In cooperation with the TDVA, Rainbows4children has completed the building of the Nicolas Kindergarten, and in September 2005 this was opened to 160 children, aged 4-6 years. Now in 2014, 240 children attend the Nicolas Kindergarten, and we have built an eating room to give them more space for learning.
We have completed all 4 floors of the Nicolas primary school, and now in 2013-2014, 640 children can study in grades 1 to 8. In 2010 we completed the building of offices for the school staff. In early 2012 we built a library and music room for the primary school and started building work on the secondary school.
In September 2012 the Secondary School opened with 75 grade 9 students, 36 of whom had graduated from our own Primary School, grade 8. In September 2013, we have a total of 180 students in the secondary school, 90 each in grades 9 and 10. Our goal is to complete the school building for children up to and including grade 12 during the next 2 years, so that they can complete their education entirely at the Nicolas School.
The chairs and desks for the school are produced in workshops which employ many of the children’s parents who have disabilities, providing valuable work for them. Equipment for the school is funded by donors and is supplied mainly by local businesses in Mekele and in Addis Ababa. In 2010 we equipped the school classrooms and library with 22,000 books and the planned new library will allow them to be housed in one location.
What more is needed?
In 2014 to 2016 our focus is to complete the building work of the school. Once the main structure is complete, further investment is needed to equip specialist classrooms and to ensure the school resources are well maintained. Volunteer teachers from Europe have already spent time teaching at the school and sending regular volunteers will help to improve significantly English language standards and teaching methods in general. During the course of 2011, European volunteers at the school include a teacher, a nurse and a student. In 2012 – 2014 we have more volunteer teachers visiting the school, including teachers in English, science, sport and music.
costs $8 per week per child; this covers the cost of the lunch the child brings to school each day from home, school uniform, pens and pencils, school fees and of the nutrition programme provided by the school, and summer school costs, amounting to an annual cost of $400.
In return sponsors receive regular updates of the students’ progress and occasional notes and drawings from them. To date 300 of the 1200 children at the school are sponsored and we add about 30 new children to the scheme each year.
Click here to see our progress through the years