In Ethiopia, years of attending classes from elementary to high school culminate in the final, long-awaited National Exam week. For students about to graduate from high school, it is a big milestone — one that sets them up to realize their dreams, as it qualifies them for higher education.
For students like Fuad, COVID-19 disrupted the 12th grader's exam preparations when schools suddenly closed in mid-March — just two months before the exam week. With rumors flying that the exam might be canceled altogether, Fuad lost his motivation and hope.
“It was a very depressing time. I had given it everything. I was ready and well prepared to score a result that would qualify me to study my dream field, economics. Sadly, COVID-19 disrupted everything,” he says.
It was not just the disruption that dampened his spirit. Even if he wanted to keep studying, the inconvenience of his home environment and the inaccessibility of a library made it all too difficult for him to continue.
Thankfully, while the students were confined to their homes, the Compassion center was undertaking a project using Critical Care funds to furnish a new resource center at the project, one complete with a computer lab and reading materials. The center was finished just after the government announced a tentative exam schedule and students began studying again.
“I was surprised and extremely excited to see the new facility. The timing was simply perfect. I was worried about where I could go to study as the school library was not accessible. The fact that I can access previous exam papers is the highlight of this library because, it is impossible for me to access these anywhere, not even at school," says Fuad. "I feel privileged to have people who make sure I have everything I need to be successful."