Published Sat, Oct 10, 2020
It was 1991 when Ethiopia began emerging from a socialist education system to a federal system. By 2009, there were marked increases in the number of children accessing public education along with decreased illiteracy and drop-out rates. However, the poor and rural areas of Ethiopia were not participating in these positive education trends. This was especially apparent in the category of female youth literacy which was below 50% in 2009.
Also in 2009, Ethiopia was still one of the top 10 countries in the world with the highest out-of-school children populations (2 million). At that time, Ethiopia was also among the top 10 countries that accounted for 72% of the global population of illiterate adults.
So what happened in 2009? In September of that year in the capital of the SNNPR (southern Ethiopia), a small private school reserved only for the "poorest of the poor" was established. Today, we know this school as Adams Thermal Academy Hosanna. And just as it was back in 2009, our objective remains the same - to reserve every seat in our KG through 12th grade program for those children who have no other opportunity to get an education. Our enrollment criteria remains the same, welcoming only children who would otherwise be caught in the perpetual cycle of generational poverty. Our only requirement is that they come and learn. Adams Thermal Academy provides everything a child will need for school, including clothing, nutrition, healthcare and transportation.
Our Hosanna campus was launched in 2009 with three buildings (classrooms, administration, kitchen) and a garden. The school offered kindergarten through 4th grade and enrolled 209 students in its first year. From the beginning, the school was designed to grow in grade levels and overall capacity until the campus would ultimately become a full, K-12 academic program. That milestone was reached in 2019.
This fall we're preparing to pull 640 students off the streets and into the classroom for the 2020-21 academic year. Since 2009, we've added two libraries, a kindergarten building, an eating area, storage capacity, a sports field and a high school. In just the past 36 months, we've added science and computer labs as well as high-speed internet access to our program. And we're currently under construction with more classrooms, bathrooms and fencing to keep our children safe throughout the day.
What a privilege it's been to watch this school grow and flourish in a country so desperately in need of education solutions. And we're most humbled to have the opportunity to share this journey with friends and supporters from all throughout North America. Thank you to each of you who have loved and cared for these children and our incredible staff in Hosanna. You are precious to us. And God receives all the glory for orchestrating the people, resources and timing to make this miracle our reality. Lean not on your own understanding. But in all your ways acknowledge the Lord, and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).