BASE OF LIFE KINDERGARTEN ACADEMY
Is a small school in Akaki part of “suburban” Addis Ababa about 25 km out of the city. This small private school was started by a professional man named Biru Garedew who began his career as a road surveyor for the government, However, he really wanted to become involved in a position that would help his country and in particular the youth. After researching areas within Addis Ababa that did not have many or any nearby schools, he decided to start a small kindergarten school focusing on early education for children between the ages of 4 and 6 to give them a head start before they attend regular school and would be in much larger classes. The location also had to be an area of the city where the rent for a school facility was affordable.
Base of Life (Kindergarten) Academy opened officially in 2010 with 20 students and 2 teachers and very limited resources other than what Biru Garedew had been able to save himself and use to finance the start up of the school. Project Pencil Case heard about this school soon after it opened and provided pencils for the school as its first commitment to help. The approximate £3 a month that the school charges to students, pays for the school to run itself. The surrounding community is undeniably poor but the desire for families to send their children to this new small school was strong and they were prepared to make what little sacrifices they could to be able to pay for this education.
Within one year the number of pupils attending had doubled and there are now 40 students which has allowed Biru to hire more teachers and provide a uniform for the children. Upon consultation with Biru about what resources PPC could fundraise for, as with most schools, the immediate answer was books and of course with books you need shelving.
PPC was delighted to be able to fund this small school with over 200 books and shelving, purchased on site in Addis Ababa. There is no question that “head start” schools like Base of Life help these students to at least be able to keep up with normal school and not fall behind and they will start with a basic knowledge of English and other subjects.