Abdul Dire, Halima Wako & Ram Krishnan | Building Schools in Rural Ethiopia

(712) – Building Schools in Rural Ethiopia

Host | Kaleel Ahmed 



Abdul Dire is Tech Service Engineer at 3M. He was born and grew up in Meda-Welabu, Bale Province of Oromia Region in Ethiopia till his teen years. Abdul moved to Minnesota in 2000. Currently he and his family live in Woodbury, Minnesota. He received Bachelor of Science in Materials Science & Engineering from University of MN Twin-Cities. As former Board Chairman of American Oromo Community of Minnesota, Abdul helped many High School youth by connecting them with resources such as tutoring, summer employment, and life skills training by partnering with other local organizations. He was an individual volunteer at Habitat for Humanity Twin-Cities as a builder and diversity trainer. Abdul has recently focused on developing sustainable villages back in his home country. He leads team of diverse volunteers including many young college students and experienced professionals who come from different background. In February 2012, Abdul, Halima Wako (his wife), and Ram Krishnan (Rain Water Harvesting Expert) travelled to Southern Ethiopia to build school for small rural village. This project could serve as a model for a successful village development primarily due to community involvement/ownership of the project. Abdul will continue this development work in area of school, water, solar electricity to improve lives of many in the region.

Halima Wako is African Outreach Coordinator for Think Small, formerly known as Resources for Child Caring. She has B.S in Family Social Science from University of Minnesota. Halima has several roles at Think Small – African Outreach Coordinator, Language Line Staff and Quality coach for Parent Aware program. She speaks four languages Oromo (native), Amharic, Somali, English and working on Arabic. Being multi-lingual staff at Think Small she is working with underserved population from East African. She educates East Africa child care providers about the importance of early education. She establishes and maintains effective organizational relationships with other child care efforts to build child care capacity within the African community. In Feb 2012, Halima traveled to her native country with her husband, Abdul Dire and another volunteer, Ram Krishnan in an effort to build school for small rural village in Southern Ethiopia. Halima plans to attend University of Minnesota this Fall to obtain Master of Social Work.

Ram Krishnan, a resident of St.Paul Minnesota, Engineer by training, has been working in the villages of India for the last 8 years. He has worked in many projects to collect Rain water and store it in large ponds – to provide drinking water for the villagers.
He has understood – how to make these projects successful. He accompanied Abdul and Halima to the villages of “Bidire” and “Koba Adi” in Ethiopia few months ago. More Ram Krishnan’s Bio


Project Support


We need to raise at least $25,000 for this project. It will be used to acquire the initial components, components assembly, and training support to start solar lantern project in Bidire village. Initially, one charging station (30-50 lanterns) will be set up to prove out the idea then it will be replicated within and across the villages.

We welcome donations in any amount, with checks made to “Akash Ganga RWH”, a 501-c-3 non-profit unit for the last 8 years. Tax ID number: 41-2013214. All your donations are 100% tax deductible in the US and we will issue proper receipts. The results gained in terms of humanity will multiply by many times the monetary value of your contributions.

Our thanks to Lift Kids, in St.Paul MN, CARE International Atlanta for discussions on Millenium Development Goals, IIT Madras alumni for support with Water projects in India. Special thanks to Art Liebeskind for help with making the article more spiffy. 


In the News
Woodbury resident reaches out to quench thirst in homeland
Working with an Ethiopian Village BY RAM KRISHNAN

Contact Info:
Ram Krishnan: ram.krishnan@yahoo.com
Abdul Dire: akdire@gmail.com

Abdul Dire, Halima Wako & Ram Krishnan
Building Sustainable Schools in Rural Ethiopia