The school year has finally started in Atsbi, and with the return of teachers and students we’ve been able to implement the final stages of our project.  The rainy summer months proved to very productive for everyone; our dairy cow, which has been living at the school for five months now, has given more milk than we expected.  Part of this is due to the generosity of the Parent-Teacher Association, which donated a great deal of high quality food for Lemlem.  The community also hosted a tree-planting day at the school to ensure a sustainable source of livestock fodder for years to come. Over and over again, the community has shown its support for this project and the underserved population it benefits.  My heart is warmed each time I encounter someone who wants to help the school in its endeavors to better the education of all students.  

Several weeks ago a few of our project committee members went to the city to purchase one hundred chickens and the rest of the project supplies.  It was a long day, but we finally got all the chicks home safely.  We purchased thirty-day old chicks, which are hardier and already vaccinated and should begin producing eggs in about three months.  It felt great to be back at work with my counterparts and friends. 

Half of the money that we raised from selling milk over the summer was used to purchase notebooks, pens and pencils to distribute to orphans registered at the school.  While this was the ultimate goal of the Desta project, I was just as happy to hear that the committee had decided to save half of the summer’s proceeds to guarantee that the chickens could be fed until they begin producing eggs.  This decision demonstrates an important commitment to sustainability of the project. 

As my time in Atsbi comes to an end, I’ll be working closely with the school and committee members to make sure the project will be sustainable after I leave.  The new Peace Corps Volunteer who has been assigned to work at the school will also continue checking on the progress and helping with any challenges that may appear in the future. Finally, I’ll be putting together a more formal project report that I’ll send out in the next few weeks. 

Once again, thank you for the donation you made to this project.  It has been so rewarding to work with a school that is dedicated to improving education for the children of Atsbi.  Our work would not have been possible without your generosity.


Warmest regards, ImageImageImage

Katheryn Hoerster