VCS directors start work in Ethiopia

Greetings from Vulnerable Children Society in Ethiopia! our first official day of work, we headed out to Guder, which is 2-3 hours west of Addis Ababa. We will have a report on our meeting in Guder tomorrow, but for today, please enjoy some pictures.

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Getting ready early in the morning to head out to Guder. Extra coffees for the jet-lagged volunteers!

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After our successful meeting with the woreda government officials. From left to right: Bisrat from Canadian Humanitarian, Nicole, Birhanu the woreda Women and Children’s desk assistant, Arnica, Birhan our VCS consultant, Asegash the Women and Children’s desk manager, and Tawnya. Rita was taking the picture.

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Nicole and Tawnya looking very official.

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The non official monkeys battering the roof of the woreda office. I recognized Columbus monkeys, but am not sure of the other type. Any ideas?

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Help us name our new education center!

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We are having signs made up 2 days from now, for our new education center in Guder, to take with us to Ethiopia. So now is your chance… In the next 24 hours, let’s name our new center something uplifting! Canadian Humanitarian’s other centers are called Kids Hope. We want something equally as positive and uplifting, but distinct from the other centers. Something short and sweet. What are your ideas?

The best idea will get a special prize from Ethiopia. Plus, naming credit! Which is about as cool of a prize as you can get.

So lay it on us… What should we call our new center in Guder?
Please post your suggestions as comments on our Facebook page post.

This fantastic educational centre will provide hot meals for the children each day, school registration fees and uniforms, a safe place for the kids to go after school and a support network for the guardians of the children. As we expand our sponsor base, we also will be offering programming such as a community health worker, HIV educational workshops for guardians and children, a community garden, and after school tutoring. This centre is modeled after other very successful programs we have visited in Ethiopia, and we know that it will effect deep transformational change in these children’s lives.

Announcing our new partner: Canadian Humanitarian!

Press Release
April 15, 2013: For Immediate Release

NGOs Team Up to Assist Ethiopian Children

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Kelowna, BC: Canadian Humanitarian Organization for International Relief and Vulnerable Children Society have once again joined forces to improve the lives of impoverished children in Ethiopia.

Canadian Humanitarian will be operating a new educational centre in the small town of Guder for Vulnerable Children, who is providing the funding and managing sponsor communications. In addition, Canadian Humanitarian will be taking over the management of Vulnerable Children’s House 2 House direct sponsorship program in Adama, Wonji, Mojo and Ambo  that enables orphaned and vulnerable children to stay in their communities instead of entering institutional care.

Bryce Meldrum, Canadian Humanitarian Executive Director, was enthusiastic about the partnership. “We have several educational centres in the Oromia region of Ethiopia that holistically address the needs of vulnerable children. This new centre in Guder combines our years of experience in supporting families and educating children, with Vulnerable Children’s energy and expertise in HIV support.”

The two organizations share similar values and agree that education is the tool to uplift children out of extreme poverty and enable them to realize their potential.

The children in the House 2 House program are chosen by local government based on an extreme level of need. Over 90% of the children are living with HIV, and the others have severe physical challenges. All of the children live in extreme poverty; many have lost one or both parents. Vulnerable Children pays the school fees and uniform costs for all House 2 House children, and provides their families with food and medical support.

“Our sponsors have been supporting our House 2 House kids for almost three years and the program has made an enormous difference in their lives,” commented Arnica Rowan, president of Vulnerable Children Society. “We are so pleased that Canadian Humanitarian has agreed to operate our programs and deepen the level of support for our kids in Guder with an educational centre. It is our hope to eventually offer these extended social, medical and educational services to all our sponsored children in each of the other communities.”

Previously, Vulnerable Children Society donated $10,000 to furnish one of Canadian Humanitarian’s centres in the rural Ethiopian community of Gindo.

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To learn more please contact:

Arnica Rowan, President, Vulnerable Children Society. Kelowna, BC. (250) 762-9227  info@vulnerablechildren.ca  www.vulnerablechildren.ca

Bryce Meldrum, Executive Director, Canadian Humanitarian. Medicine Hat, Alberta. (403) 527-2741 bryce@canadianhumanitarian.com  www.canadianhumanitarian.com

Donations to the Guder Educational Centre may be made on either organization’s website. Please mark your donation “Guder.”

To sponsor a House 2 House child, please set up your monthly donation on Vulnerable Children Society’s website.

 

 

Canadian Humanitarian
Canadian Humanitarian Organization for International Relief
www.canadianhumanitarian.com

Canadian Humanitarian Organization for International Relief (Canadian Humanitarian) is a non-religious, non-political, registered Canadian Charity (#87302 9102 RR0001). We are dedicated to assisting disadvantaged children, their families and communities break free from the cycle of poverty.

Our Vision: To see every child reach their full potential through innovative, sustainable community development models that empower local initiatives.

Our Mission: To break the cycle of poverty by providing orphaned and vulnerable children and their families with access to health care, education, vocational training, and the basic necessities of life such as nutrition and shelter.

Our Philosophy: Canadian Humanitarian believes in local solutions to local struggles. This leads us to partner with local individuals and local organizations overseas to create opportunity for individuals, families and communities. Adopting a community based development approach; we provide tools to community members enabling them to get themselves out of poverty.

Vulnerable Children Society
Vulnerable Children Society
www.vulnerablechildren.ca

Vulnerable Children Society is a registered Canadian Charity (#810826917RR0001 ). We help some of the most vulnerable children and families in Ethiopia, in collaboration with Canadian Humanitarian and other wonderful Ethiopian partner organizations. With the help of our dedicated donors, we run a House 2 House child sponsorship program, which provides compassionate supportive care to children and families affected by extreme poverty and AIDS/HIV in their neighborhoods; and support very vulnerable children and families with impactful, targeted projects such as orphanage support, drought relief, and furnishing a library and educational centre.

