Hawzien Independent School, Friends of Waldorf Education e. V.
A school in one of the poorest regions of the world.
Reducing youth unemployment through better education
Since November 2020, the Tigray region has been in a state of civil war with the rest of Ethiopia, on the brink of a humanitarian disaster.
Despite economic growth in the last ten years, Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a population of around 95 million.
The lack of kindergartens, school places and vocational schools poses great challenges for the Hawzien region.
The biggest problem, in this context, is high youth unemployment.
Developing children's craft and artistic skills improves their chances of finding an apprenticeship in these trades after finishing school.
Likewise, the development of the teachers' and kindergarten teachers' craft and artistic skills is promoted.
Long-term support with skills and school meals
Dr Gebre-Selassie fled communist rule in Ethiopia and came to Germany, where he studied agriculture. In 2002, he founded the self-help association Finks Society for Integrated Development in his birthplace Hawzien, one of the oldest towns in Ethiopia.
This was the starting point for a large education project. After the kindergarten was built from initial donations, there is now a free school, an adult education centre, a bakery as well as a large herb garden and even dairy cows on the premises.
The Peter Ustinov Foundation sponsors art and craft classes for grades 1-8.
Facilitators such as teachers and kindergarten teachers are also trained in the associated community centre.
Classes begin at 8:00 am with a flag-raising ceremony and singing of the national anthem and last until about 10:00 am. After a break with warm milk and rolls from the school's own bakery, classes continue until 12:15.
The lessons follow the official curriculum with mathematics, Tigray, English and science.
Better starting conditions for a self-determined life.
The Hawzien Waldorf School currently accommodates eight classes with 40 children each – as well as three kindergarten groups with 40 children each.
With the support of the Sir Peter Ustinov Foundation, it was possible to establish and expand art lessons with special courses in traditional Ethiopian handicrafts and to expand to include music lessons.
The entire school grounds are planted with trees, with a very well-tended appearance, and the children have the opportunity to harvest hay and wheat in autumn and to learn about a variety of herbs.
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