This paper explores the impact that a Canadian NGO’s supported educational programs in Ethiopia have had on orphaned and vulnerable young people, socially, emotionally, and academically, as experienced, storied and understood by the children and adolescents themselves. Using Bronfenbrenner’s (2005) bio-ecological theory of human development as a theoretical framework and qualitative inquiry, specifically semi-structured interviews with 37 children and youths between 9 and 17 years old, as a methodological framework, this study explores factors that promote empowerment, resilience, and hope though students’ experiences and perceptions in these NGO’s educational programs. Discussion includes reflection gender, social justice, and implications for practice for Canadian educators who work with vulnerable youths, such as war-affected students.

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The role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in alleviating poverty in Africa has been largely documented in popular media and in community-based reports (mainly done by NGOs themselves), but has not been the object of much attention in scholarly research.

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Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.