Nearly 30 years ago, in 1984, I started a school which I called Broomwood Hall after the Methodist Church Hall where my first class of 12 pupils assembled. I never dreamt how big my little school would become - we now have about 900 pupils in four different schools all under the Broomwood umbrella!
In many ways life has been kind to me so about three years ago I felt it was time to try to help those who have not been so lucky and Broomwood in Ethiopia was born.
Well there was no particular reason apart from the fact we wanted to help somewhere in Africa and Ethiopia has a large Christian population, is relatively stable and we felt our ethos would fit well there. So with the encouragement of past and current parents and pupils we decided to make Broomwood in Ethiopia a reality.
Education in Ethiopia is highly prized but many of the children do not have access to even the most basic schooling, particularly in rural areas. Broomwood African Education Foundation (Broomwood in Ethiopia) has been set up to raise the funds to build, equip, and staff a school in Azzezo for local orphans to help provide the education so necessary in breaking the cycle of poverty in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is a country emerging from a troubled past into a period of sustained stability and growth. The country was chosen because although it has state funded education, many children are excluded for social and economic reasons. 52% of the Orphans and Vulnerable Children in the Azezo area do not go to school at present. Ethiopia has faced many historical, cultural, social and political obstacles that have restricted progress in education for many centuries. Social awareness of the importance of education has historically been limited but this is now steadily changing.
Broomwood in Ethiopia aims to be part of this development. St George's School is being established with the support of Link Ethiopia (www.linkethiopia.org) both in London and Ethiopia. Link Ethiopia was established in 1996 and was the first official link between English and Ethiopian secondary schools. Link Ethiopia is an Ethiopian led charitable organization and is supported by the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia, the British Council, the British Embassy in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian Embassy in London and the Anglo-Ethiopian Society.
On the 12th April the construction team arrived and the excavation of the site for Broomwood in Ethiopia began. We are now in the tenth week of the building project and the foundations are finished and the walls are under construction with the roof going on soon. So far there has been 120 trucks worth of deliveries of cement, rocks (used for foundations as cheaper than concrete) gravel and soil. Some days there are over 80 workers, contractors and administrative assistants on site.
The school buildings are rising and with a bit of luck we will be open and ready to receive our first pupils by Christmas.
If you are interested in learning more about what we are doing and finding out exactly what we are up to or if you, your children or even your grandchildren would like to become involved in our project then do have a look at our website www.broomwoodinethiopia.com. If you have any queries, please email: info@broomwoodinethiopia. or telephone 020 8682 8801.
Return to try something new.