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Girargie Village

Home to more than 5,500 residents, Girargie is just a short drive from the historic city of Gondar. A rugged but bright farming community scattered across the rolling hills of the Ethiopian Highlands, the people of Girargie spend their days herding animals and tending rocky fields.

Amhara Region
located in the northwestern part of Ethiopia

Village Culture

Like many rural villages in Ethiopia, Girargie is a farming community. The people here work hard to maintain their crops as well as their cattle, herding them through fields. Many villagers grow foods like cabbage, peppers and onions.

Like their neighbors in Burbax, the people of Girargie also celebrate the annual festival of the cross, Meskal, with flowers and dancing. Life in Girargie is challenging, but that doesn’t keep the people of this beautiful village from living it with unbridled joy. 

Why We Chose Girargie

When we first arrived in Girargie, women and girls were spending hours each day gathering bacteria-ridden water that caused waterborne illness. The community clearly needed clean, safe drinking water.

In addition, students who attended school did so in old and crumbling mud classrooms that were dark and uncomfortable. New schools would improve both instruction and attendance. 

Finally, without any place to receive medical care, people often got sick or died from preventable and treatable illnesses. The village needed a fully equipped health center. See our progress in Girargie.

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Village Location

Not far from the smaller neighboring village of Burbax, Girargie is surrounded by the green, grassy fields characteristic of the Amhara region. To the northeast are the famous Simien Mountains and closer to the south is Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia and the source of the Blue Nile.

A few miles away is the city of Gondar, which holds the ancient royal compound of Fasil Ghebbi, once home to the Ethiopian Empire. Surrounded by history and beauty, Girargie is a village full of promise.

The People: Meet Getanesh

This is Getanesh. One night, when she was just 21, her young son fell ill with vomiting and diarrhea caused by dirty water. With no medical facility nearby, she carried him four hours to the nearest clinic. The next day, her two-year-old son died. Getanesh lifted his body and carried him home to be buried.

Stories like this were once tragically common in Girargie. But now, thanks to the new health center and protected water supply, children like Getanesh’s have a much greater chance of survival.

October 25, 2013

New Library Will Bring More Opportunities

Meet Abaynesh Worku, an 8th grade student at the Girargie School who loves to dance. She took the Glimmer team on a tour of the school grounds, including the water point where students are able to get clean water, and the... Continue Reading

September 29, 2013

Microfinance Borrower Capitalizes in Dry Season

A huge concern for many Ethiopians – most of whom live off of the land – is figuring out how to earn an income when the rains stop during the dry season. One of Glimmer's microfinance recipients, Alemitu Abebe, has used her... Continue Reading

September 25, 2013

Pregnant Women Reap Benefits at Health Center

On a recent trip to Giragie, Glimmer staff visited with women at the health center who were receiving maternal care. We were thrilled to learn that pregnant women and mothers now come regularly to the health center for prenatal... Continue Reading

September 20, 2010

Girargie: A Community Transformed

In November 2009, Glimmer hosted its first Let There Be Hope event and in one night enough money was raised to fund all of the proposed projects in Girargie. In just over a year, Glimmer was able to turn those donations into... Continue Reading

Thank you, Girargie Supporters

The residents of Girargie Village now have access to clean water and health care, and students have the opportunity to get an education that can help break the cycle of poverty. In addition, many residents have used microfinance loans to start or expand a business that provides for their families. Thank you to Glimmer donors for supporting this work!

Inspired to help in a similar village?

    Visit Villages of Gondar

Completed Campaigns For Girargie Village

Our gratitude goes out to our past supporters!

In Honor of LaVerne Fast
The Fast Family