“Dream to Shine” free schooling project

The aim of this project is to prevent children from living on the streets.

Project members


Sayuri Yumoto

Manager / Teacher

Dereje Girma


Midori Yanagisawa

Esuke Kanda

Shun Jinnai
Friends with the voiceless International

We Started the project in February 2021, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

We support the children of Akako Village, Ethiopia, who are unable to attend school due to financial issues worsended by COVID-19.

Project Summary

 The tragic effects of COVID-19 are no stranger to all. Many lives have been damaged within Africa, a continent that was already struggling with poverty and political upheavals. Like many other nations, Ethiopia had to deal with the pandemic on top of her economic and political struggles. COVID-19 have been especially felt in the education sector.


There are about 20 million students in Ethiopia. According to government data in 2019, 70% of schools were closed during the pandemic. Schools were closed for 8 months, and only re-opened in mid-November 2020. Students struggled mentally and physically during the stay-home quarantines. Girls were subjected to rape and forced marriages. Female students were especially affected, so much so that the prime minister mentioned it in his parliamentary speech. Because of this the government decided to re-open schools. COVID-19 prevention rules were enforced, such as reducing the class sizes by half to maintain social distancing. As a result, schools had to reduce the number of students.


Prior to COVID-19, each class could hold 50-60 students. However current rules required cutting down the class size to 25. To allow as many children as possible to attend, student would only get to attend school for a maximum of 3 days a week and would have to stay home for the remaining 4 days.

 Of note, female students had to spend their free time doing chores instaed of studying. A number of children lost interest in attending school. We encountered this problem in a rural school only 10km from the capital city, Addis Ababa.
We were moved to try to help the children and youth in this community. Creating an added two hours of school time would bring great benefits to their educational development. We wanted to be creative and imaginative in persuading them to return to school.


It is also clear in Ethiopia that many have great interest in English literacy. In the Ethiopian education system, English is the medium of instruction from upper primary school. Here arranging afterschool English classes would greatly benefit these students.


Our project aims to assist students from Grades 7-12 who are suffering from the problems I mentioned above. We aim to work on speaking, writing, listening, and reading in English. We will do this through didactic teaching, assignments, presentations, and videos. International textbooks and dictionaries will be used as a resource in our sessions.



Our vision is to see highly motivated youth in the community return to school. We also hope to improve English literacy in the community, to enable and empower our students to communicate fluently on the global stage.



Creating a safe and clean environment for youths.


Teaching English in a creative yet practical way.


Create awareness on the importance of education.

Summer class

July to August in 2022

From June to August, students here have term break. During this time, students engage in activities such as studying, watching movies, playing games, helping their parents, and working to earn money. However, many waste their time with activities that expose them to risky situations.


Because of this, we started a summer school project called BIFU BIRA KINDERGARTEN AND PRIMARY SCHOOL. This project teaches English and Mathematics at different levels according to the students’ needs.

■ Students get to supplement their normal school classes through these added sessions that are more practical compared to their standard school classes.

■ Students can maintain their educational focus during these two months until they commence their education in the following grade.

■ Students stay in school and avoid risky behaviours such as gambling.

■ Students are protected from social harassment.

■ Parents will feel comfortable about their children staying at school.

Target group

This project targets students from Grade 2 through to Grade 8, which means students from the age of 8 to 13 can be part of our summer project for the year. The number of students we aim to benefit through this project is 20.


We have 5 goals for this project as follows:

  1. Academic and cognitive development.
  2. Reduction of risky behaviors.
  3. Provision of a safe environment.
  4. Promotion of healthy social interaction between the students.
  5. Supporting both the working and needy families.


  • Many parents in this community do not understand the importance of education and instead, prefer to keep their children at home for house chores.
  • Children prefer to work in order to earn money, compared to studying. Many must work in the summertime to be able to afford school materials for the next term.
  • The weather can be prohibitive as the rainy season is particularly heavy in this area at this time.
  • Budget limitations have meant that there is only one teacher for the entire class at all times.

The report of our two months summer tutorial class.

We have been holding summer tutorial classes for students in Akako village for the past 2 months.

This project targeted students from kindergarten through to Grade 8. Though initially planning for 20, we had 23 students who attended classes regularly throughout the two months. 

The projects focused on 3 subjects

1. English

Many students enjoy English class the most as it incorporates practical elements as opposed to merely teaching theory, as is standard in normal schools. We covered speaking, listening, reading, and writing. We also focused on vocabulary improvement and the correct use of commonly used words and phrases.


