Ethiopia, with its vast fertile west, verdant forests and numerous rivers, is located in the Horn of Africa, in the northeast corner of the continent. The most populous landlocked country, it is home to more than 104.9 million people (World Bank, 2017), who’ve welcomed us with open arms from the moment we first arrived. With such a large population, it’s no surprise that the country is full of wildly varied communities defined by ethnicity and religion. Its official language is Amharic, although it only represents one of Ethiopia’s six major ethnic groups.
Although its economy has been growing for the past few years, Ethiopia still faces many challenges. Almost a quarter of the population live below the national poverty line, and close to 79.7% of the population live in rural areas (World Bank, 2017) where many children are forced to forgo schooling to help their families at home. Food security, financial opportunities, access to education, clean water, sanitation facilities and basic health care are all issues that most Ethiopians deal with on a daily basis.
The life expectancy of Ethiopians (UNDP, 2018)
of children aged 5-14 engaged in economic activity (ILO, 2011)
Literacy rate for ages 15 + (CIA World Factbook, 2015)
To make large and long-lasting change in Ethiopia, we’ve partnered with Canadian-based charity and education-focused development organization imagine1day, which has been doing incredible work in the country for 10+ years, building schools, training teachers and implementing educational programs in the Tigray and Oromia regions of Ethiopia. WE will look to build off their success by tapping into their existing relationships with both the communities and the government agencies they’ve been working with. Our WE Villages development model will first focus on the Education Pillar before expanding our efforts to include the other four pillars in the near future.
In every country where WE Villages operates, we tailor our programs to meet the unique needs of the communities we work with, while still adhering to our five Pillars of Impact. Read how we’re implementing education in Ethiopia.