Teka was just nine years old when imagine1day staff arrived at his school and asked him a question he had never considered before: What is your vision for your life?
“I said I wanted to be a doctor when I grow up and discover a cure for HIV,” says Teka.
For decades, the community of Gereb Abdela had felt little ownership in their local school. The prevailing view saw it as a government institution, not a village asset. Many sent their children, but otherwise paid little attention.
Gosaye Gizaw has a big job: as the Education Office Head for Ethiopia’s Bale Zone, he is responsible for the education of 350,000 children.
He was one of 350 influential figures we invited to our leadership training in May, together with Lightyear Leadership.
At imagine1day, any school we build is done in partnership with the community: right down to the financial costs. To ensure local ownership and pride, we ask the communities themselves to contribute at least 10% of the construction costs.
At Sheni Kondala School, there are no earthquake drills or fire drills – but the students are well-practiced in what to do when it rains.
First comes the deafening noise of the rain bouncing off the corrugated-iron roof, drowning out all noise in the classroom.
Dumey School has seen a roll explosion over the past three years: with 466 previously out-of-school children signing up to learn.
Excitingly – in an area of Ethiopia with unequal gender roles – almost half of the new students are girls.
The community of Adishumhafti took their children’s education into their own hands.
At a meeting two years ago, the school’s PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) – armed with mobilization training from imagine1day – preached the value of education.
At imagine1day we believe in the power of people to be leaders, who can create new futures never before possible.
That belief has been the cornerstone of our success and, over the next three days, we begin putting it into action on our largest scale yet.
Hiwot’s daily routine is something few people ever experience, let alone 12-year-olds like herself.
At 6am, the sun rises and she starts the long two-hour walk to school. For four hours, she sits on a rock in her open-air classroom.
Twice a week, under the shade of a tree, Fakia and Jemila meet with their female classmates to discuss everything from menstruation to marriage.
This is the Caro School Girls Club, led by these two vocal young leaders.