2nd Round of Food Aid Feeds Hundreds

Yesterday we received word that Vulnerable Children Society’s second round of food aid was distributed by our wonderful partner, Faya Orphanage. The impact was even greater than we anticipated.

According to the House 2 House program director Sintayehu Habtemariam, 66 families received bags of tef. These families included a minimum of 275 children.

Additionally, 45 students received school materials to start the year off right, and 30 of those students also received some food.

The pictures that follow show people recieving food aid in one area and children with their school materials another area. The lineups went into the evening, but the distribution was calm and organized.

Sintayehu commented on how surprised and grateful the families were: “Everybody was happy.  Public media also received the documents. We thank you for everything you did for these children.”

Than you so much to our wonderful donors who made this drought relief work possible. We are truly grateful.

We are almost there! Help us feed 50 Ethiopian families

At the beginning of August, Vulnerable Children Society set a goal of raising $1900 to feed 50 additional families in Ethiopia, affected by the devastating Horn of Africa drought and soaring food prices.

Nearing the end of the month, we are almost there! So far, thanks to our generous supporters, we have raised $1410 dollars. Will you help us reach our goal?

The families waiting for food aid were vetted by the Wolata Women’s Office, a division of the Ethiopian government, for Vulnerable Children Society’s House 2 House program. They are very high risk families: all are extremely poor, the majority are affected by HIV/AIDS, and many are extended families that have taken in orphaned children.

Your support means these families have a chance. After recieving a bag of tef flour via our Ethiopian partner Faya Orphanage, guardians have a chance to feed their children. Food is essential not only for nutrition, but for holding off disease. Many of the children are HIV+ and on ARVs (anti-retrovirals), but the drugs only can hold back the tide of AIDS if the child is adequately nourished.

Thank you so much to all the amazingly gracious supporters who have donated so far – your generosity astounds us.

To donate via credit card or Paypal, please click here.

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The Drought in the Horn of Africa is Just Getting Worse

The following are quotes from various news articles describing the severity of the drought in Ethiopia and its neighbouring countries. Note the articles talk as much about soaring food prices as the drought itself as reasons for the famine and hardship.

This is the worst drought in eastern Africa in decades. More than 12 million people in the region are in need of emergency assistance. Some two million children are acutely malnourished; 500,000 children are on the verge of starvation. Time is of the essence. Read more…

Anthony Lake, executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)… highlighted the deteriorating situation in the region, saying it is a
“human disaster becoming a human catastrophe.”

“The situation is terrible now, tens of thousands have already died, more than 300,000 children across the region are severely malnourished and at imminent risk of dying,” he said.  Read more…

The famine in the Horn of Africa is manmade — the result of artificially high prices for food and civil conflict, the World Bank’s lead economist for Kenya Wolfgang Fengler has told Reuters…  The Horn of Africa is facing its worst drought in 60 years destroying crops, killing livestock and causing hunger and famine across parts of Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda.  Read more…

You can help by donating to any of the amazing humanitarian agencies doing work in the Horn of Africa, including through Vulnerable Children for our campaign to feed Ethiopian families.

Ethiopian Families Affected by HIV/AIDS Need Food Aid Now

Imagine only being able to feed your child once a day. Imagine having to choose between the expense of sending your child to school or being able to feed her that one meal per day. Even worse, imagine knowing that your little one’s health is already compromised by HIV and that she needs proper nutrition to help fight the effects of the virus.

In fact, this is daily life for many families in the central Ethiopian communities of Adama, Wonji, Ambo and Guder. While food is still available in these areas, skyrocketing prices due to the drought in Ethiopia have meant that basic food supplies have become  out of reach for low-income, at-risk families.

This week, Vulnerable Children Society is launching a Drought Relief Campaign to provide food aid to 50 hard hit families in these four communities in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.

We are asking Canadian families to help us raise $1,900 in order to provide large bags of tef flour, the main ingredient in Ethiopia’s national food staple, for 50 at-risk Ethiopian families.

