Weeklong visit part of 2017 Africa Experience Sharing Program organized by Turkish aid agency TIKA
Ten university students from Turkey arrived in Ethiopia on Monday for a weeklong voluntary work as part of a visit to several African countries under an exchange program.
Hours after arrival, the group started giving face-lift to the Daleti Elementary School at a village 35 km southwest of the capital, Addis Ababa.
Deputy Director Mitiku Bekele told Anadolu Agency – as the students went about painting classroom walls – that the voluntary service being rendered by the Turkish students would prepare his school for a better teaching and learning experience when the school reopened in September.
"They promised to donate 42 desks, and replace and repair broken windows and paint the classrooms," he said standing in front of two ground-level building blocks inside a spacious compound overgrown with nettles.
Tarik Kaya, an undergraduate student of achitecture at Karadeniz Technical University, said it was important to experience "the real Africa".
"…I didn't want to miss out on this program. The world community has a perspective on Africa but if you want to see the real Africa, you should experience that. I suggest everyone to come and know Africa," he said.
The students are going to visit an orphanage in Addis Ababa on Tuesday. Later in the week, they are expected to visit the northern Tigray state and see the restoration of one of the world's oldest mosques, the Nejashi.
The 2017 Africa Experience Sharing Program provides an opportunity to 200 students to visit several African countries, including Tunisia, Libya, Somalia, Kenya, Algeria, Chad, Sudan, Ghana and Niger from Aug. 5 to 30.
The program is organized by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) in cooperation with Turkish Airlines, Anadolu Agency and state broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television (TRT).