Providing scholarship assistance for five Afar post-secondary students in Addis Ababa.
In recent years, persecution and forced military conscription has increasingly driven Afar youth as well as Afar families out of Eritrea into Ethiopia. APDA is seeing many youth with great potential come to Ethiopia fleeing mandatory military conscription in Eritrea. APDA is well aware and recognizes that empowering the Afar youth with education and training is a crucial need for development to be effective. Education has a direct and sustained positive effect on the relief of extreme poverty.
In Ethiopia, the Afar people have had few educational opportunities until very recently. There are very few experts or qualified Afar in most fields of human development. APDA has a priority to facilitate the education and training of youth, whether in the post-secondary training (diploma or degree level) or in finishing qualifications to continue tertiary education.
Based on the above rationale, a group of five Afar students, studying in Addis Ababa, have been selected to receive scholarship support funding from the Can-Go Afar Foundation. This assistance has enabled them to continue education training and become part of the intellectual group of the Afar society. Education is a great elevator which has a ripple or multiplier effect. Educating destitute refugees relieves their own poverty as well as that of other Afar.
The Can-Go Afar Foundation has been providing bursary scholarships for five (5) Afar students since 2008. As a result of this ongoing assistance, which has proven to be very productive, one of the five students has already successfully finished his studies in 2009 and is now gainfully employed in APDA’s community development program in the Afar Region. The other 4 students are expected to graduate in September 2010.
To be part of the project, each selected student signs a contract with APDA that includes the value and use of the support and their responsibility to keep APDA informed of their progress. The Can-Go Afar project budget of C $500 per student/per school year covers the cost of school fees, accommodation, food, local transport, stationery and books.
For all payments, receipts are collected and APDA makes frequent visits to the students to actually see their living and study conditions. Students are monitored by both APDA and the Can-Go Afar Foundation to ensure that they are attending study and their interest remains to serve their community. There are regular visits and contacts from APDA staff. There is one person who is in charge of the Eritrean students as appointed by APDA and he is supported by other APDA management members.