Ethiopia: One Planet Rouses Africa on Its Tenth Anniversary

The One Planet School has gained notoriety among the top schools in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The school community unified to remember its vision at a Tenth Anniversary Commemoration on April 9, 2016.

Parents, dignitaries and educators gathered at the continent’s most prestigious venue – the African Union building – to honor the occasion with discussions of the school’s vision and of its future. Student videos reminded the gathering of how far the children had come in acting out the mission of the school. Speeches reminded teachers, parents and students of the role they play in securing the future of the nation, with everyone in the “village” contributing to the nobility of the child.

After an opening session with speeches by representatives of USAID, the Education Ministry, Full-Circle Learning International and One Planet School founders Gail and Zelalem Amare, parents attended caucuses to discuss continuing challenges such as home discipline and raising children in a media-enriched society. Full-Circle Learning had been invited to offer the keynote because of its influence on the early vision of the school. The message conveyed that “It takes a village to shape the destiny of a nation.

On the following Monday, the teachers gathered for a refresher course in Full-Circle Learning, to renew its commitment to character education and the potential of each child to serve as a light to the world.

Full-Circle Learning thanks One Planet for its gracious hospitality at Jazly Guest House, a B & B where proceeds help support the One Planet school. We have honored Africa’s spirit of unity in a poem written from an upstairs window of the guest house.

Sounds of Saturday in Addis Ababa

Before the nightingale, the mosque sings to the spirit,

rousing a rooster, who wakes the woman.

She crawls from her tent, sparks the kindling

in a rock pile--her makeshift restaurant

for the carpenters hammering copper in the alley,

tilting broken sticks to erect a hotel by hand.

Shepherds urge goats to please tiptoe this way or that way over rubble.

Airport drivers shoo away pipe cutters.

A kingfisher lands on a windowsill.

His red and blue coat lures the gardener out to raise his ax and let it fall,

adding his wood-chopping tympany to arias of starlings

whose wingtips stir the trees awake—acacias, rubber, palm, jacaranda,

mangos that promise juice for mothers wielding baskets on their heads.

They gossip with the water seller under the tin awning,

telling who they saw last night, when people thronged the marketplace

not to buy cloth, carvings, bangles,

but just to flow with the sea of faces moving in unity.

“Shalom. Good morning,”

Two boys swing a lifeless tire like a boa coiled between them.

Hear their bare feet plop and hug the dirt, dodging pot holes as they skip.

Before the nightingale, the mosque sang to their spirits.

Like darting starlings, they move as one.

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