Our Education Program and Projects

Education is one of the pillar priority areas of focus for Haben Tigray. The gap in this sector has kept on getting wider due to the fact that the education system was on shutdown during the COVID pandemic and the war on Tigray has brought a massive destruction making continuity a multifaceted challenge. To be able to take the children and the youth in Tigray back to school, large scale interventions are expected. 

Featured Projects

Project to Support Education of Girls in Rural Tigray


As organizations with shared objectives aimed at helping the people of Tigray impacted by the war, Tigray Disaster Relief Fund (TDRF) and Haben Tigray Relief and Development Association (Haben Tigray) embarked on a collaboration to do their parts and help tackle the enormous crisis caused by the war in Tigray which disproportionately impacted women and girls. Building up on a previous project initiated by Raey Hiwot that gave their reserve funds to the Haben Tigray through TDRF for use to fund a scholarship cohort of 53 young women in high school in rural Tigray. 


According to a 2018 UN report, targeting of women and girls through various violent tactics of war is widespread in conflicts around the globe. In the recent war in Tigray, women and girls have sustained innumerable abuses. Rampant level of sexual abuse, dispossession of accumulated valuable assets and capital, forced displacement, psychological stress and health-related impacts, physical injuries and fatalities are well documented. Preliminary reports show over 127,000 women and girls have experienced rape and sexual abuse in the first eight months of the war. Over 3 million people are internally displaced and the majority being women and girls.

Rehabilitation of the livelihoods of families in Tigray depends on the success in the rehabilitation of the economic and social capabilities of women. This requires creation of strong support programs targeting women and girls in the post-war rehabilitation effort. Women require support that facilitate psychological healing, access to medical care, and access to economic resources to re-establish their livelihoods. Generally, international agencies supporting post-war rehabilitation suggest that special attention should be given in rehabilitation efforts to address the negative impacts of war on women.

Motivation, Purpose and Objective

The collaboration between Haben Tigray and TDRF aims to initiate intervention programs that contribute to rebuilding the livelihoods of women and girls in hot spot areas in the war-devastated Tigray through resource mobilization for implementation of support programs involving local and diaspora Tigrayan community and other stakeholders. The education component of the collaboration supports young girls' education in war-affected rural areas through modest scholarship that covers housing rent, educational materials, and dignity kits.

Project Plan

A budget of $10 per month ($120 per year) was planned, on average, per student. It was planned to select a cohort of students and continue the support until they finish university/college education depending on their performance. The plan assumed that one cycle will cover eight years, four years of high school and another four years at university/college level. Project areas included rural Hagereselam, Samre, and Axum with the intention to select specific locations (Tabias/Kebeles/Schools) in consultation with local office of the Women’s Association of Tigray, district level education office, and local administrations.

Project Kickoff

Starting November 2023, our local Haben Tigray office in Mekelle started the project kick off at the following  locations. Rural Degua Temben, Rural Kilete Awla’elo, Samre District and La’elay Maychew District in which at 13 girls were selected  to receive the scholarshipin each area for a total of 53 girls. 

Once we received the funding and started the implementation of the project, we found out that the amounts we projected were insufficient for the projects to have a meaningful impact due to cost hikes. Based on requirements from the Tigray Women’s Affairs Bureau, recommendations from NGOs operating in Tigray and Haben Tigray’s strong belief in the continuation of this important project, Haben Tigray  went ahead with the project by making the necessary modification to increase the annual scholarship award from 5000 Birr  to 7200 Birr per student. A total of Birr 381,600 (about $6840) was distributed to the 53 girls for the first year of the scholarship.  While the generous donation from TDRF and Raey Hiwot of covered most of the cost for this project, Haben Tigray covered the difference.

In-Person Presence of Role Model

In an effort to make sure that every student and woman beneficiary of this project would be successful, two of our members from the US travelled to Tigray and visited  some of the students. Our visiting members and local members in Tigray were instrumental in setting up mentorship programs and holding group leadership development workshops to set the students up for success. These members, our Vice President Rewina and our Secretary Marta, are not only relatable to the young girls but also great role models who will be accessible to them. Haben Tigray will make necessary adjustments to the programs as needed based on findings from periodic follow-ups led by our Director Dr. Girmay in coordination with our local teams and stakeholders.

