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Hosted scholarships for rural Ethiopian students

Supporting rural at-risk students to complete secondary school

This project funded six full-year scholarships for girls in Grades 9-12 attending school in the Amhara Region in Ethiopia.

The Hostel reopened for the new school year on 4 September 2023. Joining the returning students were the six recipients of the scholarships. Each of them has strong academic potential but until now has been at risk of dropping out of school. 

These students are living in safe, supported accommodation and continuing their studies without needing to travel hours to and from school or work to pay rent in a location far from home. The scholarships mean each girl has free accommodation, tuition and meals during their time living on campus, and can focus on pursuing her education and life goals.

Zuri, 17

“My family and I came from Wollega during the conflict in 2020. Eventually my family went back but I decided to stay because it was my best opportunity to continue my education. At the beginning I was working as a house help to support myself. Now I have joined the Kidus Hostel, I am so happy to get free accommodation and support.”

Samra, 17

“Because there is no secondary school near my village, I had to leave home for my education. At the start, I lived with my classmates whose families were able to pay rent, but every day I didn’t know if I would have to leave. When I was invited to join the Kidus Hostel, I started crying,
knowing I could finish my education.”

Kaleb, 21

“I used to travel 2 hours to get to my primary school and then there is no high school in my village. I was working as a house help to support myself and continue school, but I don’t have to worry about that now.”

Betemariam, 15

“I have high expectations for myself and my future. But it’s very hard for girls when they are born in the countryside. Everything is harder. Then we had the war. But living at the Hostel will give me my best chance of reaching my goals.”

Birtukan, 17

“After I passed grade 8, I rented a room [to live close enough to get to school]. I used to pay rent by making injera [Ethiopian flatbread]. It was a struggle to find time for studying. I have worked so hard to get to where I am today.”

Eleni, 14

“There is no secondary school where I live so after I finished Grade 8, I was very worried I would need to drop out of school. I miss my family, but I am so lucky to live here. The older girls take care of me, it’s become my second family.”

Resources funded

Each scholarship (total $840 AUD per scholarship recipient, or approx $500 USD) includes the following:

school uniforms

Uniforms (school and sport)

$44 each

Supervision, mentoring and support

$140 each

money in hand

Girls’ stipend (spending money)

$97 each

supplied meals at hostel

$550 each

Washable pads and underwear

$9 each

About the project

This initiative was delivered in partnership between the secondary school and the Create Impact NGO. It covered one year’s learning and living expenses for six girls attending Grades 9–12. 

The hosted scholarship program is aimed at students living rurally whose families are unable to relocate or pay for transport to school, so without the scholarships, these girls would be unable to finish their education.

The school includes purpose-built accommodation called the Kidus Hostel, which provides a free, safe and supportive environment including dormitories, a library, dining room, kitchen, bathrooms and garden. The girls will be funded to live on campus during the year of the scholarship, with all meals supplied as well as caretaker services and mentoring.

Ethiopian communities are currently seeing particularly high rates of girls not in school. In addition to COVID, Ethiopia has seen war and civil conflicts that have closed many schools and ended young people’s studies.

All images © Martha Tadesse.

About Create Impact

This project was coordinated by Create Impact NGO, who continue to do vital work supporting rural communities in Ethiopia.

Create Impact NGO supports and empowers rural communities in Ethiopia by collaborating directly with those communities to deliver education, water and health care projects. Its education projects are aimed at improving school access for young people in Ethiopia.

Create Impact has a local operations team based in the Amhara Region which works directly with the school and hostel staff to deliver the project.