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Ethiopia: 'What Education Means to Me'

Despite many challenges, 11-year-old sponsored child Tarikayehu Sali avoids early marriage and stays in school.

August 2007




Tarikayehu, 11, leans against the patched, mud-brick walls of her school. © 2007/World Vision staff
"Had I not gone to school, I would have married at an early age, like my mother," says 11-year-old Tarikayehu Sali, who lives in southern Ethiopia. "My mother got married when she was my age."

Education and Opportunities

Unlike the 62 million girls not attending school across the world today, Tarikayehu is receiving an education because of her World Vision sponsorship.

It's an opportunity she doesn't take lightly. "Education is a very important thing in my life. I can help myself and be able to reach out for others, especially my parents, only when I am educated."

Even though her sponsorship enables Tarikayehu to go to school, obtaining a good education remains a huge challenge.

Challenges

The fifth grader lives in a small, rural village, some 260 miles south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, and attends school at an old, dilapidated facility that hosts 3,500 students. Four of eight classrooms are mud-walled structures; the remaining wings are in relatively better condition, since they are built with bricks and cement.

Students go to class in two shifts — morning and afternoon. More than 100 students are crammed into each classroom, in which groups of three to four students share one desk.

With no public transportation or neighborhood carpool available, Tarikayehu walks about five miles each day, to and from school. But it's a journey she enjoys, she says, since it's shared with others. "I like to chat and laugh with my girlfriends as we travel to and from school."

'What Education Means to Me' (INTERACTIVE)

World Vision-sponsored children from around the world share their views in the autumn issue of World Vision Magazine. Read more...

No Support, Yet Big Dreams


When she's not at school, Tarikayehu helps with chores at home — fetching firewood, collecting water, making coffee, cleaning the house, and washing clothes. She also tends to her family's cattle. In the evenings, when she has some spare time, she works on her school assignments by the light of an oil lamp. Her village currently has no access to electricity.

"Neither my father nor my mother is literate, so I have to do all my studies without the support of anybody else," she says. "But sometimes I tell my mother or grandmother what I learned in the school and they listen to me, even when they do not understand what I am talking about."

Despite the many challenges she faces, Tarikayehu has large dreams. "When I grow up, I want to be an English teacher — it is education that makes me a full person!"

Learn More


>> Read why World Vision works hard to ensure the youth in our worldwide programs receive literacy and educational opportunities.
>> Read an article in the fall issue of World Vision Magazine that includes excerpts from sponsored children around the world who also value their schooling.

Four Ways You Can Help

>> Recognizing that education is key to lifting children out of a life of poverty, please pray for educational opportunities for the 115 million youth worldwide — 62 million of whom are girls — unable to attend school.
>> Donate to our Girls and Women Education Fund. Help unlock the ability of females in developing countries to fully contribute to their communities.
>> Donate now to provide children around the world with school supplies essential to obtaining an education.
>> Become a World Vision sponsor! Be a source of light and hope for a child in need.

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Learn More

Read why World Vision works hard to ensure the youth in our worldwide programs receive literacy and educational opportunities.
- -
Read an article in the fall issue of World Vision Magazine that includes excerpts from sponsored children around the world who also value their schooling.

Four Ways You Can Help

Recognizing that education is key to lifting children out of a life of poverty, please pray for educational opportunities for the 115 million youth worldwide — 62 million of whom are girls — unable to attend school.
- -

Donate to our Girls and Women Education Fund. Help unlock the ability of females in developing countries to fully contribute to their communities.
- -
Donate nowto provide children around the world with school supplies essential to obtaining an education.
- -
Become a World Vision sponsor! Be a source of light and hope for a child in need.

 





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