1 Year Report
GERAMBERO CELEBRATES ITS FIRST YEAR!
Coupling the community of Gerambero's commitment to education with your investment in quality primary education, Gerambero Grade 1-4 Primary School is well on its way towards becoming sustainable. Today, one year after the school opened, the community is thriving, growing and has big plans for the future. Meet a few of Gerambero Grade 1-4 Primary School's key leaders and see what they have to say about their school’s incredible journey of motivation, determination and passion!
Chapter 1: This is Gerambero
Chapter 2: A Great Year
Gerambero Grade 1-4 Primary School holds a special place in imagine1day's heart because it was the most challenging school project we have ever worked on. It took two years, a few tears, lots of sweat, and loads of determination to ensure the community of Gerambero received a school that would help transform their community. One year after the ribbon-cutting ceremony, we caught up with Gerambero's Grade 4 teacher, Gebrekidane Gebre, to ask him how the school you built is growing.
Name: Gebrekidane Gebre
Position: Grade 4 teacher
Qualification: Diploma in Educational Social Sciences
From: Adwa - 200km from Gerambero
Years he has worked in Gerambero: Two
i1d: It has been one year since your school opened, what are some of the changes you have seen in your students?
Gebrekidane: "Before imagine1day invested in our community our students were learning in dass open-air classrooms. Alongside all the physical challenges they had to endure, many other factors such as low student class attendance and uninspired teachers were also harming the students' academic opportunities. Now that we have classrooms and the support of imagine1day, all of those problems have been resolved. The children are alert, attentive and happy to be learning in a classroom that is conducive to learning. In addition, attendance is high, the dropout rate is low, our school's overall GPA has increased, and the school has a great partnership with the community."
i1d: Why do you love teaching at Gerambero?
Gebrekidane: "I was very reluctant to take a teaching position here in Gerambero because it is so remote. But during my first visit here the people’s hospitality made me feel as though I belonged here. Two years later I can honestly say that this is home! I love the students' attitudes towards their studies and their eagerness to learn. They always complete their homework and they are active in class. What more could a teacher ask for?"
i1d: What are the barriers that you have experienced over this first year in the new school?
Gebrekidane: "Some community members continue to use aggression to resolve problems and this has a ripple effect which is being seen in the way children handle conflicts amongst one another. Verbal arguments escalated to fist fights, which have resulted in students carrying weapons to school for protection. Through different classes and various community awareness programs, the community no longer resorts to violence to solve problems. We were able to diffuse this rise in violent behavior before anyone was seriously injured because of the strong partnership between the school and community. This relationship allowed us to have open dialogue, which lead to a swift, mutual agreement that violence is not the answer to any problem."
i1d: What are you looking forward to?
Gebrekidane: "I'm looking forward to playing an instrumental role in implementing early childhood education classes and adult education classes in Gerambero. Because this community is very isolated it means that the school and its leaders are responsible for the growth of the community. As a result we must be active and participate in Gerambero’s development. I am looking forward to seeing how Gerambero grows and progresses in the coming years!"
Chapter 3: By the Numbers
Gerambero Grade 1-4 Primary School has come a long way because of your generous contribution. We could go on and on about the impact you have made but the numbers speak for themselves!
Chapter 4: This PTA Ain't MIA
Here at imagine1day we have said it once, twice, maybe even a hundred times but that won't stop us from saying it again, “We love our schools’ Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs)!” We have come to the conclusion that behind any successful school stands a strong PTA that never misses a beat. Meet Goitom Weldamariam, one of Gerambero’s nine PTA members.
Name: Goitom Weldamariam
Position: PTA Member
Born and raised in: Gerambero
Education level: "I never went to school, but I am happy to say that I am attending the adult education classes that started in January 2012."
Source of motivation: "I contributed my own land for the school to be built on. I wanted a school in Gerambero because when I was a child I didn’t have access to education and I don't want the same thing to happen to my six children. I made a decision early on in life that I would do whatever it took to build a school in Gerambero. In the end it meant that I had to contribute my own land so that the school had a place where it could be built."
His vision for your school: "I am pushing the PTA to contribute towards and plan for the construction of a Grades 5-8 School. For your investment to have maximum impact, we need to complete the cycle of Grades 1-8 primary education in Gerambero. You helped us complete half the cycle, now we know that we need to bring it full circle."
Why he thinks education is important: "Development cannot occur without education."
His commitment to your investment: "Before imagine1day intervened in our community not a single government official or non-government organization had set foot in Gerambero. Your presence here drives our commitment, because you supported us when everyone else simply forgot that we existed."
What he loves the most about your new school: "I love everything about our school. I can't say I love the latrine more than the Reading Corners, or that I love the capacity building training we receive more than the classrooms. Every part of the school has been planned well and is an important part of our students’ quality education."
Chapter 5: Up Close & Personal with Mehari Tekle
Name: Mehari Tkle
Age: 11 years old
Favorite feature of the school: "I love our Reading Corners. I use the books a lot when I want to learn more about a particular topic."
Favorite Subject: "I love Math."
What are you proud of: "I'm proud of the education I am receiving from my school."
What is the important thing you've learned in school so far? "A while ago, my classmates and I used violence to resolve our problems. In Civics and Ethics class we were taught that using violence is not good and our teachers provided us with better ways to solve problems."
What do you do in your spare time? "After school it's my job to tend to my family’s cattle. This task is not difficult but it's time consuming, so I take my exercise books with me so that I can study while I watch the cattle."
What do you want to be when you grow up? "I want to be a nurse so that I can help patients become healthy."
Chapter 6: From the Desk of...
The community of Gerambero and the entire imagine1day team echo Halefom's sentiments. We are excited to continue working with Gerambero as it pursues sustainability and an increasingly higher quality of primary education for their students. We will update you again in six months!
From Gerambero with love,
The imagine1day team