We have completed construction of five schools in the Amhara region and are in the midst of constructing four more. Seven of the schools will be in full operation in October 2018, with the other two projected to open in January 2019.

The teacher training and greening programs are ongoing in the four already opened schools, and will begin in the others as soon as they open. Over 2,000 trees, provided by the Bahir Dar University, have been planted over the summer 2018. Water tanks have been purchased at several of the schools in order that irrigation for the trees may be implemented

Our sanitation & hygiene workshops have been held in one school and will be provided to all of the others beginning in the fall 2018.

The first reading and math assessments were taken in three schools in the fall of 2017 and a second round was conducted in June 2018. Analysis is forthcoming.


Sebatamit Elementary School

Current status: teacher training / water sanitation and hygiene / outcome measurement

Sebatamit is a farming community where annual per capita income is roughly $200. About 22 years ago, villagers built an elementary school exclusively from community cash contributions to accommodate a growing student population that would otherwise have to travel 7 kilometers to the nearest school in Bahir Dar. All the buildings were made of mud block without any foundation, doors, or windows. The dusty floors forced teachers to cancel the last two classes every Friday afternoon to enable students to plaster them with fresh cow dung. In 2015, FGCF’s first project was to demolish those old buildings, replace them with new cement block ones, and apply our holistic model to Sebatamit’s education program.

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Dr Getnet Elementary School (formerly Azena)

Current status: teacher training / water sanitation and hygiene / outcome measurement

Getnet Elementary School is a new school that officially opened in October 2016.  Prior to that there was only one elementary school (Grades: 1-8) in the town serving 2,329 children. A high dropout rate and delayed enrollment were common. Out of the 346 students enrolled in grade 1 in September 2014, for example, 27.7% were over 7 years old. While achievement was poor on standard exams at that time, our intervention seems to have been very successful, with the new school ranking first in academic achievement on the regional standard tests in 2017, one grade 3 student achieving the highest marks overall.

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Abichikili High School

Current status: teacher training / water sanitation and hygiene / outcome measurement

FGCF built Abichikili High School in 2016 in response to the desperate need for a high school in the South Acheffer Woreda. The woreda had 58 elementary schools serving 69,539 students, one general secondary school (Grades 9-10) and one comprehensive secondary school (Grades 9-12). The grade 9 and 10 classes averaged 75 and 66 students respectively, and grade 11 and 12 averaged 58 and 57 respectively; the two schools accounted for only 7% of the total student population. Many students were not able to attend because of distance to the schools, health related issues and having to work at home. Students who did attend, had very poor achievement results on national exams in the past few years, largely because of the overcrowded classrooms. At the opening of our new Abichikili High School, the head of the Regional Education Department stated that already 852 students had benefited from our project, and it is expected that 1,200 will in the second year.

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Wotet Abay Elementary School

Current status: teacher training / water sanitation and hygiene / outcome measurement

Wotet Abay Elementary School has 2,033 students, including 17 with special needs. In the current year, 20% of grade 1 children are overage (8-12 years old). Academic achievement has been poor: no Wotet Abay student has passed to grade 9 in the past two years scoring 50% or over in all subjects. During 2017, FGCF demolished the existing mud classrooms and replaced them with 4 new, well-lighted and ventilated cement blocks (16 classrooms), along with an admin block, a science lab and new separate boys and girls latrine blocks. Representatives of all levels of government, including the Head of the Amhara Region Education Department attended the school opening.

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Abay Mado Elementary School

Current status: facilities development

Abay Mado First Cycle Elementary School is a new school, located on the outskirts of Bahir Dar City. It is a two storey building, a first for FGCF, because of the limited physical space available in which to build. It holds ten classrooms, a library, and a pedagogical center, and three rooms for staff and administration. New separate latrine blocks for boys and girls have been built and all aspects of our holistic model will be applied to this school. It is expected to open in September 2018, when it will be home to 1,000 students and 35 teachers and staff.   

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New schools in 2018

In 2018 we have begun four new projects. All project communities have been assessed as being very needy and have committed to contributing 40% of the total cost. Schools in Birr Adama, Firin, and Gimjabet are expected to open in October 2018, while Addis Amba will open in January 2019. The projects will continue for three years, following our holistic implementation model successfully rolled out in our previous projects, including facility construction, teacher training, sanitation and hygiene, and greening programs.



Established in 1999, Birr-Adama Elementary School is located about 60 kms North-East of Bahir Dar City. The kebele has a total population of 4,193 (56% male), most of whom rely on subsistence farming for a living. The average landholding in the kebele is about 0.5 hectare/household, in a region that is very mountainous (nearby Adama Mountain elevation is 3,526 metres) and difficult to plow using animal power. Deforestation has negatively impacted the fertility and productivity of the soil, so education is increasingly becoming the surest way for children from the area to become self- reliant and lead a better life.

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Firin Primary School was opened in 2005 in a rented facility to address the challenge that children had of crossing a very dangerous bridge to get to school. In 2006, mud classrooms were built by parents and the number of students has steadily increased. Most of the people living in Firin area are low income families and those who recently moved from urban areas and who depend on subsistence farming. As a result, they could not afford to build adequate or durable facilities that meet the government standard. Consequently, in the existing school, students learn in congested (average of 70 students/class/shift) and falling mud facilities.

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The school was established in September 2013 to cope with the rapidly growing student population in kebele 14 of the Bahir Dar city. Due to increased migration from rural areas and resettlement of families from the inner city by the municipality, an additional 5 classrooms were built in 2016 with cash contributed by parents. Because most of the parents are poor, the buildings are not adequate, durable or conducive for learning. The roofs and walls are made of corrugated iron sheets, with no windows, although temperatures can reach 30o. The current classroom size ranges from 76 students/class in Grade 4 to 96 students/class in Grade 3.

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At present, there are 19 feeder schools (up to grade 8) within an approximately 10 km radius of where the proposed high school will be built. Class sizes in grades 9 and 10 at the existing secondary school average 65. Aware of the serious need, the community surrounding Gimjabet has been raising funds for a new school for at least two years. The new high school will serve approximately 1,200 students (at least 50% of them female) in grades 9 and 10, who would otherwise not have an opportunity to attend.  

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