We have now decided to branch out within Ethiopia to provide youngsters in areas, which are even more impoverished, with similar, life-changing, opportunities.
The region of Gambella, bordering South Sudan, has been identified as one of the most deprived areas in Ethiopia. Large numbers of refugee camps are located near the town and the situation is particularly dire for over 200,000 refugee children, as they have no future prospects at all.
Over the past few years EEF have already selected some five students from this region who we brought to Addis Ababa to join the programme. They have successfully integrated and one of them is currently applying for a scholarship at New York University. Another has strong enough grades to study medicine at university next year.
But the need is so much greater and we feel that this area will benefit most from our help.
Similarly to our programme in Addis Ababa, students undergo a strict selection process to ensure that students with highest potential join the programme. We support them for the last year of primary school (one year, grade 8), four years of high school (grades 9-12) and during university.
We provide all scholars with a safe place to live as well as all school materials, food and other essentials so that they will stay (and succeed) in education.
We monitor school attendance and performance regularly and provide them with additional support throughout the year.
Here is the profile of one of the students joining our programme this summer.