Roll call. Check. School announcements. Check. Water sprayed across the dusty classroom floor. Check.

It’s all in the daily routine for 15-year-old Hayelom Hadgu, one of hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian students heading back to an imagine1day partner school this month.

It’s a routine he has been doing for seven years.

“We fetch water from a nearby hand-dug well, wet our dusty classroom floor, and sweep it; otherwise, the dust makes it impossible for us to sit and learn in the class,” says the now eighth grader.

Hayelom’s Adishumhafti School, located in Northern Ethiopia, is not the type of school many students would want to return to. Three crumbling classroom blocks, made largely of mudbricks, are all that protect students and teachers from the outside elements.

“Our classroom does not have proper windows and a door, which hardly prevents the wind and rain,” says Hayelom. “When it rains, we are often forced to quit the session and gather in the middle of the room to keep warm and avoid getting wet.”

A group of Ethiopian school children standing outside of a school

As he describes his school, his face does not show any sign of being upset. Indeed, he beams at the thought of his future.

“When I grow up I want to be an engineer. I hear engineers make a lot of money.”

This year, imagine1day and our supporters are turning things around for Hayelom and the entire community. Donations to imagine1day are helping us create a new school for the students of this village.

We’re building proper classrooms, a library, latrines and a playground. We’re training teachers to deliver quality lessons. We’re supporting local leaders, so they can encourage the community to take advantage of the life-changing opportunities education provides.

Hayelom is, unfortunately, a rarity in this community. Less than half the primary school age population is enrolled in school. For those that do enroll, only 40% will complete their primary years.

Let’s give the Hayelom’s of the world a chance to reach their potential, and help more students follow in his footsteps.

“I am very happy about the construction of the new block. I cannot wait to learn in a proper classroom.”