Glad to be back at school; Gatluak

Monday 1 February 2021

Gatluak, 17, is a grade seven student at Pagak primary and junior high school located in Lare district of Gambella Region, Ethiopia. Gatluak wasn’t at the school last year. He had to drop out because of his family’s financial shortcomings. This year is going better for Gatluak  as Save the Children through its Educate A Child project provided him and other children who are unable to attend school due to economic issues in his village with uniform as well as other school supplies that enabled them return to school. Now Gatluak can continue his schooling with one less worry in his mind.   


Gatluak’s story in his own words (quotes):


My name is Gatluak. I’m 17 years old, a grade seven student at Pagak Primary and junior high school located in Lare district of Gambella Region. I would’ve been in eighth grade but I had lagged behind since I discontinued my education for a year. 

I live with my family of two brothers and two sisters. Both my older brother and sister are married and live with us at home. Every morning I wake up, eat my breakfast and come to school. I like coming to school. But, despite not having to pay school fees we’re pretty much unable to pay for school necessities. So, last year; after running out of school uniforms and other important items like bags, pens, exercise books as well as shoes I just stopped coming to school. I wanted to learn but I had nothing to learn with. It was fortunate that this project started. I received a bag with full learning kit and a uniform. It feels good to come to school without any worry about what you’ll wear or how you’ll learn when you don’t have any stationery at hand. 

At home, we each try to do our parts. My little sister fetches water from the communal water supply. My oldest sister cooks meals for us. My big brother, Father and I are always working in the fields. We grow cabbage, maize and tomatoes. That is enough to fulfill our eating needs.

I want to be a doctor one day. One of the reasons that I aspire to be a doctor is the current situation in the world. I hear on the radio that COVID is spreading wider. Our teachers tell us to be careful about it. I want to be someone who cures this pandemic. For that I’m trying to be good at school So far, biology and chemistry are my favorite subjects. When I finish my secondary school education, I’ll go to one of the Universities in the country and become a doctor. I’m grateful for the bags, uniforms and education materials I had received. I’m happy that Save the Children and Educate A Child project were there for me when I was not sure if I was going to continue my education.

What Save the Children is doing to help Gatluak and others like him: 

Save the Children in Ethiopia and Save the Children Korea in partnership with Educate A Child (EAC), a global programme of the Education Above All Foundation (EAA), launched a project that aims to increase access to quality basic education for out of school children in Gambella Region. The program started on April 1, 2019. Proceeded by Save the Children’s host community activities since January 2020, the project has provided 5,624 out of school children with education services, educational kits and uniforms, and constructed classrooms and sex segregated latrines and wash facilities.