The sight of children going to school for the first time is a wonderful reward for us at imagine1day.

But we’re not ones to turn down official recognition either, and we’re pleased to say that this week imagine1day has received two awards honoring us as one of the most innovative and impactful organisations operating in Ethiopia.

Given 3500 charities work in the country, we are, it’s fair say, absolutely delighted.

Ethiopian Federal President Mulatu Teshome learns more about imagine1day

Ethiopian Federal President Mulatu Teshome learns more about imagine1day.

The main honor came today at the Consortium of Christian Relief & Development Associations’ Good Practice Competition, in a ceremony personally presided over by Ethiopian Federal President Mulatu Teshome.

The annual Competition aimed to find examples of the best-practice approaches by non-profits to improving life in Ethiopia. We were one of just 10 charities recognized, and the only education-focused charity to receive an award.

The award was for our pioneering Reading Corner project. Modeled on similar practices in Canadian primary schools, the project introduced mini-libraries into schools that imagine1day had built or supported. The dedicated areas encouraged a culture of reading that did not previously exist in these communities.

This project benefited more than 28,000 children directly over three years, and research conducted by the Ethiopian Government showed that in the year after the Reading Corner concept was introduced, the district it was implemented in saw a 51 percent drop in the number of illiterate primary school children.

As part of the award, imagine1day’s project is being promoted to all charities in Ethiopia as a best-practice approach for improving literacy. Three charities have already begun incorporating Reading Corners into their programs.

This was the second award this week.  On Sunday, we were one of six non-profits to be honored for our contribution to assuring quality education in the Oromia Region. Muktar Kedir, the Oromia Region President – similar to Canadian Premiers or U.S. Governors – presented the award to i1d for our excellence in achieving high enrollment, community engagement and high performing academics among our students.

Receiving these two awards if a reflection our unique approach. We work closely with communities and deliver action that is sustainable. These awards recognize the many actions – such as our Reading Corner project – we are taking to promote a culture that embraces education and deliver a sustainable future of education for all Ethiopians.