Kids, women, men and government people in Ilfeta woreda turned out welcoming the TX Foundation team that pledged a support of over 4.6 million birr in support of promoting accessibility and quality of education in the woreda. A tripartite agreement was Signed-off on the occasion for construction of additional blocks in two elementary schools in the area.
The partnership will enable the construction of four Additional School Blocks each having Four Classrooms in Two Primary Schools (Jirma and Bekie); Four Separate Toilets for Girls and Boys two in each of the two Primary Schools; Two Roof Water Catchments one in each Primary School and renovation of the existing classrooms in Jirma Primary School.
“Tsu Xing meaning ‘kindness walking’ Foundation is an international private philanthropic foundation that supports building education facilities. The visiting team included Ms. Liza Lin, the President, Ms Freda Miriklis International Development Advisor, Ms Adenike Adeyanju Regional Coordinator for Africa and Ms DV Chen, Administration Coordinator.
Addressing the public gathering, Jemal ActionAid Ethiopia Country Director said, “This is a special event that brought the Ilfeta community, the TX Foundation and ActionAid together. Jemal noted the AAE found education to be the priority of Ilfeta community as it first intervened, about two years ago and accordingly brought the TX Foundation with the belief its support will help curbing the problem.
Jemal also noted that ActionAid expects that the Ilfeta community to send school aged children to the schools. He emphasized that the community should make sure that no school aged girl child will miss education. The crowd expressed their commitment and pledged to live up to expectation in this respect. Also the woreda government expressed commitment to make sure that girls in the woreda are enrolled.
Speaking her impressions from the visit, Ms Liza Lin, President of the TX Foundation said, “I appreciate the commitment on the part of the community and woreda government to carry the project ownership. This is very important to the TX Foundation.” Ms Liza further noted that education is always a priority and should never be postponed. She emphasized that school age children should never miss the opportunity.
On his part the Ilfata woreda Administration head Tariku Birrissa warmly welcomed the guests and he expressed great appreciation and thanks to the TX- Foundation and AAE for the generous support they have offered to the schools in his Woreda. He further explained that the Woreda has a number of problems including that of education. He also noted the support to the two schools will solve classrooms, toilet and water problems for about 3,600 students. He also promised that his administration and the community will provide the necessary support to realize the success of this project.
Partnership as part of ActionAid’s strategy is valued all the time. However, in most cases, partners mingled with beneficiaries only during the inauguration of projects developed through their joint efforts, if at all. This time, however, partners celebrated their introduction to each other and signed a memorandum of understanding amidst crowds and colorful ceremony that included cultural performances and horse parades. After all, companionship is the best foundation for collaborative works and the event initiated mutual understanding and trust among the parties.
Prior to the ceremony, the TX team had visited two elementary schools in the woreda to see realities of education on the ground. This helped them look into how their donation will curb the problem. Also as they observed the reality as well as the enthusiasm and commitment of the community and woreda government to ensure betterment in education quality and accessibility, the guests were convinced to double their original pledge of 100,000 USD.
The team was overwhelmed by conditions of the schools with classes congested with over 70 students each and poorly equipped. Hence, they kept on discussing the conditions and how they may maximize their support and improve the facilities. The Foundation President and Team Memebers discussed and agreed doubling the donation amidst the welcoming festivity. Furthermore, they kept on discussing the situation on their journey back to Addis Ababa and pondered on ways of making some solar lights available for the schools and households to enable students read in the evening.
The situation even obsessed discussions of the women the next day while they visited Lucy, the remains of the oldest human ancestor at the Ethiopian National Museum. This time the concern was the lack of enough light and rough and muddy floors of the class rooms of the schools they visited. Hence, they pledged another 10,000 USD for cementing the classrooms and to enlarge windows or inserting transparent sheets on the roof tops to let more light in to the class rooms. This brought the total of the money pledged by TX Foundation to 210,000 USD.
It was AA Nigeria colleagues linked TX Foundation with AAE CD Jemal Ahmed. As the TX Foundation sought a partner in Ethiopia, email communications between Jemal and Ms Adeyanju begin right away; this was about four months ago. Later, Jemal and Ms Adenike Adeyanju, TX Foundation’s Regional Coordinator for Africa had the chance to see each other at a meeting in Tanzania. The meeting, although not related with their issue, served as an opportunity for the party to discuss and find out that their organizations had common visions and strategies with respect to education works. Back home, Jemal linked the Ms Adeyanju with the AAE Fundraising team which interacted with the TX Foundation and processed the materialization of this noble partnership.