Implementation of Haben Tigray’s Education Technology System in Tigray


Haben Tigray has identified Education as one of its priority engagement programs on which it will focus its efforts and has been working on a highly innovative Educational Technology (Ed-Tech) System. This project aims to support the education system in Tigray and provide access to educational resources for students, teachers and the general population through effective use of technology. 


The Tunaydbah Computer Literacy Project is the first project which made use of Haben Tigray’s Ed-Tech system to provide access to educational materials and a teaching-learning platform for refugees in Sudan. 

Haben Tigray’s Education and Technology teams have been continuously working on improving the Ed-Tech system to include more educational content, make it even more versatile and up to date with the latest software releases. Feedback and valuable inputs from coaches and administrators in Sudan as well as other experts have been taken into account to recreate the system.

Problem Statement

The extent and magnitude of the problems that Tigrayan students, teachers, parents and the general population are facing as a result of the the war which started in November 2020 are unprecedented. The latest damage report  from Tigray Education Bureau provides a detailed synopsis of the current status in comparison with the pre-war conditions. Another study  by the Luminos Fund examined the levels of learning loss and psychosocial trauma of children, teachers and parents in Tigray. 

According to the Bureau’s damage report which covered 2,054 schools located in 84 woredas of the six zones accessible (except Western Tigray), the loss of life from the education community totals 2,146.

Damage of classrooms per zone gets as high as 97% with the overall damage of 88%. Damage estimates of educational equipment like desks (96%), black boards (96%) and books (76%) are only portions of the assessment which also covers other resources like teachers guide, reference books, toilets, water tanks, computers, plasma televisions, laboratory and pedagogical center equipment. 

The multi-faceted problems faced by students, teachers, parents, educational institutions and the government, coupled with the extent of the crisis, calls for creative solutions to help bring Tigray’s education system back to normal levels. Haben Tigray’s proposal to support education in Tigray will focus on the following major problems:

1. Unavailability of educational materials for students and teachers,

2. Loss of teachers and other civil servants previously working in the education sector, and

3. Damage to infrastructure and connectivity of educational facilities.

Proposed Solution

Haben Tigray will utilize its state-of-the-art Ed-Tech system for access to educational resources collected from around the world and provide it to Tigrayan students, teachers and professionals, making use of cost-effective facilities which do not require internet access or expensive equipment. In addition to the advanced technological features it employs, the system encourages and intrinsically requires strong collaboration among educators and professionals which is critical to enriching Tigray’s education system. This makes our solution technology-centric and collaboration-centric, as can be demonstrated by our initial project. 

The latest version of the Ed-Tech system is far more advanced with more educational material and improved based on the initial experience in Sudan. The implementation proposed here involves extensive collaborations among a multitude of organizations, institutions and individuals at various levels. 

Implementation Approach

Considering the extensive and severe damage to Tigray’s educational infrastructure and human capital, a small number of projects cannot effectively counter the negative impacts of this unprecedented crisis on the population. This requires the creative application of a program that lays the groundwork to facilitate the success of a multitude of projects by various stakeholders.  

The near-total destruction calls for Tigray to rebuild its education system in consideration of the technological and pedagogical advances made in the 21st century, specifically the fast and ever-changing innovation witnessed in the last few years and also the challenges and opportunities of the future. In order to achieve this, massive collaborations among all stakeholders including Tigrayan individuals, organizations and institutions inside and outside Tigray, national and international donors and organizations as well as the Tigrayan student, educator and general population is highly needed. Even with all the efforts by all stakeholders, the extent of the destruction and limitation of resources requires that the massive work for the program is subdivided into achievable and manageable components. 

