The Kumure school was established in 1997 E.C. (circa 2004) and the first block of classrooms was built by members of the Kumure community. This area is densely populated compared to the other areas in the vicinity, and the school started off with over a thousand students.
As one block of classrooms was not enough, the community quickly built a second block. Like most community-built construction in this area, they used traditional wood and mud construction methods.
“We used to sit on dirt floors and didn’t even have desks to keep our notebooks on”, says one of the seventh-grade girls. “Teachers would take us out to sit by the tree so we wouldn’t be in the dirt.”
Seeing the students’ need, Tesfaye helped cement the floors of one of the blocks and donated 300 desks. Unfortunately, this was not enough to help the over 1200 children in the area of the Kurume village which were in need of education.
The capacity of the current school building was so small, it had to rotate the 300 children currently attending.
Therefore Tesfaye and Trabocca decided in 2015 to help the school. Together with our dedicated customers, we raised money to build a new school block with 4 classrooms and a toilet block.
After numerous challenges – political unrest, construction delays, and a jailed contractor – the school building was finished in 2018. The new block uses cement cinderblocks and modern construction and features cement floors and large windows.
The school building has been handed over to the community in October 2018. The school uses the new block of classes for higher grades. One of the rooms is used as a library. And in addition, a new toilet was also built for the students.
We didn’t have desks. Now we have desks. The dirt doesn’t touch us. It is impossible to compare what we have now with what we used to have.”
Construction of a tin wall and gate has also begun with funds raised by coffee roasters around the globe. Construction of the gate itself is complete, and all that remains to be done is the addition of a sign with the school’s name over the gate. The gate has helped deal with theft issues the school was dealing with.
We asked organizations we work with if they would like to contribute to Suke Quto School Project. This resulted in many organizations contributing to over $90,000 to fund the project.
The Kumure school has classes from grade one to grade eight. The community sees the need for a high school as students that want to continue their studies often cannot. As one of the eight grade students says, “I have a wife, children, and my fields. I want to study more after I finish eighth grade here, but, how can I?” While a few of the school’s students have gone on to college, it is by overcoming severe difficulties.