Home: Freunde Waldorf

Ethiopia: Finks Hawzien


Food for the children after the civil war

Shortly after the civil war in the province of Tigray, the 480 children can attend the kindergarten and the free school in Hawzien again. However, the supply of food is still very poor. Therefore, the school community is collecting donations to buy concentrated feed for the cows so that they can give more milk and for flour so that the children in the kindergarten and school can eat bread in addition to the milk.

The school expects to spend about 15,000 euros per year to provide bread for the children and about 6,000 euros for concentrated feed for the cattle over the same period. In total, the school needs 21,000 Euros, but every little bit helps the school community immensely.

With your WOW Day donation, you can help the school community get enough food.

"It would help us a lot if even a small part of the money would be collected. Once the children's supplies are secured, our next step is to repair the damage to the buildings and get new furniture."


About the project

In the 1970s, Dr. Atsbaha Gebre-Selassie left his birthplace of Hawzien and fled to Germany to escape communist rule. There he studied organic farming before returning to Ethiopia. In order to give the children and also the adults of his homeland a perspective for the future, Dr. Atsbaha made the plan to found a self-help project. In 2002, the Ethiopian association Finks Hawzien, Society for Integrated Development, was founded with more than 30 local members from Hawzien, Wukro and Mekele. The association, which is recognized by the state as an NGO, runs its business independently and is advised on educational issues by experienced kindergarten teachers and teachers. 

The association, which translates as Phoenix Hawzien, received 30,000m² of land from the mayor in Hawzien for the construction of a kindergarten. When the construction plans were approved in 2005, nothing stood in the way of the building project. The kindergarten "Hiwotay Merebet" ("A Sheltered Home") was inaugurated in September 2006 and is now attended by 160 children.

In 2008, the foundation of the school was planned and fundraising started. Five years later, construction began on the first four classrooms, a multipurpose hall, a staff room and sanitary facilities - designed for up to eight classes. The opening of the "Bruh Tesfa" school, which translates to "Bright Future," took place in September 2014 with a grand celebration.

The free "Bright Future" school in Hawzien aims to promote creative thinking and teach practical skills. It is essential for the association that the younger grades focus on games, art and practical work, in addition to the classical curriculum. The school has set itself the goal of promoting independent activities and providing new ideas and impulses for the wider school system.

Since October 2017, a full position for handicraft lessons has been funded by the Ustinov Foundation. A fully paid art teacher and a helper were hired. In addition, several local artists teach their craft once a week. There is a potter who teaches the children how to work with clay. A musician teaches music, the making of traditional Ethiopian instruments, dance and singing. A local carpenter teaches the children how to work with wood and a basket weaver shows them how to make traditional baskets. Then in 2019, four more classrooms were built, as well as a chemistry/physics laboratory and a media room.  So, nothing stood in the way of the plan to build the school up to Grade 8, and to offer education to some 320 children.

In 2019, four more classrooms were built, as well as a chemistry/physics room and a media room. Thus, nothing stood in the way of the plan to build up the school to grade 8 and then teach a total of 320 children.

In 2020, unfortunately, the difficult times arrived. It began with Corona and the associated closure of kindergartens and schools. A plague of locusts also reduced the harvest. But that was not enough. In the fall of 2020, a civil war began in Ethiopia, especially in the province of Tigray, in the middle of which Hawzien is located. Unfortunately, to our great dismay, a security guard who had worked for Finks Hawzien for many years was killed. Miraculously, most of the buildings survived except for some damage, and even the cows survived.

After the peace treaty was signed in the spring of 2023, life is slowly returning to normal in Tigray. Banks have opened, the internet and telephones are working again. The kindergarten and school are open again. Now, the school years that were canceled are being made up for in the normally 4-month summer break. So far, three kindergarten teachers and three helpers are taking care of more than 120 children in the kindergarten. The school has been expanded up to the eighth grade. In the fall, eight teachers will take care of more than 320 children from first to eighth grade.

We hope that peace will hold, the terrible can be processed and we can rebuild everything.

Empower & donate now
Empower & donate now