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Kalina School Update: A New Early Childhood Center Completed

Children in front of the newly expanded Saint David's Kalina School.
I want to share an updated progress report on the Saint David's Kalina School, which opened its doors in the fall of 2013 in Tigray, Ethiopia, and which was officially opened on our visit there last summer.

The elementary school for Grades One through Four was built by  Saint David's boys in cooperation with Save the Children.

Before the Saint David’s Kalina School was built, few children attended school in the area.  This year 387 boys and girls attend school, a 62 percent increase compared to the previous two years (before Saint David's Kalina School was built).

The new ECCD classroom block.
In each of the past 5 years of our work with the Kalina community, our boys, led by the eighth grade, have organized several fundraisers, informational events and projects.

Our efforts have been so successful that this past February, we were able to complete a new Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) block consisting of two classrooms and two additional resource rooms.

Saint David's Kalina School now consists of 4 elementary classrooms, an administrative block, and the newly completed early childhood center.

The 42 boys and girls in the early childhood program participate in an Emergent Literacy and Math curriculum.  School based health services, including first aid, and access to potable water are also available to the children.  The program also educates expectant and new mothers in matters of pre and post natal health care, early learning and parenting.

Preschoolers line up for water.
Following are expressions of gratitude from two community representatives, Mohamed Mulata and Babie Charew, on behalf of the entire community:

“Two years ago the school was very hostile for children. The classrooms were dusty, the walls were threatening for the safety of the children, children had no seats, and they were exposed to open defecation. Because of these cumulative problems, the parents’ demand for education was very poor as well as the children themselves. Now everything is changed. Our children have access to comfortable classrooms and furniture, have access to separate latrines, and potable water points. Particularly the new ECCD has started to attract many kids after outdoor games were established. Many children come to the ECCD center voluntarily. Next year, more than one hundred children are expected to enroll in the ECCD center. We would like to thank Saint David’s School who provided us these full services for our children.”

Preschoolers enjoying their new outdoor playground.
These are heartening words.

Saint David's boys continue to raise money for the Kalina community.  Our next effort will focus on helping them build an additional classroom block for their upper primary children.

Our work and our commitment continues.  Saint David's boys do good in the world!

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