6 October 2015
Students play educational games at Good Shepherd Day Care Center in Addis Ababa.
(photo: Sean Sprague)
In 2007, we explored some efforts to improve the lives of women in Ethiopia — including providing day care for their children:
“It helps if we reach the kids early,” said Genet Assefa, principal of the Bethlehem Day Care Center. The center, founded by the Good Shepherd Sisters in 1987, caters to the children of Cherkos, a slum in Addis Ababa that takes its name from the neighborhood church. (The sisters run a second day care facility in Addis Ababa, the Good Shepherd Sisters’ Center.)
On a recent visit to the Bethlehem center, more than 150 children, all under 7, were fully engaged in their classes. Some recited the English alphabet: “C! C is for cat.” Others practiced Amharic, their national language.
“The center serves two purposes,” said Mrs. Assefa. “It gives these children access to an early education that they wouldn’t ordinarily have, which will encourage them to go on to primary school and beyond. And it also frees up the parents, many of whom are single mothers, so that they can try to earn a living and improve their lives.”
Improving the lives of poor young adult women is an important part of CNEWA’s mandate.
Read more about “Breaking Barriers” for women in the March 2007 edition of ONE.