Berhan Learning Center Ethiopia
The Berhan Learning Center is a private school in the little remote village of Gidole, the south of Ethiopia. Currently, 21 local teachers are teaching around 200 students from pre-school to grade 4.
Our goal is to improve the educational opportunities and prospects for the children in Gidole, a small town in the south of Ethiopia that has struggled with economic difficulties and limited infrastructure. By providing access to quality education, we hope to help the children of Gidole to thrive and reach their full potential, and in turn contribute to the development and prosperity of their community.
In order to improve the standard of education, but also to provide opportunities for cultural exchange, the school is looking to host foreign volunteers who can be involved in working with the local teachers, the children, but also in particular projects.
Gidole is a small town with about 20,000 inhabitants in the south of Ethiopia. It can be reached in about an hour from Arba Minch, which has a daily flight to the capital Addis Ababa. The economic conditions of the town are difficult and the infrastructure is basic. Many better educated people have left the city to find work in larger cities.
In 2016, a group of people who left the Gidole for those reasons decided to give something back to their place of origin and and founded a public school (kindergarten and primary school). As of the beginning of 2023, the focus of upcoming projects is on the establishment of a small ICT centre for older students, the continuation of the school up to Grade 5 and the evaluation of the opening of a branch in Arba Minch.
To give knowledge is more than money!
-Alemu, school director-
I was amazed by the teachers and the headmasters interested in cooperation and openness for mutual exchange on education-related topics. Initially, the teachers struggled with their shyness and found it difficult to communicate in English. However, with time and effort, they were able to overcome this challenge and improve their communication skills. I was not only impressed by the detailed curriculum, but also by the beautiful compound and surroundings. While there may be opportunities to improve the infrastructure, overall the children feel comfortable and at home in this welcoming space. At the moment I stayed in Gidole, the teachers were most interested in exchanging about methodical-didactic knowledge.
What impressed me most
As an exchange teacher in Gidole, I have been consistently impressed by the strong sense of community that has been cultivated here. The children are always lovingly cared for and the lessons are well thought out and well prepared. I have also appreciated the way that the school has adapted its daily rhythm to meet the needs of the children. Additionally, the local culture is highly valued at this school, and I have had the opportunity to learn and participate in new dances, songs, and games on a daily basis. Overall, this is a truly special place where children are able to thrive and reach their full potential in a warm and nurturing environment.
The sharing of ideas and perspectives has helped me to grow as a teacher and better serve the needs of the children I teach.
- Eva Barmet -
To whom I recommend
I recommend a stay in Gidole to experienced teachers or social workers who are spontaneous, flexible and uncomplicated. It is important to recognize that living and working in the remote village of Gidole can present certain challenges and may not be suitable for everyone. It takes a certain level of life experience and adaptability to be able to truly contribute to and engage with the community on a deep level. However, for those who are willing to embrace these challenges and have a desire to make a meaningful impact, the experience can be incredibly rewarding.