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As the summer volunteering programme has drawn to a close for another year, we want to thank our committed volunteers, our supportive hosts and local co-teachers. Of course, the summer schools would never go ahead without all the students who participate and played their part in making 2014 a very memorable and successful summer!
We estimate that almost 1,000 children from across four different locations (Addis Ababa, Mekele, Bulbula and Bahir Dar) had the opportunity to attend English language summer schools this year, greatly improving their spoken language as well as giving them an enjoyable experience of education.
Volunteers used resources wisely and imparted valuable learning to children from as young as 4 years of age up to high school students. Highlights this summer for the students were the new PE games, the novelty songs learned during music and dance class, and of course, finger painting for the little ones in Mekele.
As the Daughters of Charity and the Vincentian Fathers work with some of the poorest people in Ethiopia, the opportunity to enjoy a summer camp bears particular meaning for these children. Family holidays or trips to the seaside are not part of their summer break, as many of them have to take on extra responsibilities on the family farm or sell fruit on the street at this time. A creative and exciting experience of learning English is much anticipated and looked forward to by all of these children. This is revealed to our volunteers on the first day of classes every summer through the chatter and curiousity of those who arrive at the schools and community centres which become buzzing hives of activity for these four weeks.
Helen (15) who participated at St. Vincent’s Community Centre, Mekele this July said: “I liked being at the summer school because the volunteers are eager to teach us English. I liked learning the song ‘Happy’ and dancing to it with my friends. I think I would like to be an astronomer so my English will have to be good, so I should study hard at school and come to the summer classes every year.”
Thanks again to all of our volunteers for their preparation, commitment and openness to working together and working with these communities during summer 2014.