Haben Tigray’s proposed implementation of its Ed-Tech system has a multi-pronged approach which considers the major features of the system and an effective way to utilize them for maximum impact. This can be achieved by making use of:

1. Technology,

2. Collaboration, and

3. Phasing.

Overview of Haben Tigray's Ed-Tech System


Technology is at the core of the Ed-Tech System, which employs highly innovative state-of-the-art design using open-source platforms and efficient devices to allow for flexibility and scalability. Extensive educational resources compiled by numerous institutions throughout the world for all levels of education have been compiled in a small server which is portable and can be replicated as needed to support Tigray’s education system to fulfill the needs of Tigrayan students and scholars. 

The Ed-Tech system allows for the periodic update of the contents of the server for latest versions and also to add additional resources, including educational materials prepared by Tigrayan scholars and institutions in Tigrinya and other languages. 

The Ed-Tech System is a network of client computers connected to a server using a router and network switch. The system allows for devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones to be wirelessly connected t0  access the educational content from the server. This system functions without any internet connection.

System Components

Server: a computer that provides resources, data, services, or programs to other computers, called  clients, over a network. It contains all the information needed to run client computers including the operating system, applications and educational material. 

The server in the Ed-Tech System is a desktop computer with a larger capacity hard drive and more powerful processor than the client computers. 

The hard drive is a computer component that stores data, such as the operating system, applications, and user files. Haben Tigray’s Ed-Tech server has a 4TB hard drive installed in it.  

Client Computers: any number of computers that connect to a server and use services or resources from it. 

A client device in the Ed-Tech System is usually a smaller size desktop computer connected to the server using ethernet cables directly or via a network switch and/or router. It can also be a laptop, smartphone, or tablet connected wirelessly to access the contents in the server. 

Network Switch: a networking hardware that connects devices on a computer network. A typical Ed-Tech system includes a 24-port switch which connects the server to the router and clients.

Router: a device that forwards data packets between computer networks. The router in the Ed-Tech allows devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones to access the educational content from the server wirelessly. 

Network: There can be variants of the Ed-Tech system with more or fewer clients based on the needs of the facility and availability of resources.

Single-Computer System

This includes a 4TB hard drive containing education resources installed into a single desktop computer in a facility. 

Multi-Client Network System

A Multi-Client Network System connects the server to up to 22 client computers (when a 24-port switch is used) and also to a router for wireless access of contents to laptops, tablets and mobile phones. 

The number of users is as many as the number of client computers and the number of individual devices within close proximity of the router, which can be as high as 200 devices for a single router.


The operating systems used in this system are all open-source. This introduces Tigray to the vast and freely available, crowd-centric resources. The main operating systems used here are all variants of the Debian Linux OS: Debian OS and Ubuntu OS. The most current versions of the OS are currently installed in all components of the system.

This system has two major components; namely, the PXE servers (client operating system on server) and the educational content server (including RACHEL, Kolibri, freeCodeCamp Academy and others). Each of these are implemented in separate virtual machine servers, all existing in one physical server running an industry grade Type-1  hypervisor (virtual machine host).  

Educational Content

The contents in the Ed-Tech system cover a wide range of  subjects from grade-level materials for formal education to trade and vocational courses for skill development to general knowledge, from highly technical education like computer programming to “soft skills” such as communication and leadership.

Hundreds of educational modules covering various areas of study have been subdivided into nine subject categories to help navigate the vast amount of material available for coaches and learners. 

1. Art & Languages

2. Business & Entrepreneurship

3. Science & Technology

4. Digital & Computer Literacy

5. Humanity & Social Science

6. Health & Wellness

7. Vocational & Trade

8. Grade-Level & Homeschool

9. References & Interests 

The system uses a learning platform called Kolibri and a digital library platform called calibre, both  of which are free open-source systems. 


The use of collaboration to effectively harness the human, organizational and institutional capital inside and outside Tigray has a major place in the implementation of the system for maximum impact. The Ed-Tech system inherently requires extensive collaboration of a large number of individual or organized educators and professionals as well as all the stakeholder organizations that would like to take part in restoring Tigray’s education system. 