 In this class, we kept the lessons simple and interesting, and focused on common skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. We made the lessons practical and focused on application to problems relating to actual daily life. The students have shown significant improvement in their understanding of the basics, which would greatly benefit them as they re-enter their own schools after term break.

3. Art

Students have enjoyed creating art pieces using watercolors and oil paints. The lessons started with the sketching of simple lines and shapes and progressed to complicated motifs. We saw clear improvement in artistic skill and some students have demonstrated natural artistic talent.

The two months have been incredibly meaningful. We believe that our students have greatly benefitted from the plethora of activities. Many parents expressed their compliments and gratitude. Our summer project ended on 2 September 2022. We ended here so that students could rest just prior to re-starting normal school, and because the venue we were using had to undergo maintenance in preparation for the following school year. The compound had to be cleaned, painted, and decorated.

Thank you so much for your support!


Reported by Dereje Girma

DTS Project maneger/Teacher

Oromiya, Ethiopia

Our Purpose in Starting the project

We aim to prevent children from living on the streets.


Dereje Girma
DTS Project Manager/Teacher
Oromiya, Ethiopia

 I am deeply motivated to execute this project as I was a beneficiary of free education from my childhood until university graduation. I lost both my parents at the age of 5 and moved from the rural countryside to the city to live with my uncle. However, living with his family was problematic. I was about to run away to live on the streets. However, I encountered a nonprofit organization called “WIN SOULS FOR GOD EVANGELICAL MINISTRY”. This organization provided for myself, and others like me. They sent me to school and provided what we needed. We also attended church during weekdays and weekends. The two things that have transformed my life the most profoundly have been education and church.


For two years, I worked and learnt much from an organization that helps street children. Despite the thousands of nonprofit organizations, the problem of street children continues to worsen. This made me start to think of more strategic preventative measures.

We forcus on the following two ways


In Ethiopia, education is considered an important means of escaping poverty. However, many villagers do not understand the importance of education. Education centers are seen as ways to occupy time, as opposed to a means of learning how to improve one’s life and transform the country. As a result, children are not motivated to attend school, and parents are not keen to support their children through high school.


There are also situations where students who attend normal school do not have a place to spend their time after school. Many end up being involved in risky behaviors to earn money, such as gambling and taking recreational drugs. Their behavior usually escalates until they have to leave the area and move on to live off the streets.


Our ideas for afterschool projects during school season and a summer school project during term break arose as a means to tackle these issues. Within these projects, students will have an opportunity to supplement their education and a means to spend their free time productively and safely, ultimately aiming towards improvement in their education and their futures. It is also a vehicle with which to inspire and to emphasize the importance of education to the community.


We also have the opportunity here to model Christian values to the community. Protestant Christianity is not known in this area, and churches were only allowed in in the recent four to five years. We give glory to God that the first local church has been built and that Christians here are able to gather to worship. I thank God that I could be part of the team that helped establish this church amidst challenging circumstances. Our church members are constantly seeking ways to grow holistically. Our church construction is not yet complete.



Dereje’s Background

Church is where I developed and cultivated my values. It continues to do so. No place teaches Christian moral values better than the church and the gospels of Jesus. I am inspired to serve here because of my experiences growing up, and how it has changed my life forever.

My life would not be the same without education and the church. I strongly believe that both are crucial to deterring children from running away to live out on the streets. We have seen that merely materially supporting street children can worsen the situation. Our strategy has long-term goals. Its results may not be apparent at the start, or even for decades.
However, changing lives sustainably is a long process and we are committed to this goal.


You are welcome to contribute or be a participant.


International Remittances

Currency  USD EUR
Intermediary Bank  Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas NY Deutsche Bank AG Frankfurt
Intermediary Bank BIC
(SWIFT Code)
Beneficiary Bank Japan Post Bank
Branch Head Office
Beneficiary Bank Address 3-1, Otemachi 2-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8793, Japan
Beneficiary Bank BIC
(SWIFT Code)
Beneficiary Bank CHIPS UID 427593
Payee Account Number


Name of Payee Account Holder

ユモト サユリ

Payee Address 1-1-21 Chiyoda Nakaku, Nagoya-city, Aichi 460-0012, Japan
Payee Telephone Number 050-5375-9302