International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Visiting refugee camps in Ethiopia – Day 2

Shimelba's children

  • With second graders at Shimelba Primary School: The school's teachers come from the refugee community, but there is a major challenge because many have left to resettle in the United States. Many more will be leaving in the coming weeks and months, leaving a shortage of qualified teachers.
  • A teacher leads pre-school children to have their snack of nutritious porridge, which is a crucial meal of the day for them.
  • The children eat their porridge from big plastic cups.
  • Principal Afowerk Gebrehiwet with a fifth grade class. He leads a school of 1,200 refugee children and 47 staff members.
  • We were entertained by fifth grade children who sang, "Every day I get up. Every day I wash my face and I go to school where I learn."
  • The IRC runs three "child-friendly spaces" in Shimelba. These are places where refugee children can share their needs and worries in a safe and caring environment.
  • The IRC also provides vocational skills training to young people aged 14 to 29. The computer skills course is hugely popular.
  • Young women from a life-skills group invited us to a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony that involves preparing and drinking coffee three times. They meet every week over this extended coffee ritual to discuss a specific topic that allows them to share their personal challenges.
  • During the coffee ceremony the young women talked about one of these challenges: overcoming shyness and fear. They were soon sharing their concerns about the future with us.

IRC president George Rupp shares photos of his March 2011 visit to classrooms in the Shimelba refugee camp in Ethiopia where the IRC provides educational programs for pre-schoolers up to adults. 


All IRC Slideshows >
All Ethiopia Slideshows >

Shimelba's children

  • With second graders at Shimelba Primary School: The school's teachers come from the refugee community, but there is a major challenge because many have left to resettle in the United States. Many more will be leaving in the coming weeks and months, leaving a shortage of qualified teachers.
  • A teacher leads pre-school children to have their snack of nutritious porridge, which is a crucial meal of the day for them.
  • The children eat their porridge from big plastic cups.
  • Principal Afowerk Gebrehiwet with a fifth grade class. He leads a school of 1,200 refugee children and 47 staff members.
  • We were entertained by fifth grade children who sang, "Every day I get up. Every day I wash my face and I go to school where I learn."
  • The IRC runs three "child-friendly spaces" in Shimelba. These are places where refugee children can share their needs and worries in a safe and caring environment.
  • The IRC also provides vocational skills training to young people aged 14 to 29. The computer skills course is hugely popular.
  • Young women from a life-skills group invited us to a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony that involves preparing and drinking coffee three times. They meet every week over this extended coffee ritual to discuss a specific topic that allows them to share their personal challenges.
  • During the coffee ceremony the young women talked about one of these challenges: overcoming shyness and fear. They were soon sharing their concerns about the future with us.

IRC president George Rupp shares photos of his March 2011 visit to classrooms in the Shimelba refugee camp in Ethiopia where the IRC provides educational programs for pre-schoolers up to adults. 


All IRC Slideshows >
All Ethiopia Slideshows >

I spent the second day of my visit to northern Ethiopia with the refugee children and young people in Shimelba. The International Rescue Committee is providing education for all age groups in the camp, from pre-school to adults. We are also providing vocational and skills training.   Here are some photos and impressions from that day

1 comment

Comments

Thank you for letting me,

Thank you for letting me, here in faraway Singapore, have a glimpse of life in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. The IRC is going a wonderful job, God bless.

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