In Ethiopia, 32% of children of official primary school ages are out of school. (UNICEF)

In Ethiopia, despite great progress the country has been registering in the last few years, millions of children are still denied their right to education. Restricted access to education, especially in the rural parts of the country, is one of the surest ways of transmitting poverty from generation to generation.

Education is a vital human right, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Every girl and every boy should have the right to a quality education so that they can have more chances in life, including employment opportunities, better health and also to participate in the political process.

SHAPEthiopia strongly believes that education reduces poverty, boosts economic growth and increases income. It is obvious that education increases a person’s chances of having a healthy life, reduces maternal deaths, and combats diseases such as HIV /AIDS. Education can promote gender equality, reduce child marriage, and promote peace. In sum, education is one of the most important investments a country can make in its people and its future.

In the past twelve years, SHAPEthiopia has been supporting 900 orphans and vulnerable children in southern Ethiopia to have access to quality education through its H.O.P.E. Child Development Program. H.O.P.E. is an acronym which stands for Helping Orphans Prosper through Education – a program designed to provide holistic support to children who are from a very poor economic background in order to enable them break the cycle of poverty through education.

SHAPEthiopia provides educational materials, school uniforms and school fee to its beneficiary children through its H.O.P.E. Child Development program and technical and vocational trainings for young people through its Meserete Hiwot Fund (MHF). MHF is a program which SHAPEthiopia launched years ago in order to empower young people to become the future leaders of the country.

These supports have impacted the educational performances of our children in many ways and now our children are the most successful students in the region in terms of the grades they are scoring.