches tailored to the unique circumstances of each region. Support for these infrastructural elements is a fundamental component of ensuring that the transformative potential of e-learning is fully realized in these challenging environments.

ECDC recognizes this need and plans to support such endeavors. Your donations will, too.

In essence, by combining the virtual realm of e-learning with the tangible support of robust infrastructure, we can foster a holistic educational ecosystem in Tigray region, grappling with adversity.

The call for assistance extends beyond digital platforms to encompass the foundational elements that sustain and enhance the impact of e-learning, thereby laying the groundwork for a brighter, more empowered future for these communities.

What we have done so far

High school and University students using the re-opened Axum Library computer center to carry out their studies after school resumed after a three-year hiatus due to war. (Nov. 2023)
Restoration and maintenance work still undergoing to make the computer lab at Axum Library fully operational after damages it sustained to essential equipment in server rooms. (Nov. 2023)

ECDC recognizes the challenges faced by communities in the wake of conflict, and the REVIVE Initiative embodies our unwavering belief in the resilience of the human spirit.

We invite partners, stakeholders, and the global community to join hands with us as we embark on this transformative journey.

We ask you to extend a helping hand to a region grappling with a multitude of challenges.

Donate Now!

To learn more about ECDC’s REVIVE Initiative Contact:

Alemayehu G. Abera, (Ph.D.), Overseas Program Coordinator:

Email: aabera@ecdcus.org

ECDC: https://www.ecdcus.org/

ECDC's Humanitarian Assistance

Essential Health Restoration

Photo: A woman displaced due to the conflict in northern Ethiopia sits in front of her shelter at camp for internally displaced people in Abi Adi, Tigray, June 24, 2023.(© 2023 Tiksa Negeri/Reuters) (Ethiopia: Atrocities Mar Ceasefire Anniversary | Human Rights Watch (hrw.org)

Inclusive well-being for vulnerable communities:Understanding the unique vulnerabilities faced by children and women in post-conflict regions, the REVIVE Initiative is designed to prioritize their well-being. From access to quality healthcare to socio-economic empowerment programs, our initiative seeks to support the creation of an inclusive and nurturing environment for all.  ECDC’s REVIVE Initiative will join hands with community partners to support projects that are focused on this area.

Acknowledging the interconnectedness of healthcare, socio-economic empowerment, and overall well-being, ECDC’s REVIVE Initiative is best described as a holistic commitment to fostering lasting positive change in the lives of those who need it most.

 

REVIVE Initiative: Nurturing inclusive well-being for vulnerable communities, prioritizing healthcare access and socio-economic empowerment in post-conflict Tigray.”

 

The Context

The toll the war had on women is unimaginable. Horrifying reports of gender-based violence have taken place. The communities and people are still grappling with psychosocial effects of the war, and displacement. Read moreHRW latest.

Learn more:

 

The REVIVE Initiative represents a significant expansion and evolution of ECDC’s ongoing commitment to building resilient communities overseas. Notably, in direct response to the formidable challenges experienced by the Tigray region in the wake of the recent conflict, the ECDC played a critical role in delivering humanitarian assistance and educational support, extending its reach beyond Ethiopia’s boundaries into neighboring countries such as Sudan. Within these refugee camps, where thousands of students and children have sought refuge, ECDC has co-founded the Tenedba Education and Wellness Center for Youth in the Health Professional Network for Tigray. This center is dedicated to offering computer literacy instruction and crucial psychosocial services for war-displaced youths at the refugee camp in Sudan. This Center is dedicated to offering computer literacy instruction and crucial psychosocial services for war-displaced youths at the refugee camp in Sudan.

Throughout the prolonged two-year siege, ECDC extended both material and financial humanitarian aid to institutions in need, including Axum Teaching Hospital, St. Mary Hospital, and Mekele University. These institutions were grappling with critical shortages of food and medical supplies.

 

While the primary focus of ECDC’s REVIVE Initiative will be the supporting the education sector, a holistic approach to post-war recovery is crucial.

 

Donate Now!

