Report from Hope for Children – Teenage Sex Trade Workers Retraining Project

We received an official sponsor report from our partner, Hope for Children in Ethiopia, that operates the Teenage Sex Trade Workers Retraining Project in Addis Ababa. It’s a very comprehensive report, but I’ll include a couple of excerpts! It’s so nice to have good reporting form our partners!

“Dear partners,

The social challenges Ethiopians face are complex but at Hope for Children of Ethiopia Relief and Development Association (HCE), we continually strive to increase our understanding of these challenges. We have made significant strides in our understanding and interaction with the culture around us. We have learned more about Streetism — a danger that undermines the potential and development of children — and its major impact on society. HCE’s focus is to understand and provide relief and assistance to our community to fight Streetism, child labor, prostitution, and crime. All of these are inter-related and HCE has realized significant success in our efforts.

HCE relies heavily on the support of our partners and donors to continue our work reaching the destitute and most helpless individuals in our society.

Our partnerships are vital to our continued success. Thank you for your continued support and assistance as we relentlessly pursue our mission to provide education, medical care, school supplies, counseling, and life-skills training to thousands of Ethiopians every year.

Warmly,

Yonas Tesfaye, Managing Director

…..

The Teenage Sex Trade Workers Retraining Project in Addis Ababa…aspires to facilitate a healthy environment for working children to allow them self-reliant by economically, socially, and spiritually. In order to achieve the planned project activities, the project designed a strategy that includes renting houses, providing working materials, and providing operation and living expenses for students for one year while the Boy or Girl attends training. A variety of training is provided to the children in order to increase their confidence throughout the training period.

Most of the children have been subjected to child labor and child abuse. Child Labor is a significant problem in Ethiopia. Children are often abused and neglected by their employers. The children suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and have trust issues.

HCE works to address each child’s individual issues to help him/her overcome obstacle he/she faced with a view to heal the scar in him/her. Most of the children in our Boys and Girls Projects are able to recover from the pain that resulted from the injustice by their previous employers and they, after time, training, and healing. They become productive citizen who can help themselves and others.

The ultimate goal of our program is to equip the children to become self-reliant.

During their stay in the project, each child received life-skills and vocational training. After one year, at program completion, these children know how to manage their time, resources, and individual freedom. They are equipped to begin their own life in their own and become the major decision makers in their lives. These children also learn to make and save money become socially active with their respective community.”

More in future blog posts!

Progress on the Love and Hope Centre in Kality

One month ago, we announced that the Vulnerable Children Society had partnered with Canadian Humanitarian to fund an educational center in Kality, through our sponsorship program.

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Since our announcement, the team in Ethiopia has been busy getting the Vulnerable Children Society’s Love and Hope Center up and running. We recently received an update from Canadian Humanitarian, regarding the progress in Ethiopia that has been made over the last few weeks.

Canadian Humanitarian has leased a 490 square meter building that has one large room, several smaller activity rooms, and two offices. Vulnerable Children Society is covering the cost of renovating and furnishing the compound.  The renovations are almost done: the team is now working on the plumbing in the shower and toilet house.

The Canadian Humanitarian representative in Ethiopia has received a picture of the Love and Hope Center sign that was made by the Vulnerable Children Society – he loves it! According to him, the words in Amharic are powerful. He has printed the picture of the sign and hung it in the center for all to see while they wait for the actual sign to be brought to Ethiopia by the Canadian staff soon.

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Most importantly, all of the children in the program have been registered for school, and started attending classes last week. Prior to this, the school supplies that were generously donated by our supporters in Canada and transported to Ethiopia by our volunteers were distributed to the children and their guardians by the Love and Hope Center staff.

We look forward to posting pictures of the Vulnerable Children Society’s Love and Hope Center in the near future!

BACKGROUND

Previously, Canadian Humanitarian had made a long-term commitment to put seventy kids through school, all the way to the post secondary level, through its sponsorship program. Each Canadian Humanitarian sponsor is assigned to one child, and their sponsorship fees cover uniforms and school registration fees.

Recognizing the tremendous benefits of taking a holistic approach to child development, Canadian Humanitarian wanted to enhance the support provided to the kids in the program, by welcoming them to an educational center every day where they would receive hot meals, tutoring and medical services. Following months of carful negotiations, the Vulnerable Children Society committed to funding this important facility, which we named the Love and Hope Center (Fikir Tesfa in Amharic.)

Get involved… become a Love and Hope sponsor!

ABOUT KALITY

Located on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Kality is a community of displaced people, many who live in slum-like conditions. The unemployment rate is exceptionally high and poverty is wide-spread – its residents are among the most vulnerable in the region. We’re confident that by joining forces with Canadian Humanitarian, we’ll have a significant, long-term impact on the lives of seventy deserving kids and their families, through this enhanced sponsorship program.

New Project! Re-training for Teenage Sex Trade Workers

Vulnerable Children Society is thrilled to announce our newest project, which will help some of the most vulnerable girls in Ethiopia: The Teenage Sex Trade Worker Re-Training Program in Addis Ababa.

Vulnerable Children Society is financing a holistic program run by Hope for Children in Ethiopia, an indigenous Ethiopian NGO, to support and reemploy teenage girls. These girls were victimized by the sex trade, and worked in deplorable conditions, often in an indentured situation. The teenage girls, on average fifteen years old, have experienced a life no child should.

This practical, caring program enables extremely vulnerable teenage girls to stand on their own feet, and be self-sufficient outside of the sex trade.

Starting November 1st, Vulnerable Children Society is supporting ten young women for a year-long program. In Hope for Children’s care, they are receiving rent and food, counseling, and vocational training. The training program is for ten girls that stay together as a cohort, so the girls can bond and learn to trust each other. They learn three trades: sewing, cooking and hair styling. These are highly employable, entry level jobs in Ethiopia. Their training also includes life skills development, health and sanitation, and adult basic literacy. Some of the girls are also recipients of small business loans and training, so that they can be self-employed.

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One of the best parts about the program is that Hope for Children tries to reconnect the girls with their families, where possible and beneficial. Between family reunification and reemployment in a different industry, this program has a fantastic 95% success rate.

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Vulnerable Children Society directors Tawnya and Arnica visited with girls and boys in Hope for Children in Ethiopia’s programs in May 2013. (You can read more on the visit here.) the girls featured in the photo are actually from a very similar program for formerly indentured wood carriers. This project is a trial to see how a relationship with Hope for Children works, and was financed through existing project funds.

If you would like to support projects like this, and enable another cohort of girls to go though the program, please consider making a one-time donation to Vulnerable Children Society’s project fund.