Students helping to carrying the biscuits
Ashenafi stood slightly apart from the others, looking out with sober, sad eyes. His head shaved no doubt because of lice or fungus feeding on deprivation. His shirt and shorts barely held together covered a small brown thin body. In his hand his precious school books, ragged now with constant use, reading and re-reading making every effort to learn and improve his future. Gradually after the second and third visit he appeared less tense, and even once he gave a half smile. "What grade are you in, son?" I asked him. "8th", he then shared with me that he really wanted to go on to 9th grade... I asked if he would consider going to univeristy. A dreamy look came into his eyes... but was quickly chased away with "No, I don't think my father will permit that, I am the first born." So his hope is tenth grade complete and then help his subsistence farmer father, but he will have more learning than his father and maybe later on he could continue.
You dear donor have made Ashenafi's dream a little more possible, he did not have to drop out of school; despite great poverty, he has had just enough food to see him through until the rains come and the corn grows... He is taking his 8th grade examination as I write and then go on to 9th grade.
We started feeding the school children in February, every month taking high energy biscuits and peanut butter to one school and eventually to four schools, the first one Fyel Wuha had received other food support so we were able to concentrate on four far more vulnerable schools selected by local Education Offices and with your generous donations we were able to provide high energy biscuits and peanut butter five days per week.The elementary schools are: Cher (1121 students), Bahr Giza (367 students), My Gemera (706 students) and Cherchere (461 students).
Abraham's Oasis supplied 1989 cartons with 150 individual four biscuit packet, one per child; 1656 large tubs of peanut butter given out to 13,607 students over five months.
The schools are up to 225 kilometres away from Abraham's Oasis main office, mainly on recently asphalted roads and only occasionally driving over dirt roads to access the schools. In some schools we made a drop off by the road side as there were no roads, from thence the children carried the boxes to the school over rough mountainous terrain.
The teachers reported that usually during times of famine the absenteeism rate is 50%, but because of the high energy biscuits this was only 3-5%; the teachers also reported that the children's school performance and moral was better than usual during times of hardship. It was good to help the teachers in Cher School with 51 solar lamps, this school is is exceedingly remote and mountianous and has no electricity.
Thank you for making this possible!
Even the girls helped
Pre-school also came!
Looking so much better
This was taken at the first visit...
It started to rain as we were leaving!