Right now you are doing something 58% of Ethiopians would desperately love to be able to do – read. Ethiopia is one of the 20 poorest nations in the world and those without literacy or numeracy skills are guaranteed a life of poverty.

By 2025, Ethiopia aims to be a middle-income country: a stable and prosperous global leader at the heart of a region in need of a positive role model. The government understands that investment in children’s education will be the catalyst to this future, and by the end of 2015, they were well on track to meet their Millennium Development Goal of providing universal access to primary education.

The two sub-cities served by St Yared’s, Gulele and Yeka, are among the most disadvantaged in Addis Ababa. Marginalised by a recent history of poverty, famine and the devastation of HIV, these communities have understandably succumbed to a paradigm of survival and subsistence, a story and system that suggests that their future has little promise.

Globally, the prevailing response to such complex problems has come in the form of top-down frameworks, such as the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

While this is highly laudable, results on the ground demonstrate that access to education alone is not capable of bringing about the kind of transformation required to shift the poverty paradigm to one of community resilience and potential. By contrast, The School of St Yared has striven to create the conditions through which these communities can develop their own capacities to thrive.

Today, the School of St Yared caters for 218 children ranging from kindergarten to grade 6 at two bright compounds in the Farensay area in Addis Ababa. The children receive two healthy meals plus a snack at the school each day, as well as school uniforms, essential learning materials and access to extra-curricular activities.

The School was built on a model of education that is obtaining dramatic results in Tanzania. It’s a model that has community inclusion at its core; promoting learning by involving parents in their children’s development and engaging family members in school activities as part of a broader school community. It’s considered to be one of best schools in Addis Ababa today.

This TIE placement will help improve the sustainability of the School, using a multifaceted approach to their strategy and communications.