These families are already identified and on the waiting list to participate in the House 2 House sponsorship program facilitated by Vulnerable Children Society and its Ethiopian partner, Faya Orphanage. Most of the children in the community-based program are HIV+ or have family members who are sick or HIV+ as well. The House 2 House child and family sponsorships take care of their basic necessities, which can include food, access to healthcare, medicine and school supplies.

Unfortunately, the wait-list of families needing sponsorship is as long as the list of families already sponsored through the House 2 House program. The local government’s Women’s Affairs office identifies each child or family for the House 2 House sponsorship program. To be recommended for sponsorship, Women’s Affairs first vets each family and prioritizes those families which are most at-risk.

These 50 children and families wait-listed for the House 2 House program are in desperate need of assistance. While Vulnerable Children Society continues to look for ongoing sponsorship for these unsponsored families, they need our help urgently now.  They are already in real crisis and the current food price emergency in Ethiopia has made their difficult situations nearly impossible.

Please consider partnering with Vulnerable Children Society and Faya Orphanage to help these families affected by HIV/AIDS.

To donate to the Drought Relief Campaign, please click on the “Drought Relief” icon (top left) at www.vulnerablechildren.ca 

To enquire about sponsoring an at-risk child or family, please contact Vulnerable Children Society at info@vulnerablechildren.ca .

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Vulnerable Children Society Provides Food Aid to Families in House 2 House Sponsorship Program

Families who have recieved drought relief from Vulnerable Children Society in Ethiopia.

As the Horn of Africa continues to be ravaged by drought and famine, Vulnerable Children Society moved quickly this week to feed at-risk families in Ethiopia. All of the families and children enrolled in the House 2 House community support program have received bags of tef flour for drought relief.

Even though the drought has directly affected the southern region, food prices across Ethiopia have skyrocketed. This rapid increase in prices has had a direct impact on the ability of many low income families, already sponsored through Vulnerable Children Society, to purchase basic food supplies. As a result, the society, with its Ethiopian partner Faya Orphanage, has taken immediate steps this week to assist them.

Fifty children and families living in Adama, Wonji, Ambo and Guder are currently being sponsored through Vulnerable Children Society’s House 2 House program. Most of the children in the community-based program are HIV+ or have family members who are sick or HIV+ as well. The House 2 House child and family sponsorships take care of their basic necessities, which can include food, access to healthcare, medicine and school supplies.

Although Vulnerable Children Society’s sponsorships make a huge difference in the quality of these low income families’ lives, the current food price emergency has threatened the well-being of even middle income families in Ethiopia. House 2 House families are far more vulnerable to food price inflation and at much greater risk during this time, even given existing monthly sponsorship.

In the face of rising food costs, Vulnerable Children Society’s first priority was to support these families.

Within days of the society’s decision to move forward with a drought relief campaign, its Ethiopian partner Faya Orphanage delivered food to House 2 House sponsored families in four different Ethiopian communities. Each family received a large bag of tef flour from the community’s weekly local market. Tef flour is the main ingredient in Ethiopia’s national food staple called injera, a sourdough pancake eaten three times a day.

Vulnerable Children Society would like to express our deepest thanks to all donors for their continued generosity. It is your ongoing financial assistance that has allowed us to act immediately in this situation.

The local office of Women’s Affairs vets and identifies families who are sponsored in the House 2 House program. Currently, the House 2 House program has a wait-list of 50 additional at-risk children and families in the community who urgently need individual sponsorship. The well-being of these already vulnerable families has been rocked by this food price emergency. Children and families affected by HIV/AIDS who are waiting for sponsorship through Vulnerable Children Society are currently hungry and need assistance desperately right now.

Please continue to stay tuned to Vulnerable Children Society’s blog and Facebook page this week to learn more about donating to assist these vulnerable families who have been wait-listed for support in Ethiopian communities.

Written by Vulnerable Children board member Chris Ardern

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