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Among the Trees

Galo school - West Welega, Ethiopia

"The classroom doors are broken and cannot be closed, there is no floor in any of the rooms, and the school is in the middle of the forest!” (Robsan Birsa, 4th grade student in Galo primary school)

In the state of Oromia in Ethiopia, there is a small rural area called Galo Gute. It contains several pastoral villages, home to the Oromo people, who live there peacefully and quietly. Most of them are farmers, and though not rich, they have everything needed to manage a stable family life.

Galo Gute has one primary school, and one high school next to it, both serve all of the surrounding villages. The primary school accepts children from the 1st to the 8th grade, after which they go for

two more years in the nearby high school. If they wish to continue for the last two years of school, they would need to attend a different high school, located in the nearest town of Guliso, approximately 8km away. The area is incredibly beautiful, the people are all friendly and inviting, and the children smile from dawn to dusk. However, the school’s location, as well as the lack of support it gets, create substantial challenges for the children, teachers and families. From overcrowded classrooms, to the lack of electricity and water in the school. Alongside the difficulties and challenges, inspirational and passionate people stand out, both teachers and students, who strive to create a better future for the the next generation.

Schools similar to that in Galo Gute exist in many rural areas in western Ethiopia. This is the story of one (Photo slideshow - click to open):


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