In 2007, Canadian Humanitarian began an education support program in cooperation with a local Ethiopian Charity called Yenege Tesfa Histenat, which translates into English as Kid’s Hope. This center has 50 active students in its program ranging from grade 1 (aged 5 years) to grade 12 (aged 18 years). Programs at this center are based on our Holistic Child Centered Network model.
During the day, students attend 1 of 3 of the schools in the area. These schools are very crowded, so students rotate shifts each month. An early shift means the student attends school from 8 am until Noon, a late shift means the student attends school from 1 pm to 5 pm.
To accommodate, the Education Center also holds programs in shifts; the late shift students come to the center in the morning, and early shift students in the afternoon. All students receive a hot meal during their school day either at lunch or supper.
There are student clubs for traditional dance, music, computer, book club, soccer, drama, science, and model building. All club meetings are all held on site at the Alemgena Education center. Tutoring in basic course studies, as well as English Conversation, occur daily.
A special thanks to the Community Initiative Program for funding in 2014 and 2015.
A special thanks to the Community Spirit Initiative Program for funding through 2011 and 2012.
In the northern part of the City Of Addis Ababa, is a sub-city called Guelele, and was identified as an area that was extremely impoverished. This is where Canadian Humanitarian began its first Program in 2004.
Working with a local Ethiopian Charity, and the local Guelele government, over 400 orphaned and vulnerable children were recommended as needing this program. Available funding allowed for 40 of these children to be selected for registration.
A year later (2005), the program added 10 more students. Today it still has 50 students attending the program, although most of the original students are now in university, or have graduated from college, or vocational programs and are working.
Teachers offer help with school work, life skills training, health workshops, and personal grooming instruction. The Education Center provides them with access to a library, laundry, and shower facilities for personal care, and membership in democratically elected student-run clubs. Education Center clubs include a gymnastics club, art club, public speaking, drama, and a music club. This Education Center also has a computer lab for the students to learn basic skills.
Students attending this program now range in age from grade 1 (6 years old) to grade 12 (18 years old).
Our students, along with their guardian families, were relocated to this community between 2003 and 2006, because their homes were demolished in central Addis Ababa to make way for new commercial construction. The government built small homes in the country side to accommodate them, but the rent was more than most families could pay. There was little infrastructure and few jobs in this area. Access to water and electricity was limited.
This program began in 2004 with an Ethiopian Charity named “LIGA”. LIGA operated a small Kindergarten school, operated by a group of journalists, artists, teachers, and musicians that were among the displaced people. Since they were unemployed, they decided to use their talents to help others.
From 2004 until 2006 students met under a blue tarp structure, using rows of long sticks tied together as their desks. In 2006, Canadian Humanitarian built a three room school to house the students.
Since then the community has grown, and needs have changed. Local government schools are now available. Our students needed support through their higher grades, and more services to help them succeed. So the decision was made by Canadian Humanitarian to change the program to follow the full Holistic Child Centered Network (HCCN) model.
In the fall of 2013 we welcomed 70 students, aged 5 years to 12 years of age, to the new Education Center. Most of these students were part of our previous LIGA school student base. Vulnerable Children Society is our partner for the Kality Program, and all activities are held in the VCS Love and Hope Center in Akaki Kality.
In the fall of 2013, Canadian Humanitarian was asked to assume these programs, and implement the full Holistic Child Centered Network (HCCN) model. Intake medicals on both students and guardian families were completed by the October 2013 expedition group. There are 109 students now enrolled in the Kersa Education Support Center, ranging from grades 4 to 12.
In 2012, at the request of Canadian Humanitarian, new managers of the Ethiopian Charity named BEKA became the Ethiopian Project Partner to supervise and oversee the Kirkos Center activities. This program is based on the Holistic Child Centered Network (HCCN) model, and has a full after school program for 70 students from the inner city area of Addis Ababa called Kirkos Sub City. Students still range in ages from grade 1 to grade 12. However, many of the original students from 2007 are now in vocational training, university or have graduated and are working from post-secondary education programs. New students have replaced them, and the project continues to serve this part of Addis Ababa.
