Melga Kocho

Life in Melga Kocho

Not long ago, Kocho was a lonely little village around 4 km away of the next main road, which is hardly more than a gravel track. The citizens usually work as farmers to produce what they need for their own use. The only source of income is selling Chad, a crowd with a stimulating effect.

They mostly eat Enzett, also called ‘False Banana’. It is a shrub that grows up to 5 meters high. The nodules contain a farina and protein and are used to make an eatable kind of porridge.

Poverty and thirst for education

The poverty in Ethiopia’s villages is completely different from the kind of poverty in the big cities. The families have lots of children, but the nearest school is way too far for the little ones. Those who manage to walk the 3 km in the morning and in the afternoon have to attend a class of up to 120 children. That results in little process of education even after several years of attending this school.

Yet still most of the children have a huge thirst for education and so providing them with a kindergarten and a primary school is a great privilege for us.

This is how we’ve got the idea of building a school in the countryside:

Kocho is the birthplace of Ruth Betz and the place of activity of her father Kemere Enna, who was a missionary there and who founded the first basic primary school for young Sidamos.

Now, around 50 years later, his great dream for Kocho of providing the Sidamos with an excellent school education will come true through his daughter Ruth and her husband Klaus Betz, who are supported by many people from other countries.

The new school will open up new opportunities for the children to choose another, more intellectual career than being a farmer or a sheperd.

Development of the infrastructure

Ethiopia Arise has bought a lot to build the school on and has built a road to the school and the next village. There still doesn’t exist any electricity and water needs to be brought from a well by using donkeys or the women must carry the water themselves for around 40 minutes.

Building a proper well would cost 13.000 Euro. That is a lot of money, but can you imagine a school without sufficient water supply?