New hope for children in Tigray after three years with no school

We're sharing some wonderful, hopeful news with you today from Ethiopia

Back to all stories | Posted on 22 August 23 in NewsBlogChildren's stories

 We've taken the first steps in reinstating our much-needed school feeding program in Tigray, Ethiopia, following two years of brutal civil war and three years of disruption to education across the region.

Together with our long-standing local partner, Daughters of Charity Tigray, we've reintroduced feeding for around 10,000 children in 14 schools. In the short term, the menu is dictated by facilities and supplies and children are receiving high energy biscuits and hot tea. Over the next few months, the program and menu will be expanded as cooking facilities that were destroyed or looted in the fighting are replaced.

The children being served have all missed out on years of learning – some may never even have set foot in a classroom – since schools in the region closed in March 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Later that year, just as places of education were preparing to reopen, the war began. Two years of relentless fighting left millions of people displaced, traumatized and in need of humanitarian assistance. 

Alex Keay, our Director of Programme Affiliates and Partners, said: “We’re so thankful to our colleagues at Daughters of Charity whose hard work in the most difficult circumstances has allowed us to keep reaching people in urgent need in Tigray.  During the darkest days, when it wasn’t possible to deliver our normal school feeding program, emergency meals and community food distributions offered people essential sustenance and, above all, hope.

“Now, with schools reopening and children turning up to learn after three years without classes, it’s important that we work together to reinstate school feeding at the earliest opportunity. It gives us hope, too, being able to take these first steps and keep our promise to the children – that they will eat when they attend school.”

Gebrisha Gebray, Deputy Social and Development Coordinator for Daughters of Charity, said: “The parents and teachers have expressed their happiness and gratefulness for Daughters of Charity and Mary’s Meals and the timely solution to the hunger their children are facing amidst the halting food aid. Parents are expressing their gratitude for the feeding program which has brought hope for their children to attend classes and start achieving after years of closed schools.”