GS alumna Atti Worku has been spearheading meaningful change in education in her home city of Adama, Ethiopia since 2005, when she founded Seeds of Africa, a nonprofit organization that works to directly address systemic problems in the local school system and surrounding community by providing education and resources.
Seeds of Africa works to increase educational opportunities to underserved students by making school more easily accessible and decreasing the student-to-teacher ratio. Much of Worku’s motivation for founding Seeds of Africa came from witnessing the different life trajectories of those who had access to high-quality education and those who did not.
Worku believes that providing a high-quality education to children is only part of the solution to enhancing their education. Another key element of Seeds of Africa is Sowing Community, a program that works with students’ families to increase their household incomes, improve their quality of life, and rid each child of the stressors that are caused by poverty. One way the nonprofit tackles this problem is by providing micro-loans and business education to mothers so that they can start small businesses or upgrade existing ones.
Since October of 2014, Worku has been raising funds for a project she calls the Dream School Campaign—a two-year, $2.2 million campaign to build a world-class school in Ethiopia that will serve 600 students from pre-kindergarten to the 12th grade. The project will also include a public library, as well as space for the activities that Seeds of Africa leads within the community. This December, Seeds of Africa will hold a fundraiser—New Yorkers for Seeds—in New York City to raise funds for the Dream School.
“Every child deserves to have the best education possible,” Worku said.
Atti Worku studied sustainable development at GS and graduated with honors in 2014.
Here and Now: Seeds of Africa; WABC-TV; September 28, 2015
Why We Need to Take Investment in African Development Seriously; Huffington Post; September 3, 2015