Child by child, family by family, we hope to make the world a safe and joyful place for some of the world’s most vulnerable children. Our values are sustainability, compassion, transparency and impact.

Vulnerable Children Society was started by 6 women, all joined by a common love and sense of responsibility for children in Africa. Some of the women have children adopted from Ethiopia and Swaziland. Two women are of Moroccan and Ethiopian heritage themselves. Currently, we have approximately 100 members and 6 directors from all across Canada.

Ideas for Sponsored Child Gifts

Vulnerable Children SocietyIf you sponsor a child through Vulnerable Children’s House 2 House program, you may want to send a little gift with us on our annual trip! If we deliver the package in person, we will take pictures and send them to you next update. If we don’t see your sponsored child in person, we will leave the gift with the local government office.

Remember, your gifts need to fit into a large freezer ziplock bag, and need to be sent to the address below before April 15th!

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I’ve had quite a few emails asking about appropriate packages, so here are some ideas for your child and their guardians. Feel free to leave other suggestions in the comments!!

  • For all kids:
    • A photo of your family. You are also welcome to include a short note in English.
    • Bars of soap, toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • For preschoolers:
    • Baby rattles or age appropriate simple learning toys, like little cars or threading beads.
  • For young school aged kids:
    • pencil crayons or felts and colouring books
    • hair barrettes, elastics or bobbles for girls
    • little pony or little doll with brushable hair and a brush for girls
    • little cars or plastic animal figurines for boys
    • little stuffed animals for girls or boys
  • For older school aged kids:
    • pencil crayons or felts and notebooks
    • hair barrettes, elastics or bobbles; lip gloss for girls
    • little cars for boys. Soccer or other jerseys (second hand are fine!) are a hit
    • a nice T-shirt
    • a deflated soccer pump and manual small pump
    • a wind-up or shaker flashlight (no batteries)
  • For mom, grandmother, auntie and older sister guardians:
    • little sample bottles of perfume to go to church or the mosque
    • chapstick or lip gloss
    • a super compact umbrella
    • wind-up or shaker flashlight (no batteries)
  • For dad, uncle, older brother and grandfather guardians:
    • playing cards with Canadian motif
    • wind-up or shaker flashlight (no batteries)
  • PLEASE NO:
    • Liquids
    • Gum or candy
    • Guns or any other violent toys
    • Anything that requires batteries

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Gorgeous kids sport their school uniforms – sponsor updates soon!

Looks at those beaming smiles! So proud of their uniforms!
Looks at those beaming smiles! So proud of their uniforms!

Hello dearest supporters and sponsors;

This is just a note to thank you again for your support, especially around the beginning of the school year. This year we were able to provide all the children in our House 2 House program with uniforms to attend the local government schoools, as well as pay their registration fees.

A gift of uniforms in Ambo
A gift of uniforms in Ambo
Ambo kids in their new school uniforms.
Ambo kids in their new school uniforms.
The local media covered the story in Guder...
The local media covered the story in Guder…
Some of our House 2 House kids in Guder.
Some of our House 2 House kids in Guder.

Currently, we are working on preparing updates for all House 2 House sponsors. We haven’t received information or photos on all the kids from Faya, but the pictures we did receive show off the bright and shining faces of our VCS kids. If we have new news on your sponsored child or not, either way, you can expect a email in February. The updates we did get this time have more information for most of the kids – it’s great learning more about them and following the kids’ development.

Hello from some of the families in Wonji!
Hello from some of the families in Wonji!
The rainbow of colours - each colour is a different school.
The rainbow of colours – each colour is a different school.

Thanks again to our volunteer Rita who spends days preparing updates on all of the kids to over 100 sponsors. It’s a work of love.

Darling kids - read to learn!
Darling kids – read to learn!

Festive Fundraising

In December, the call center staff at Veseys in York, Prince Edward Island embarked on a two-week-long fundraising initiative in support of the Vulnerable Children Society, in lieu of their annual Secret Santa Gift Exchange.

Veseys Call Center Staff

While the initiative was spearheaded by the call-centre staff, the entire Veseys team joined in the fun.

Everyone scrambled to be first in line to buy beautifully packaged homemade fruitcakes, cookies, squares, cupcakes and truffles at the bake sale table.

Bake Sale

Staff members bought raffle tickets for a chance to win one of three gorgeous gift baskets, filled with bath and beauty products, decadent treats and keepsake ornaments.

Gift Basket

A bucket-full of coins was collected through a penny drive (a dedicated staff member even rolled all those pennies and brought them to the bank on our behalf!).

Penny Bucket

By the time the campaign wrapped up on a snowy Friday afternoon, the call center staff had raised $522.60 for the Vulnerable Children Society! 

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Check presentation to VCS Director Nicole Bellefleur

Throughout its 73 year history, Veseys has been committed to supporting communities locally and abroad. The company contributes to events in support of Island individuals and organizations, and it offers a fundraising program that enables non-profit organizations across North America to raise money by selling of flower bulbs and seeds.

Veseys is also proud to support Farmers Helping Farmers, a nationally recognized, award-winning organization that assists Kenyan farmers in becoming more self-reliant in agricultural food production. In addition to providing monetary and seed donations, Veseys sends experts to Kenya as part of the crop advisory team.

Veseys is located in York, Prince Edward Island. It is one of North America’s largest mail order seed, bulb and garden equipment companies; it also features forty acres of trial gardens, a retail garden shop, and the Island’s largest selection of outdoor lawn and garden power equipment. For more information about Veseys, please visit www.veseys.com