Despite a vast history - it's home to the world's oldest human remains, it's Africa's oldest independent country and it's even the birthplace of coffee - Ethiopia is most often portrayed through the prism of its struggle. It's a struggle so often caricatured in the media as lacking and needing, and so often represented by figures of pity such as Starvin' Marvin, that it can be difficult to see the country beyond the images and stories that have been embedded through repetition into our consciousness.
That is, until something like Ethiopia Speed School comes along.
Starting in September 2011, the Ethiopia Speed School Initiative, supported primarily by over $5.2 million from the Legatum Foundation, was a strategic response to two dire systemic statistics: a 2010 UNESCO report indicating that Ethiopia was one of ten countries in the world with over 10 million illiterate adults (there were 27 million total), and 2011 World Bank data showing that the country had an estimated 3 million out-of-school children of primary school age.
Speed School is an accelerated learning programme operated by the Luminos Fund - a fund dedicated to ensuring children denied the chance to learn by conflict, poverty, or discrimination get access to a quality education.