David, Gina, and Danielle Gibbie, General Manager of one of our major funders, D. Keith MacDonald Foundation, recently returned from Ethiopia. The state of emergency restricted communications and some road travel; however, we were able to participate in the official grand openings of our two new schools, Azena and Abichikili, as well as visit our first school at Sebatamit. We felt incredibly rewarded by the happiness of students, teachers, parents, and administration alike at all of the schools and the apparent success of the teacher training and water and sanitation workshops at Sebatamit. We thank our donors from Whitehorse, Edmonton, Toronto and Calgary for your support in enabling such life changing opportunities for Ethiopians.
In keeping with our mandate to measure outcomes as opposed to outputs, our quality of life survey (validated and widely used by the World Health Organization) is being administered in all three schools this week to determine a benchmark of student wellbeing. Further surveys will be administered for follow up and comparison to academic progress over the next three years in order to analyse effects of our projects and our holistic interventions.
The bid opening for our next school, Abay/Mado, is expected to take place this month, with construction to start before the new year. The community is set to deposit 55% of the cost of this project (total cost $255,000) once the contract is signed. We visited two other schools in the region while we were in the country and approved them to be our next project sites, pending raising funds for them.
Our Executive Director, Yehalem is coming to Canada at the beginning of December and will be attending fundraising events and speaking engagements in Vancouver, Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, Whitehorse, and Toronto.