School linking – combining learning and action!

Our School Linking programme connects schools in the UK with schools, pupils and teachers in Ethiopia to develop sustainable and rewarding relationships.

We currently facilitate two types of links: a School-to-School connection and an Education Ethiopia connection. Both links are designed to promote greater understanding of different cultures and show students a balanced perspective of an African country.  The School-to-School connection is a long-term connection where UK schools work directly with a school in Ethiopia whereas the Education Ethiopia connection is a one year project combining learning and fundraising.

Shared learning activities, staff visits and fundraising events are a vital part of our School Linking programme. Through these activities, we encourage schools and students to engage in a meaningful, sustainable and equitable relationship with schools in Ethiopia and learn about and the power of practical action to change lives through education. Below are some of the amazing things two of our linked schools in the UK did last year to support education in Ethiopia.

Gunthorpe School’s ‘Experience Ethiopia Day’

Gunthorpe Primary School, who joined our Schools Linking programme in September, organised an ‘Experience Ethiopia Day’ for students to learn about life in Ethiopia. Students took part in various workshops throughout the day, such as designing tribal masks and bags, learning about religion and culture in Ethiopia and even cooking Ethiopian wot (stew)!

“The day was a huge success and our children thoroughly enjoyed immersing themselves in finding out about such an amazing country. The workshops on offer covered a wide variety of subjects across the curriculum and enabled the children to identify similarities and differences to life in Gunthorpe”.

Brocks Hill School staff visit and fundraising

Earlier this year, Haile Ayano, our Country Director in Ethiopia, visited Brocks Hill Primary in Leicestershire. Staff visits from Ethiopia are a great opportunity for students to learn more about their partner schools and to challenge stereotypical representations of Africa. Haile delivered workshops at the school that explored the barriers to education that children in Ethiopia face and the work Link Ethiopia is doing to overcome these barriers.

Following Haile’s visit, Brocks Hill Primary decided to organise an African themed fundraising day to raise funds for our 2019 fundraising project – building new classrooms for Gendit Primary School in Ethiopia! They wrote about their fundraising event in their school newsletter:

Our relationship with Link Ethiopia came about as part of our UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools work, and the right to an education; our School Parliament put forward a suggestion to help a school in Africa, based on pupil feedback.

As a result of this, our SMSC coordinator made contact with Link Ethiopia, invited Haile into the school to help the pupils learn about life for children in Ethiopia and about Gendit School. This is all it took for our School Parliament and Wellbeing Ambassadors to organise a fund-raising day, with an African theme. Children worked in classes to plan, prepare, market and sell low-sugar African inspired food. Parents also got involved, and we held a parent ‘African-themed Bake Off’ competition.

The children have developed their empathy skills as part of this project, and have also learned about how charity can contribute positively to a sense of worth and wellbeing, which is intrinsic to the ethos of our school.”   

Thank you to the staff and students at Brooks Hill and Gunthorpe Primary school for organising and participating in these fantastic events! If you are interested in a school link for your school or your child’s school, get in touch with us at [email protected]

Together We Learn - Ethiopia