ethiopia-blog Jorgo Academy School is in the village of Bishoftu, Ethiopia. Jorgo is an Oromo name, which means "a large tree giving refuge to those in need." We feel it is a very fitting name for this school and representative of what we are called to do as followers of Jesus Christ. On July 1st New Hope Initiative officially took over the property and the school. Currently, Jorgo Academy serves nursery through sixth grade. We had 80 new students pre-register for the coming year, which will double the enrollment for the upcoming school year.

Since May, the property and facilities underwent some cosmetic changes and additional changes to enhance the property and make it a safe environment for the children. We painted all the buildings and classrooms and renovated the inside bathroom in the preschool area. We have changed the toilets from Turkish (on the floor) to standard sit-down toilets. The whole area is now tiled and we are lowering the sink to a better height for the younger students. We are also making a wash station outside for the kids to use as well.

The open-air cafeteria is currently under construction and should be done this week. Previously, the children did not have a place to eat lunch outside of the classrooms. Since soccer is very important here, we leveled the soccer field for them. At this time, we have two areas for soccer: one for the older kids to use and one for younger. Thanks to donors, we will have a computer lab with five brand new laptop computers and a safe playground with updated playground equipment. Three water tanks, totaling 10,000 liters, have been added so that the children will always have water on the campus.

 A few weeks ago we had an outreach carnival to introduce ourselves to the community and promote the new school.  We had over 500 children and their parents come and enjoy the free games and food. They seem very excited about the changes coming to the school and the American influence running the program.

We are still working on the curriculum and will be holding teacher training in the coming weeks. Lauren Allgood, our Leadership Development Director, will come in August to hold a Leadership Seminar for our teachers and staff.  We are eager to have her come and share her knowledge and expertise. We also have two ladies coming from Alaska to teach full-time at the school and help enhance the English curriculum and programs.


Immediate Needs and Future Projects

Even with all the progress, we still need to purchase desks and chairs, and completely overhaul the outside bathroom for the older kids.  An estimated cost for the desks and chairs for 200 students is $4,500. The bathroom is on the existing "septic tank," but is sinking, and we need to completely demolish it, move it, and rebuild it. The estimated cost for the bathroom is $5,500.

Some future projects include: tiling the outside area of the preschool, pouring concrete for a basketball court, and adding another building for more classrooms as we add grades.

We want to thank you for all your support and prayers for this project. We look forward to continuing our partnership and seeing the Lord work in the lives of these children and their parents.