28 year old Netsanet has been a teacher at Gende Tesfa School for 8 years and currently teaches the Year 2 class and some of the teenage children. In a community where there are huge problems associated with poverty and leprosy, it is not an easy job as they have 80-90 students in some classes at the school and very few resources. Her salary is around £55 per month.
“After I graduated, the government placed me here, and as it was such a hard job, they said that they would transfer me after 3 years, but I love serving the community here and chose to stay. It’s a very special place,” she says. “It is very rewarding when you feel as though you can improve people’s lives, and the children are proof of that.”
Netsanet constantly worries about her pupils – many of them come to school on an empty stomach and so the school started a Breakfast Club after some of them fainted in class. It is also quite common for morning and afternoon pupils from the poorest families to share uniforms and change at the school-gate.
In addition to her regular working hours, Netsanet also helps some of the more needy pupils by running extra classes at the weekend on a voluntary basis. She also devotes half a day a week to leading the Scout group and helping them with the urban garden.
“My message to Holy Trinity School in Cookham and other schools which help Partners For Change Ethiopia is that your interest and fundraising is inspiring us here in Gende Tesfa it really is changing lives. I really hope that we can continue to share experiences and ideas.”