Ethiopian School Readiness Initiative (ESRI) logo

Ethiopian School Readiness Initiative (ESRI)

ESRI provides comprehensive, free preschool for thousands of children in Ethiopia and an income generation program for Mothers.

DonateStart a fundraiser

ESRI is a high quality, comprehensive, preschool program for disadvantaged Ethiopian children which gives them the tools to succeed at school. The ESRI Mothers Empowerment Program provides vocational training for selected mothers and helps them establish businesses. The cost to support each mother is $350. In addition to a full classroom cognitive learning program, ESRI's comprehensive program includes continuing teacher education, evaluation of children's progress, parenting education, social services, and access to physical and behavioral health services for the children and families..
Since inception in 2007 ESRI has opened 113 pre-schools in 8 Regions throughout Ethiopia including rural areas Over 70,000 students have benefited from an ESRI preschool education. ESRI partners with the Regional Boards of Education to implement the program. The ESRI program includes a 3-year curriculum, intensive teacher training and rigorous quality control. Behavioral management and health screening with referrals as needed and a parenting education program are also part of the ESRI comprehensive program. ESRI has trained over 2,500 preschool teachers and primary caregivers of children.
Ethiopian children enter first grade at age 7, unprepared to learn. Many fall behind quickly, lose interest, and by the end of the first grade 25% have dropped out of school. Over 50% drop out by the end of fourth grade. The data indicates that the children who drop out are the children who fall behind.
The Mother’s Empowerment Program is an integral and vital part of ESRI’s Comprehensive program. Selected Mothers in each of the 8 Regions attend training in their chosen fields. When the mothers complete their training, they receive materials so they can set up businesses. Past business includes commercial poultry, tailoring, injera baking and restaurants.
ESRI collaborates with the respective Regional Women’s and Children’s Bureaus to arrange mentoring for the mothers as they establish their chosen business.
Mothers who have participated in this ESRI program report the impact on their lives includes decreased stress and increased self-esteem for themselves and better nutrition, improved housing, and a path out of poverty and a sense of hope for the future for the entire family.
ESRI’s expansion into the Regions of Ethiopia requires more preschool teachers. in the regions. To address this issue and to ensure the quality of preschool teachers for the future, ESRI has partnered with two universities in Ethiopia to develop new 3-year college training program for pre-school teachers. This program is currently offered in 2 Universities in 2 Regions of Ethiopia. As this program expands to additional universities, it will improve the quality of preschool education throughout the Country.
ESRI has made a positive impact over the last 16 years by introducing the concept of free access pre-school education to all of Ethiopia.
Your support has made this possible!