To provide good and Christian inspired education – that is the goal of Interlakes International School in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia. To prepare the next generation for their future – a future in which they can contribute positively to Ethiopian society. The school, started in 2006, has about 450 students who are mostly from Ethiopian backgrounds. Almost all of the more than 30 teachers are also Ethiopian, as are the approximately 35 other staff members. As of May 2019, Arie and Arda Maasland work at the school as director couple. The Dutch foundation Friends of Interlakes is administratively responsible for the school.
Sponsorships for the poor
For Interlakes it is important to offer education to all social classes. Therefore, they also provide space for 40 sponsor pupils from very poor families; their education is funded by Dutch sponsors. Classes have a maximum of 34 students. According to Ethiopian law, explicit Christian education is not allowed. Within the framework of the law, the school is led from Christian motives and the aim is to share with all students clear Biblical values, and to learn them typical Christian songs during special times like Christmas, Easter and Pentacost.
Interlakes International School is known in Debre Zeit for its good educational quality. Consequently, there is a great demand for this school from the surrounding area. Especially since from October 2022 the school is also accredited to teach the Cambridge curriculum. In the past few years great progress has also been made to make the school financially independent. Almost all operating costs are now covered by school fees from parents. The remaining costs are raised through the Dutch foundation.
Due to the high demand for Interlakes education, it was decided to double the number of classrooms to a total of 22 by the end of 2024. In 2022, partly with the help of MissionInvest, 3 classrooms were realized as an extension to the existing building (see photo impression). Currently, the school has 14 classrooms.
Right now, we are approaching the next phase of the expansion. Our plan is to realize this all in 2023/2024. It concerns the realization of a completely new school building with 2 floors and a total of 8 classrooms and some smaller storage rooms. This expansion will allow the school to continue to grow in capacity. The ultimate goal is that in a few years, a total of 700 students will get the opportunity to receive a high-quality education!
The total construction cost for the new school building is € 240,000, or € 30,000 per classroom. Because in Ethiopia the cost of building materials is rising rapidly (high inflation), it is important that the local contractor will realize the construction of the school in no more than 1 year. In 2023 (partly with the help of a major donor in America) an amount of € 140,000 has already been realized. In addition, the foundation has received € 20,000 from the school itself. In total we are still looking for funding for the remaining € 80,000.
We would like to get in touch with donors who have the ability to finance the construction of one or more classrooms. If desired, your donation can be spread over 2 years. It is a wonderful concrete project, in which Dutch management is actively involved. Based on previous projects with Interlakes, MissionInvest is convinced that this project will be realized successfully! Your donation will not only be used effectively, but will be ‘visible’ already in the short term!
‘I love the Ethiopian-Dutch cooperation. The Interlakes school really contributes to the development of Ethiopia.’ – Teacher Andy
The school will have a huge impact! Every year, dozens of students graduate from this school. All of these students have received a good Christian foundation at Interlakes and for sure they will benefit from this as they continue their education and careers. Furthermore, the school provides valuable employment for about 65 people (teachers, office staff, cleaners, security guards). Especially for the sponsor pupils, the school makes a big difference; education would otherwise not be accessible to them; precisely a good school education can be decisive for them to break through a life in poverty. The mission of Interlakes is worth your support!