Being part of the EYFF means trying our best to contribute towards the country we love so much within our capacity. Therefore, contributing to the unfortunate or disadvantage is part of our mission statement when we created the EYFF. Upon becoming a member of the EYFF, every person is asked to make a contribution of 10 Nakfa minimum, each meeting. Many have been wondering what became of the money collected. You will be happy to know we didn’t pocket it! The money we collected from the group meetings that so many contributed towards, has finally been put to good use. There are many places that this money could have been put towards however as a group we decided to give our contribution to a boarding school for the visually impaired called Abraha Bahta in Godiaf.
Abraha Bahta is a government funded boarding school catering to young people all over Eritrea that are visually impaired. The school holds around 100 students varying from ages 6 till 20 years old. They cater to both sexes, holding around 40 females and 60 males. As it is a boarding school the children live and learn at the school and as the budget is covered by the government the kids don’t pay for living at the school. However, they also get a lot of outside help from different organizations and people who are willing to help like us regardless of how small their contribution.
Some of the kids at the school are kids that have been hidden from the world never leaving their homes, as being born visually impaired is seen as a disadvantage and a curse especially in the village. Therefore, for them having a place to go and learn where they have the same opportunities and treated equally as others is morally big for them. Thus we believed this was a great opportunity and cause to contribute our time and money too.
We collected around 2500 Nakfa from EYFF members throughout the summer. We believed the best way to help instead of giving them money would be to buy essentials needed in their day to day life that would help the children living in the boarding school. We therefore contacted the school and inquired of the things they would need.
A small group of us went shopping and bought the essentials requested such as washing liquid, tooth brushes, toothpaste, washing detergent, toilet paper etc. The last couple of members of the EYFF gathered on the 5th of September and went down to the school to give them the essentials we bought and were greeted with a grateful and happy reception by the director of the school, Memher (teacher in Tigrinya) Ghebregziabihier.
When we went to visit the school we were pleasantly surprised as the facility had everything they could possible need. The ground has around 7 classes, an auditorium, a clinic with a nurse in case any of the kids fall ill, a tailor’s office to for any alterations the kids may need on their uniform or clothes, a laundry room, a cafeteria, an ICT room and of course boys and girl’s dormitory. The kids are taught the same curriculum as any other school in Eritrea. However, they have a couple added classes for everyday life essential with movement and touch.
One of the most fascinating things for us to see was how the material for their curriculum was transferred into brail and the type of teaching materials they used in classes. Many of the books and reading materials used are typed up on a special software that changes what is typed into brail and then goes through a special printer that prints it on a special paper that is then copied multiple times to be used by the students of the school and also for external use for other schools and institutions.
Unfortunately, as we came during the summer season we were unable to see the kids but it was an amazing experience just seeing the school facility. We are very thankful for the guides that took the time out of their day to show us their amazing school as well as the teachers that explained to us how they taught their curriculum. And most of all to all the people that contributed the money within our group as we managed to do something worthwhile with the amount we had, even the smallest amount goes a long way. We hope to be able to contribute more and continue doing small good deeds.
By Mela Biniam Asmellash