Inclusive Well-being of Vulnerable Communities

© UNICEF/Christine Nesbitt A ten-year-old boy, injured when he picked up a grenade, recovers at a hospital in Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region in Ethiopia. (Photo source WHO) (Tigray conflict is a health crisis for 6 million people, and ‘the world is not paying attention’: Tedros | UN News)

Essential Health Restoration: ECDC has a rich history of supporting hospitals and health institutions in the region, especially during the war.

Now, the REVIVE Initiative plans to extend this commitment by focusing on supporting the comprehensive restoration of health services. This includes raising funds to support infrastructure improvements, trauma-informed training for healthcare professionals, and initiatives to ensure accessible and quality healthcare for all.

A damaged and looted room at the health post in Adiftaw © Igor Barbero/MSF (Read more)

 

The Context

Read more:

Tigray conflict is a health crisis for 6 million people, and ‘the world is not paying attention’: Tedros | UN News

Photo story: Reaching the forgotten communities of the Tigray crisis | MSF UK

The impact of war on the health system of the Tigray region in Ethiopia: an assessment – PubMed (nih.gov)

What we have done so far

With a storied legacy of aiding hospitals and health institutions, particularly during the recent period of conflict in Northern Ethiopia, the ECDC has been a steadfast pillar of support for the region’s healthcare facilities such as Axum Teaching Hospital, St. Mary Hospital, and Mekele University. During the challenging periods of siege, these institutions received vital financial assistance, reflecting ECDC’s commitment to sustaining healthcare services in the face of adversity.

Now, the REVIVE Initiative emerges as the next chapter in this commitment, aiming to comprehensively restore health services in the region.

The REVIVE Initiative is poised to amplify ECDC’s dedication to health restoration by raising funds to address multifaceted challenges. This includes a focus on essential infrastructure improvements, ensuring that healthcare facilities are equipped to meet the diverse needs of their communities.

REVIVE is steadfast in its mission to guarantee accessible and inclusive healthcare for all, recognizing the pivotal role it plays in rebuilding communities.

Collaboration lies at the heart of the REVIVE Initiative, as it endeavors to work hand-in-hand with like-minded initiatives that share a commitment to revitalizing healthcare services in the region.

By fostering partnerships and pooling resources, the initiative seeks to create a synergistic impact that goes beyond what individual efforts can achieve. Through this collaborative approach, REVIVE envisions a future where essential health restoration becomes a collective effort, contributing to the resilience and well-being of communities affected by conflict.

The initiative aims to raise funds to support the comprehensive revitalization of health service.

 

ECDC’s REVIVE Initiative is not just a vision; it is a call to action. We are actively raising funds to finance initiatives that align with our goals or directly implementing others. ECDC invites partners, stakeholders, and the global community to contribute to our cause and join hands with us as we embark on this transformative journey.

We appeal to everyone to extend a helping hand to a region grappling with a multitude of challenges.

To learn more about ECDC’s REVIVE Initiative Contact:

Alemayehu G. Abera, (Ph.D.), Overseas Program Coordinator:

Email: aabera@ecdcus.org

ECDC: https://www.ecdcus.org/

“REVIVE Initiative: Fostering collective impact by raising funds to support like-minded health institutions, ensuring comprehensive restoration through infrastructure improvements, professional training, and accessible healthcare for all in post-conflict regions.”

Join Us

JOIN US!

Join us in our mission to rebuild shattered classrooms, provide essential educational materials, offer support to the resilient young minds of Tigray, vulnerable women and war victims; and support the overall recovery and economic revitalization of the region.

Donate Now!

Together, we can make a lasting impact and help restore hope and opportunity for Tigray’s children, ensuring they have access to quality education and the chance to realize their full potential while also contributing to the region’s broader recovery and development.

We earnestly appeal to everyone to extend a helping hand to a region grappling with a multitude of challenges.

To learn more about ECDC’s REVIVE Initiative Contact:

Alemayehu G. Abera, (Ph.D.), Overseas Program Coordinator:

Email: aabera@ecdcus.org

ECDC: https://www.ecdcus.org/

(Learn more: Postwar recovery of the Tigray education system: challenges and support needed – Tigray Education Bureau