These collaborative endeavors need to be harnessed at various stages of the system’s implementation, mainly at

1. Educational content creation,

2. System installation at schools and community centers, and 

3. Utilization of the system for education and feedback to improve content and system.

Haben Tigray is currently working in collaboration with other Tigrayan non-profit organizations on active projects. All these projects tie to its overall program to implement the Ed-Tech system throughout Tigray by sharing resources and through continual improvement based on user experiences.

Tunaydbah Computer Literacy and Education Project

HT Students in Sudan .mp4


Haben Tigray entered into a collaboration with Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) and Health Professionals Network for Tigray (HPN4Tigray) on the Tunaydbah Computer Literacy Project. This project is part of the  Wellness Center in Sudan which was built for Tigrayan refugees displaced as a result of the war which started in November 2020. Haben Tigray  committed to design a system of computer network and develop the curriculum for the literacy project at the center in addition to providing complementary expert services and oversight of  the computer program. 


Since the war that broke out in Tigray in November 2020, it has caused many people to be displaced and seek refuge in eastern Sudan. A year has now passed since this war started and an end to this crisis is not yet in sight. 

With as many as 70,000 refugees from all walks of life in various camps in Sudan, many lives have been disrupted and essential growth and development in livelihood is stunted. Education is an area that has been significantly affected with detrimental consequences for the future of the youth as successful members of the community.  Observations indicate that the youth in these refugee centers have been resorting to harmful activities to escape mental stress and boredom, leading to mental health problems. 

“Recent fighting in Tigray has forced nearly 60,000 refugees to flee their homes and seek safety and protection across the border in Sudan. More than 30 percent of them are children, with UNHCR planning a response in order to assist up to 100,000 refugees in eastern Sudan by mid-year.

With more refugees arriving every day, ECW joins the Government of Sudan, UN agencies and civil society in an inter-agency appeal to donors, the private sector and philanthropic foundations to immediately close the estimated US$6.6 million funding gap needed for the education in emergency response in eastern Sudan.” 

Project Objectives and Plan

In order to counter these multifaceted problems Tigrayan refugees are facing, a plan to equip the wellness center with a system to provide education and entertainment was put in place. 

The scope of this project is to establish and furnish an education and entertainment facility with emphasis on computer literacy. A building is available for this purpose. The center requires devices such as computers and gaming devices to be installed with appropriate furnishings. 

Haben Tigray provides the following services as Phase 1 of the Tunaydbah Computer Literacy Project.

Technical Support

This includes the determination of machines and accessories needed to initiate a computer and training room, design of the computer network system and testing, installation of software on the network and physical installation of computer system at the center


As part of the development of a curriculum for the center, introductory computer training training materials will be provided. Phase 2 of the project will be used to develop curriculum for short-term and long-term education needs at the center.

Expert Services

Complementary expert services will be identified as the center starts giving service and feedback is received from the project stakeholders including end users.


Haben Tigray will use its experts to oversee the program remotely from the United States or Europe. A training of trainers will be provided in person at the center by the experts to help run the program smoothly. 

Educational Technology System

The Educational Technology System (Ed Tech System) is network of Clients (Raspberry Pi’s) connected to a Server (desktop computer) through a Network Switch. This system can function with or without internet connection. When it is connected to the internet, the router provides wireless access to the internet for devices nearby. If there is no internet access, the router provides access to the Server’s contents to nearby devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Raspberry PI

A Raspberry Pi is small and power-efficient machine which can use Solar energy to run its functions: These devices minimize initial and running cost while providing powerful development boards which allow users to learn coding and create electronic devices.


The Server in the system is a desktop computer larger and more powerful than the client computers. It contains all the information needed to run client computers including the operating system, applications and educational materials. 


Educational and creative contents mainly from Kolibri are uploaded to the server and will be used as major sources for curricula developed by various experts. Kolibri is an open platform developed to support learning without internet access. The vast content in Haben Tigray's Channel in Kolibri will be packaged into classes customized to various groups of learners, based on age group, educational level and/or experience.