Hermann Gmeiner Schools

SOS Kindergartens and SOS Hermann Gmeiner Schools were initially established as affiliated facilities to SOS Children’s Villages in Ethiopia to provide formal education to children drawn from SOS Family Care and the surrounding community. Except for a few scholarship holders, the majority of the students were paying tuition fees which were not more than 50 percent of the cost of education services. Later on (end of 2016), with the change in the legal and funding stream, these educational establishments were transformed into business entities. In converting the facilities from not-for-profit into a subsidiary profit-making enterprise, SOS Children’s Villages in Ethiopia is leveraging external resources as an alternative funding model.

SOS Kindergartens and SOS Hermann Gmeiner Schools are established as Income Generating Activity (IGA) following the Proclamation for the Registration and Regulation of Charities and Societies (Proclamation No. 621/2009) and as commercial enterprises under Ethiopian Trade Law. The ‘enterprise’ is legally registered and issued Commercial Registration and Business License by Commercial Registration and Business License Proclamation No. 686/2010 with FDRE Ministry of Trade and ANRS Trade, Industry and Market Development Bureau. The enterprise is currently known by its Trade Name “SOS Hermann Gmeiner Schools” and is identified by its Business License No. AM/BD/14/673/6327440/2009.

The “enterprise” in this form has a dual objective of making a profit while achieving a social purpose. The business generates funds (profit) to implement programs, expand the scope of operations, enhance employee capacity and build infrastructure. In addition, the enterprise was intended to serve as the centre of excellence in the provision of quality educational service to citizens and thereby impact the quality of education by other service providers in regions where the enterprise has a presence.

Currently, SOS Hermann Gmeiner Schools operate as a business in 5 City Administrations of 5 Regional States - Mekelle, Harar, Hawassa, Bahir Dar and Jimma – Mekelle being the oldest one and Jimma the youngest one.

Since the conversion of the schools into a profit-making enterprise, major changes have taken place in terms of student accommodation capacity and number of co-workers. The total number of students in the 5 schools was not more than 4000 at the beginning of 2017. Now this number is doubled as a result of the measure taken to expand the schools. This called for a revision of organizational structure and business processes.