Addis Ababa, March 27, 2023 – The winners of a children’s art competition took part in a celebration with their classmates, teachers, and parents at the Megle Kibo Primary School, Semera, Afar region. The competition was organized by United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) READ II Education Recovery Activity and reached 2,100 children in grades four and five, living in conflict-affected areas of the Afar region.
Art instructors from the Regional College of Teachers Education and competition judges oversaw both the school-level art competitions and regional level screenings. The competition engaged students in a creative exercise that allowed them to reflect on their experiences during the conflict, build their self-esteem, and express hopes for their future.
During the ceremony, USAID/Ethiopia Mission Director Sean Jones, Head of the Afar Regional Education Bureau Abdu Hasen, and other members of the visiting delegation toured the Megle Kibo Primary School, and during a ‘gallery walk,’ 20 young finalists and three winners presented their work.
“As a partner to the Ethiopian people, it is an honor for USAID to play a small part in the education and healing of this region’s wonderful children. We are proud to encourage these children on the pathway to become agents of peace and stability in their communities,” said Jones.
This program is the culmination of the region-wide art competition, which drew the participation of 50 schools in Afar. The competition promoted art activities in regional schools, where art and artistic expression receive little attention and there are only a few trained art teachers. Creating art may help school children express their hopes for their future after experiencing trauma.
In Afar Region, USAID’s READ II Education Recovery Activity has provided emergency education support to 82,182 conflict-affected children from over 319 primary schools and camps for internally displaced persons across four zones and 22 woredas.
In 2022 alone, USAID provided more than $1.8 billion dollars in development and humanitarian aid to Ethiopia. To learn more about the U.S.-Ethiopia partnership visit: U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia and follow U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa | Facebook and Twitter.