The purpose of the Children in the Cloud Foundation is to support the creation and development of educational infrastructure to provide access to quality education for the children of Amhara by Ethiopia. The Foundation works in the high-altitude villages of Simien massif by involving the people of the community in the project to build a school in the Simien.
It was during a trekking in 2015 in the massif of Simien in Ethiopia that we were made aware of the lack of school infrastructure in the village of Sona. It is located at an altitude of 3500m. Its inhabitants, far from any motorable road, live on a non-mechanized agriculture of cereals and a herd of sheep and buffaloes grazing above arable land. They live without water or electricity, in mud huts in great precariousness. Having little or no cash, the community does not have the means to provide their children with the minimum necessary for their education.
2015-2019 - History of the Foundation
This video retraces in 6mn30 the first 4 years of work of the Children in the Cloud Foundation. Find out more at all our videos in the dedicated section.
- High plateau on the edge of the Simien Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- the average altitude is 3600m.
- Sedentary population
- 8'000 inhabitants, 2'000 school children (estimate)
- Lack of school and health infrastructure
- Primary levels 1 to 8. No secondary school
- Self-sufficient and non-mechanized cereal agriculture
- Only one harvest per year
- Animals: sheep, cattle, chickens, mules, etc.
- No water nor electricity in the huts.
- No road, access only by mule tracks. The closest track is about a 2.5 hour walk.
The Sona project
- Construction of a primary school with solid material for 600 students
- Electrification of the school by a photovoltaic system and batteries
- Provision of school material and reference books
- Provision of uniforms
- Construction of health infrastructure and bring water to school
- communal room and first aid room in partnership with the Simien Mountains Mobile Medical Service
- Housing for 20 school teachers
- Camping area for tourists
We established a first contact with the population at the end of April 2016 and discussed their needs. The good governance of the project is a priority for us because it is the guarantee of the adequacy with the needs and the durability of the project.
A construction committee (photo opposite) was thus put in place and the school board pre-existing has been reactivated and reinforced. The construction committee plays a major role in the smooth running of the site, in particular it ensures that deadlines and costs are respected.
The estimated cost of the entire Sona school project is 400,000 Swiss francs excluding local contributions, i.e. the provision of the land, part of the transport and construction labour.
The entire project is expected to be delivered by the end of 2021, if the COVID 19 health crisis, which also hit Ethiopia, did not disrupt the progress of the project.