The first step of every project is discussion with village elders
Each community’s skilled workers caught the vision as Awoke Genetu, our Ethiopian partner and friend, negotiated with them and explained our projects to them and these workers reduced their prices below what Awoke offered in some cases. One said he would have profit taken in satisfaction, not money.
- The carpenter offered us a low price on desks and wished he could make all of them in a day so we could see them finished and in the classroom. (It took 2 weeks and they are in use.)
- The plumber was bargaining to put in holding tanks for the well with 10 faucets for the children. After the explanation of what was happening he offered to do the job for less than Awoke had offered him and finished within the week.
- The well expert who will supervise construction and maintain the well cut his fee in half.
- The well diggers took less profit and, thankfully, hit water in only 18 feet.
- The seller of the faucets said she wanted to be involved and lowered her price considerably for faucets and fittings as her contribution.
- The community health workers in Dangla responded to the elementary school’s request to assess the students for trachoma and within days we knew that the problem is large (over 80% in Dangla and over 90% in Walaji).
So your donated money went even further in creating a better life for these children! Our message to these schools is that you have generously given us the money because you wish the Ethiopian children to have some of the things we have. The response is always “igziyabher yimmesgen” (Amharic for “may God be praised”).
One school director said to us “I know it isn’t you, and it isn’t them (meaning you who contributed), it is God.” In a photo sent to us of the poorest students in their new uniforms, they hold a sign saying “Thank God”.
With Project Ethiopia funding learned skills to the villagers along with supplies, the villagers have a sense of “owning” their new school buildings, wells, and latrines.
Project Ethiopia has funded the building new school buildings for schools that have major structural damage from various causes. The funds covered the supplies needed and the villagers supplied the workforce. This is to ensure that projects that have been completed will continue to be supported and sustained.
The town of Dangla offered water to distribution centres to a local village if Project Ethiopia supplied the pipes and accessories, 186 villagers worked 24,000 hours digging the trenches for the pipes.
During one of the cement floor draws, the village elders decided that one house in particular would receive a concrete floor as the existing house was not safe for the widow and her 5 children.
In return for all of their hard work in building their new homes with supplies from Project Ethiopia, and after they have shown that they’ve painted the interiors with the paint also supplied by Project Ethiopia, families are given a solar lantern so their children have light to study by as the Ethiopian day is 12 hours long. From 6 p.m. onwards, rural Ethiopians are in darkness.