“I have a poem to share with you.”
Netsanet, a 15-year-old student at Lifesong School in Ziway, Ethiopia, unfolds the piece of paper and begins to read the lines of poetry she’s written in careful, blue ink.
“God, the One Who doesn’t forget us even though we forget Him,” she begins.
A powerful opening line of poetry from a girl whose parents both died years ago.
Since she was 11, Netsanet has been the caregiver for her younger sister. Because of this, finding work and attending school is a nearly impossible combination, though education is her best path out of poverty.
And yet, Netsanet knows God has never forgotten her—not for a moment.
You are part of the reason why. Take a look—
“Sometimes students here are too poor to buy a uniform.”
One major challenge in Ethiopia—kids often can’t attend local schools due to financial constraints.
Students must cover the cost of uniforms, workbooks, and food.
Ethiopia’s high level of poverty makes paying even nominal fees nearly impossible. According to the World Bank in April of 2022, Ethiopia remains one of the most educationally disadvantaged countries in the world.
According to the most report from UNICEF, although most children in Ethiopia enroll in school, many do not complete their education. Only 85% make it past Grade 5, and 54% past Grade 8.
So many students like Netsanet simply can’t afford to attend.
“God is always with me and gives me what I need.”
Enrolling in a different school would mean Netsanet would attend classes from 7 a.m. to noon. Afterward, she would need to work a job in order to pay for her living expenses and school supplies, which would also make it hard, if not impossible, to study. Then, she would sleep for a few hours and do it all again.
As the only caregiver of her little sister, Netsanet would likely not be part of the 54% of students who make it past Grade 8 if she had to provide her own meals or supplies. She’s in Grade 8 this year.
But because of generous supporters like you, Netsanet has a different, better option.
“Next to God, Lifesong School helps me most.”
With your support, Lifesong School exists to reach many of the community’s most vulnerable students in Nursery through 8th grade. We provide:
- a high-quality, fee-free education
- two nutritious meals daily
- faithful discipleship
Currently, 1,650 students attend Lifesong School in Ethiopia.
The goal of Lifesong School is far bigger than just creating a good classroom experience.
In the words of our in-country leader Zebdeos,
“Our intention is to be showing Jesus in every aspect of our students’ education.”
Our students spend time memorizing the Bible, praying together, and singing songs at the morning flag ceremony. But even more than this, the teachers invest in the students through ongoing, personal discipleship.
Your part in this story
Through you, God has blessed Lifesong School in Ethiopia beyond what we could ask or think. For example, this year the school was rated best school of the year in both Ziway and Adami Tulu.
God is truly blessing our staff and students and they seek to honor Him.
Remember the poem Netsanet wrote at the beginning of this story? The final line says:
This is our God, mysterious in His work.
She’s right, of course. God continues to do amazing things through people like you for students like Netsanet.
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways” (Romans 11:33).
Thank you for your part in this story.