With a population of 76 thousand, Hosanna is one of the 25 largest cities in Ethiopia. Hosanna is 115 miles southwest of the capital Addis Ababa and serves as an administrative center for local government. It is also the center of Protestant Christianity in southern Ethiopia.
In 1929, a pair of missionaries from the Soudan Interior Mission (SIM) settled in Hosanna and began to share the Gospel with local residents. When Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1937, the missionaries were forced out of the country, leaving behind approximately 75 new Christian believers. In 1941, the Italian army was driven out and the missionaries returned to find thousands of Christians living in Hosanna. This dramatic spread of the Gospel formed the foundation of the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC), which today numbers more than 7 million members in more than 6000 congregations.
Upon their return, the SIM missionaries also discovered that 90 percent of the new Christian population was illiterate. Their efforts to subsequently provide training and discipleship established the roots of Christian private education in Hosanna.
Adams Thermal Foundation began supporting the school in Hosanna, called Children's Home Academy of Hosanna in 2013 through Children's Home Society & Family Services. There are more than 570 students at the Academy, 75% of which attend tuition-free under a donor-funded sponsorship program. The school enjoys full primary school status with grades K-12 offered. Students who attend the Academy not only benefit from a top quality education, but are also provided with healthcare, transportation and a meal program.
Each child receives annual health screens and has access to healthcare throughout the academic year. During the routine health screens, we regularly discover that a few of the children are HIV positive. Prior to the school health screen their status was not known. Those children now receive medication and extra medical care from the school.
The school also boasts a large garden. Produce yielded from the garden is used to supplement the school meal program. The garden is also used as a learning lab where children learn biology and families learn about sustainable gardening practices which can be replicated in their homes.
The enrollment process for the school is done in coordination with the local government, who help the Academy identify the children most in need, who may otherwise not have the opportunity of education. Adams Thermal Foundation is actively seeking sponsors for students so that more children can attend the school. CLICK HERE to sponsor a student in Hosanna.
Located approximately 137 miles southwest of Addis Ababa, Ottoro is an impoverished, lush, rural village. In 2006, the regional government drew attention to the lack of basic services in this community, which resulted in Ottoro being chosen for the development of what is now Adams Thermal Academy of Ottoro. Following the electrification of the village and the digging of a water well, two rooms were rented and teachers were hired to launch the school.
Orphaned and other vulnerable children living in extreme poverty, whom would otherwise have no educational opportunity, were targeted for enrollment. The official project plan was to have tuition-free enrollment and to add a grade level annually until the school reaches full primary school status (K-8). The 2012-2013 school year saw the addition of 8th grade.
There are hundreds of applicants each year and class sizes are consistently at capacity. There are few opportunities in this area, especially for girls and for more than 520 students who struggle with the loss of parents, poor nutrition and disease. Because the children often come to class in tattered clothing and without shoes, uniforms were distributed. Tuition and all school materials are also provided free of charge.
Thanks to the help of dedicated supporters, the school now has a library and nurse's station. For the first time this past year, each student received a free health screen and follow-up medical attention as needed. Supporters have also contributed to clean water catchments, acquisition of medical supplies and completion of classroom blocks.
The enrollment process for the school is done in coordination with the local government, who help the Academy identify the children most in need, who may otherwise not have the opportunity of education. Adams Thermal Foundation is actively seeking sponsors for students so that more children can attend the Academy. CLICK HERE to sponsor a student in Ottoro.
The purpose of Self-Help Groups is to empower women, thus creating lasting change for themselves and their families. Many of the families participating in this project have children who attend Adams Thermal Academy under sponsorship. They were chosen to participate based on their financial need, work experience and motivation. Participants receive extensive training on a wide range of valuable topics from hygiene and family planning to business plan development.
The empowerment comes from formation of a community group, training on various topics and participation in group savings. Collectively, the group decides on how to spend their savings, whether it be investing in one's new business or helping to cover funeral expenses when a group member loses a spouse or child.
The women were selected with the help of local government and charitable organizations. Women marginalized in society due to marital status, economic status, age and/or occupation were targeted. Women in these groups did not previously seek support with each other, though many share the same struggles.
Groups of 20 hold meetings weekly where they discuss various issues over coffee and offer each other support and advice. An accountant and bookkeeper are selected in each group. Trainings are held as funds are available. Formation, monitoring and conflict resolution for the groups is provided by a local employee. Currently, nearly 500 women participate in Self-Help Groups. Dramatic changes are seen in the female participants and their families, with 75% of groups achieving success and reaching their goals.