Mesincho is located in Dale district, 60km from Awassa, the capital of Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region. Village had the worst infrastructure in the district. The village of six thousand had just one school that was built by community itself. The nearest state school was 10 km away. Both schools provided elementary education with total of 604 enlisted children. This unfortunately wasn´t enough to fulfill the needs of Mesincho villagers – 230 other children were left without any access to education.
This was the reason why People in Need (PIN) chose Mesincho as the place for its 14th school built from the collection. The construction lasted 8 months and cost 1,7 mil. CZK.
Local people were enthusiastic about the school from the very beginning. „Thirty locals regularly helped with works at construction site, for example they helped with plastering the walls, “ Petra Matulová, the Head of Mission in Ethiopia says. We realized that the new school will be in good hands.
Blackboards falling down from the walls
The old school in Mesincho was built using simple materials. The classes were overcrowded; pupils sat squeezed on benches and were left even without tables so they had no space to put their school kits on. Place to sit was available only for half of the enlisted children so many of them was not visiting the school at all. Latrines and drinking water were unaffordable luxury to the kids.
„Our school cannot provide good education because we lack basic equipment and pupils are not engaged, “ Habte Yenka, the director of the old school, says. Even he doesn´t have a chair to sit on at his office. „Books and notebooks are lying in the dust on the floor. Blackboards are not sticking on the walls so that I have difficulty to even write on them,“ confirms the bad situation teacher Gezahgne Gabissu.
Most of all they like football
Thanks to people that contributed to the collection Let’s build the school in Africa we had a unique chance to help Mesincho to change it unfortunate situation. We built a new school building with capacity of 300 kids. It has 4 classrooms and one administrative room used by teachers. Classrooms are equipped with 100 desks with chairs, 8 blackboards, 7 tables with chairs for teachers. Latrines and roof water catchment system (with capacity of 10,000 liters) are also part of the building.
We have met 3 pupils from the 4th grade and asked them how they like the new school. „I am happy to be one of the students that will study in the new classrooms. The school has new and very modern building,“ says 11-years-old Samuel Babiso. He looks happy. When asked about his plans for future he answers without hesitation: „I want to study to become doctor one day!“ The answers we got from his schoolmates – Debritu and Amarech- were pretty the same.
When Samuel and his girl friends are not at school they have to help their parents with herding, collecting timber or bringing water from a well. But what do they do when they have a time off? All three agree: „We love playing football!“