Feature: Chinese-donated solar lamps light up students' way to success in Ethiopia-Xinhua

Feature: Chinese-donated solar lamps light up students' way to success in Ethiopia

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-17 02:05:30

by Xinhua writer Muluneh Gebre

ADDIS ABABA, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Mustari Ibrahim, a student at Obay Primary School on the outskirts of Dukem, a town 33 kilometers east of Addis Ababa, is one of the beneficiaries of solar lamps donated by the China Foundation for Rural Development (CFRD).

Ibrahim, who came to Dukem with her family four years ago as internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing conflict in Ethiopia's Somali regional state, uses the solar lamp to study at night.

"I charge the solar lamp during the day time to light up our home during night. I do homework or study from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., using the solar lamp," Ibrahim told Xinhua in an interview.

The area where the IDPs are hosted is not connected to the power network of the town nearby.

"Had it not been with the help of the solar lamp, I would have faced a serious problem in my studies and school work," she said. "Without the solar lamp, my family members could do nothing during the night."

Ibrahim said her school results have improved significantly since she started using the CFRD-donated solar lamp to study two years ago.

The CFRD has distributed 13,000 solar lamps to students in Addis Ababa and the Somali and Oromia regional states, aiming to provide light for studying and enhance mobility for IDPs.

Summaaya Mohammed and her family fled Jigjiga, capital of the Somali regional state, to Dukem four years ago. Now a sixth grade student at Obay primary school, Mohammed said the solar lamp provided by the CFRD two years ago has helped her work on school assignments at ease and score better grades.

"Last year, I stood second. The solar lamp has helped me a lot in my school performance," she said.

"This project was started in 2021, and we are trying to provide solar lamps to primary school students living in off-grid areas, so that they can study after dark and light up their ways while going around at night," Wang Haoyu, a senior program manager of the foundation, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

CFRD Ethiopia Office Country Director Yin Qian said the foundation would continue donating solar lamps to students living in rural areas where electric power is absent.

Geremew Chimdessa, principal of the Obay primary school, said 570 students have received solar lamps donated by the foundation, which has also been undertaking a feeding program at Obay primary for three years, serving more than 600 students with a variety of food items at breakfast and lunch.

"After the school feeding program was started, the number of students coming to the school has increased significantly while class absenteeism has dropped to almost zero level," Chimdessa told Xinhua.

The CFRD's school feeding program and solar lamp donation project have greatly encouraged the surrounding community to send their children to the school, he said.

Formerly known as China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, the CFRD has engaged in other charitable work, such as the provision of school supplies to primary schools in Ethiopia.

The foundation, which has been serving Ethiopia for five years, also launched a water, sanitation and hygiene project as part of its efforts to help the East African country meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.