A VISIT TO ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA, IN 1994 PROMPTED THE FORMATION OF A DANISH PROJECT GROUP CONSISTING OF 4 PEOPLE, WITH THE AIM OF ASSISTING THE DEVELOPMENT IN THE ANCIENT CHRISTIAN COUNTRY, WITH ITS PROUD AND BEAUTIFUL, BUT VERY POOR, POPULATION.
The project group was given the name Ewiket Lehibret (knowledge for everyone). This project group - and the later board of ELSA - has always worked voluntarily and without pay, and furthermore ELSA has always been - and will always be - independent of political and religious groups.
ELSA is officially recognised as an NGO.
Primarily we wish to create the conditions for giving as many Ethiopian children as possible the best possible schooling, as this in our opinion is the only longterm and sustainable way out of poverty and starvation, and at the same time it is a prerequisite for economic and democratic prosperity in the country. And there is enough to do:
Statistics show that 93 percent of the children today start at school, but very few go through the whole primary school, let alone secondary school. Already after the 1. grade 22 percent of the children have left school.
About 11 years of age most of the children have left school, many of them barely litterate because of overcrowded classrooms, lack of education material and inexperienced teachers.
Often the girls' education is sacrified first. They are needed at home where the demands of survival outweigh schooling.
ELSA has as a general demand that the distribution between boys and girls is to be app. 50-50 in the schools we cooperate with, and that children from the lowest social levels are to be prioritized.
QUOTE by Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
"Education is the engine through which development can be powered, both for the individual in opening up new opportunities as well as for countries seeking to move out of the fierce grip of poverty."
May 26, 2010