To raise funds for the Furuna School Project, Opportunity for Kids Ethiopia is having a fund raising lunch at the Restaurant Injera in Bern, Switzerland on November 10, 2019 at 13:00. At this event, we will present the progress we have made rebuilding the Furuna School and preview the next steps. We will provide Ethiopian food and drinks as well as a traditional coffee ceremony and have some Ethiopian wares for sale. Your participation is welcome at the cost of a donation. To reserve your place, please email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Construction of the first new building for the Furuna Elementary and Secondary School started in December 2018. The new school will be built with much sturdier materials than the old buildings. The wood and cinder block were donated by Opportunity Kids, while community members donated their time and labor for the construction.
After years of planning, the ceremony marking the official start of construction of the new building for Furuna School was held on January 24, 2018. The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by an estimated 500 schoolchildren, teachers, members of the community, community leaders and local politicians.
Said Zerihun Tadele of the event, ‘We visited the Furuna Elementary and Junior Secondary School in January 2018, to participate in the inauguration of the start of construction of the school. I did not expect such a high-level of reception from the Furuna community, students, teachers and representatives of the government. I was very much touched by it. This boosts my commitment to support the school to the best of my capacity.’
The sign reads “This foundation for Furuna School Construction lady by Professor Zerihun Tadele, Founder of Beromsa Ejolef. Year 24, 01, 2018.” Beromsa Ejolef is the Ethiopian sister charity of Opportunity for Kids Ethiopia.
The first school to be rebuilt is located 350 km south of Addis Ababa in Oromia Region, West Arsi Zone, Adaba District and Furuna community. Furuna is a village located about 3 km from Adaba, the district’s capital.
Furuna Elementary and Secondary School
The school resides in the complex of buildings in the center of the map, from the building with the red roof to the two parallel buildings to the left.
During a series of discussions with the community and the school, a number of key items required by Furuna Elementary and Secondary School were identified.
These include a library, sanitation facilities, water and renovation of badly decomposing school buildings. Based on these requests, board members and the executive committee of Beromsa Ejolf had several discussions with the regional office responsible for schools about how to advance the community’s request. A series of discussions with both community leaders and responsible government officials led to the decision to construct the library with first priority as the school has over 1000 students and does not have a library. Based on the availability of funds, other necessary items for the school will be fulfilled in the next phase of the project.
OK Ethiopia (Opportunity for Kids in Ethiopia) was established on 21st May 2013 in Bern (Switzerland), as a non-profit association based on the article 60 et seq. of the Swiss Civil code. The main goals of the association are to give kids in Ethiopia the chance of going to school through (i) providing school uniforms, meals and other necessary materials (ii) providing books, computers and other teaching aids and (iii) providing building materials for new school buildings.
Once the association was established in Switzerland, the laws of Ethiopia required the formation of a sister Charity in Ethiopia. Thus the ‘Beromsa Ejolef Ethiopian Resident Charity’ was founded. This complicated process took three years as approval was needed at the federal, regional and community levels. In addition to their active role in establishing the association, board and executive members of Beromsa Ejolef participate in discussions with the communities and schools receiving the donations.
In 2013, Dr. Zerihun Tadele, an Ethiopian researcher, received the prestigious Dr. Rudolf Maag Prize for his scientific work on the improvement of the Ethiopian crop, tef (Eragrostis tef). He used the prize money to start a charity in Switzerland, Opportunity for Kids Ethiopia, with the aim of helping Ethiopian children attend school by donating supplies to existing schools and providing building supplies for new schools. Complying with the regulations from both the Swiss and Ethiopian governments took more than two years and included the founding of Opportunity Kids in 2013 and a sister Ethiopian organization, Beromsa Ejolef, in 2017.