Karagutu School is located in Dessie, 250 miles North East of Addis Ababa with a population of 130,000 people. The city is cramped in a small valley between the lowlands and the plateau. Approximately one third of the population is migrant from the neighbouring rural communities.
The school has presently 913 pupils and 13 teaching staff. Due to a lack of classrooms only half of the local children attend school, the classrooms are overcrowded and in need of repair. The Ethiopian Education system operates a policy where the cost of any new buildings must be met by parents. The parents simply cannot afford to pay for these buildings.
Opal Foundation funded the refurbishment of nine classrooms. The classrooms had dirt floors and there was very little light. The desks and beaches were crudely fabricated. These classrooms will not only benefit the children but will also help the community by providing local employment. The project which started in August 2008 is almost finished. The classrooms have now concrete floors and equipped with new desks and chairs. Windows and doors have been replaced and the external walls have been rendered.