Vancouver-based non-profit imagine1day, founded by Chip and Shannon Wilson, is honored by Ethiopian President as one of the most innovative charities in Ethiopia and its project promoted to 3500 charities as a best-practice approach.

26 November 2015 // Vancouver, B.C. //    Vancouver-based charity imagine1day has been honored by Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome as one of the most innovative non-profits operating in the country, in recognition of the impact of its work to improve literacy in rural communities.

Founded by Chip and Shannon Wilson, imagine1day is working to ensure every Ethiopian child has access to quality education free of foreign aid by 2030. It was one of just 10 charities, and the only education-focused charity, honored today at the Consortium of Christian Relief & Development Associations’ Good Practice Competition. Around 3500 non-profits operate in Ethiopia.

The ceremony, presided over by President Teshome, recognized imagine1day’s pioneering Reading Corner project. Modeled on similar practices in Canadian primary schools, the project introduced mini-libraries into schools that imagine1day built or supported. The dedicated areas encouraged a culture of reading that did not previously exist in these communities.

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. Over three years, more than 28,000 children directly benefited from the project.

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.

CEO Scott Elliott says the award recognizes imagine1day’s unique approach: “imagine1day is not your usual charity, because our goal – to ensure every Ethiopian child has access to quality education free of foreign aid by 2030 – means we want to put ourselves out of a job.

“To reach our goal we have to be innovative, work closely with communities and deliver action that is sustainable. Our Reading Corner project is just one of many actions we are taking to promote a culture that embraces education and deliver a sustainable future of education for all Ethiopians.”

imagine1day also received an award on Sunday from Muktar Kedir, President of Ethiopia’s Oromia Region, for its excellence in achieving high enrollment, community engagement and high-performing academics.

About imagine1day

imagine1day is an international development organization enabling primary education in Ethiopia and is distinctive in its approach, which holds leadership development as a key element of program implementation. The organization’s program activities include school construction, in depth teacher training, and capacity building with its direct partners in the rural communities in Ethiopia, ensuring self-sustainability every step of the way.