The students meet in a rented facility close to their homes and schools, after school and on weekends.
The program also provides vocational training and micro enterprise training and support to interested guardians, in Food Services, Catering, and Weaving.
We have students enrolled in health officer training, nursing school, engineering programs, lab technician programs, accounting programs, hairdressing school, culinary school, computer technology institutions, attaining woodworking and metalworking certificates, and more. These students attend campuses in Addis Ababa, Jima, Dilla, and Gondar.
Depending on the type of post-secondary institution, and the city in which it is located, the students have a variety of costs such as tuition, transportation, books, and living expenses. These costs and fees can be prohibitive to a students being able to attend post-secondary education, even though they have been accepted.
The Scholarship Program has been developed in order to address those issues. Each student receives a monthly stipend, as well as tuition and books paid for during their post-secondary education. The student reports to the Canadian Humanitarian Addis office, to the Scholarship Program Manager. They provide receipts for transportation costs, books, and living expenses. They also report on their attendance at their classes, and grade standing at school. Once graduated and employed, the student commits to return 25% of the funds over a period of time, to assist future scholarship students.
Canadian Humanitarian facilitates an alumni type of spirit for all the students, regardless of which education center they attended, so they can connect with fellow students on the same campus and can support one another emotionally.We sponsor an annual get together for all scholarship students, usually during one of our expeditions. These allow the students to connect with one another during their semester break, and facilitate their friendships.
Canadian Humanitarian has a number of individuals who have set up grants and awards for students to apply to within our scholarship program. The students love the incentive to strive for good marks to be awarded a laptop or bursary funds.
This program is housed on SCCM’s own compound with buildings and education materials in the Urael area of the City of Addis Ababa. It would be considered an inner city area of Addis Ababa.
Students attend the center during the week for nine months of classroom training and end with one month of practicum training at a job site, outside the center. Each successful student earns a certificate of trade approved by the Ethiopian Government. The project incorporates small business training to help the individuals operate small businesses, utilizing the skills they obtained in the program, and staff training to help improve the quality of education offered to the students.
In 2019, we formed an alliance with the US-based REALgirl Foundation, founded by Anea Bogue B.Ed., M.A..
REALgirl/ SERniña Program Overview
SERniña (by REALgirl) was founded in Guatemala in 2014 and since then has reached over 1000 at-risk youth, and has led training sessions and information sessions to hundreds of parents, teachers, community leaders, and national panels and experts.
SERniña (by REALgirl) provides transformative workshops dedicated to guiding and inspiring girls to reach their highest potential, engaging boys and men in the creation of gender equality, and working with families and communities to create safer and more equitable spaces for all.
Through SERniña (by REALgirl) workshops and programs, youth develop the knowledge, skills, and courage they need to make informed life-choices and reach their highest potential. SERniña (by REALgirl) runs all of their programs in partnership with local schools and organizations in some of Guatemala’s most marginalized and at-risk communities.
Workshops are taught by local Guatemalan women and men and are conducted in partnership with local schools and community groups and span the 10-month Guatemalan school year. Over the course of their time in the program, each participant will receive over 180 hours of workshop support. Workshop topics include, but are not limited to: Identity, Sisterhood, Using Your Voice, Human Rights, Goal-Setting, Media Awareness, Gender Roles, Puberty, Menstrual Health, Nutrition, Drug Resistance, Health Relationships, Sexual and Reproductive Health, and Financial Literacy.
Recognizing that the youth do not live in a bubble, SERniña (by REALgirl) also works in partnership with parents, educators, and community leaders to help whole communities heal from the trauma of patriarchal dominance, violence, and racial injustices, to reconnect society to its ancestral roots and create communities that are interdependent, interconnected, and equitable.
In all that SERniña (by REALgirl) does, they take on a feminist, holistic, and community-centered approach to gender equity and empowerment.
Where SERniña (by REALgirl) works in Guatemala:
Currently, SERniña runs in-depth year-long support programs in five partner communities in Guatemala: Tecpan, Alotenango, Jocotenago, El Hato and La Guardiana.
SERniña also offers specialized support and offerings through collaborative workshops across Guatemala.