Sweet Preschooler Needs a Sponsor

CM063

It only costs $35 a month to make a world of difference to one child.

This sweet little 6 year old child is from the community of Ambo, in Ethiopia. She is waiting for a House 2 House sponsor so that her family can care for her and provide the proper nutrition thats he needs to thrive.

All of the children in the House 2 House program are HIV+, physically or mentally disabled, or otherwise extremely vulnerable. Many of the children live with extended family or neighbours; often their guardians are sick or unable to work as well. They are all affected by extreme poverty.

To sponsor this derserving child:

  1. Click on the “donate now” button and set up a repeating donation for $35 a month. Choose the “House 2 House Community Sponsorship” as the fund.
  2. Send us an email at info@vulnerablechildren.ca to indicate which child you would like to sponsor. Please include their file number CM063 in your email. That’s it!

Note that as a sponsor, you are automatically a member of our society, and are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting online, which usually happens in December.

Your tax receipts are always available on www.CanadaHelps.org.

High School Students Sew Comfort Dolls for Vulnerable Children

A big warm shout-out to our friends in Invermere sewing these awesome dolls!!! When their teacher asked me if we had any use for dolls like these, I jumped at the chance. The students are making them durable, lovable and original! We will deliver them to Faya Orphanage and distribute any remaining dolls to impoverished families with small children. Thanks so much, guys!!!

Sewing machines in the textiles classroom at David Thompson Secondary School are humming, and needles with thread pass through colourful fabric with a flourish.

The Grade 8 and 9 students aren’t sewing pyjama pants or things for themselves, as often happens in textiles class: this year, the young seamsters and seamstresses are stitching together plush comfort dolls to send to Ethiopian orphans.

David Thompson Secondary School has a special connection to the particular orphanage where the dolls will be sent. Arnica Rowan, the sister of English and Drama teacher Silena Ewen runs a not-forprofit organization in Ethiopia called the Vulnerable Children Society.

When textiles teacher Marguerite DiFilippo heard about the organization, she thought her sewing class would be the perfect place to create a donation of dolls.

When all the thread is tied off, the high school students will ship enough dolls across the Atlantic Ocean for about 30 children.

“It’s a fun project because the dolls are all going to be one-of-a-kind. No one else is going to have them,” says Grade 9 student Natalie Gibbs as she irons a piece of clothing for her doll.

Sitting nearby, fellow Grade 9 student Courtney Falkmann adds, “It’s nice to know that someone who really needs it is going to get it.”

Excerpt from the Columbia Valley Pioneer page 32! Just click on the picture below to make it big enough to read.

We are on our way!

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Rita and I just had a restful night in Seattle and we are on our way this morning to Ethiopia. In case you are wondering about the picture above, that is the only way I can sleep in the same room with my mother! And I thought you would find it amusing. Tawnya left a day before us, routed through China. We are both reminiscing about our last trip to Ethiopia together and how different this one is. We have four huge checked bags full of donations – thank you to everybody who donated medicine, toys, toothbrushes and shoes! And Tawnya had a huge bag as well, including the laptop we scored for Faya Orphanage from BC Tree Fruits.

I think all of us have different goals for this trip. Tawnya said she’s looking forward to meeting all the people she’s been working with over email for the last 2 years. Rita is looking forward to meeting the kids and their guardians in the House 2 House program. As our update lady, she knows all their faces, but she is looking forward to seeing their smiles in person. She is also very interested to meet the guardians of the kids… She says that they are the real heros in our program, taking care of vulnerable children who are often extended family. Rita says they deserve our respect and she’s excited about meeting them, especially the grandmother who takes care of the little boy she sponsors. Of course we both have personal goals for the trip, but that’s another story.

As for me, I think I’m really happy about meeting with our Ethiopian partners and figuring out so many details that are hard to explain while on the phone. I’m looking forward to meeting the government officials and the folks at the HIV clinic who refer our families, checking in with the families and seeing what their needs are, and really understanding the whole system. We’re also doing exploratory work on this trip- we’ve been thinking of starting other programs like micro finance and small plot gardening, and I’m very interested in hearing from the families what they think would be most beneficial to break them out of the poverty cycle and enable them to care for their families self sufficiently. The other goal for the trip is to work out kinks with our updates and to figure out some more Vulnerable Children oversight and engagement measures as our projects and activities continue to grow. We’re considering hiring a (very) part time administrator in Ethiopia, and have candidate interviews planned for next week.

Well, we’re now off to the airport. We should be arriving in Addis Ababa tomorrow.

Thanks for following along! Arnica

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3 days until our oversight trip to Ethiopia!

Vulnerable Children Society’s treasurer/money lady Tawnya Pattie, update volunteer/keeper of the files Rita Churchill and big dreamer/president Arnica Rowan (that’s me!) are off in 3 days for a whirlwind trip to see our charity’s projects in Ethiopia.

We hope you’ll stay tuned and come along for the ride. We will be blogging along the way, and posting at least text and hopefully pictures from our travels.

We have a packed schedule! In just 9 days, we are:

  • visiting the families in our fabulous House 2 House community support program, which is now operating in Ambo, Guder, Teko, Adama/Nazret, Wonji and Mojo;
  • meeting with government officials and/or the HIV clinic in each location that refers the House 2 House families to us;
  • visiting Faya Orphanage and doing some strategic planning with our partner organization;
  • delivering packages to many sponsored children and donations to the orphanage;
  • visiting the Canadian Humanitarian educational support centre in Gindo that we are filling with books, furniture and supplies;
  • taking pictures of all our projects and sponsored children;
  • investigating ways to ensure the timely arrival of complete updates for each child;
  • connecting with other fantastic NGOs in Ethiopia (Hope for Children, Partners in the Horn of Africa and Canadian Humanitarian) to discuss synergies and strategies;
  • shopping for good to sell at a fundraiser this spring;
  • visiting our families and friends, as well as our own sponsored children!

If you would like to subscribe to our travel blog posts (there are usually one or two a week, but more while we are traveling,) simply enter your email on the left. You can always unsubscribe when our trip is over.

Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!Please follow the links, if you would like to

Spare laptop, anyone??

Feeling generous? Have a laptop you aren’t using much anymore? We are trying to scrounge a useable laptop for our partner, Faya Orphanage, to use doing reports and paperwork for our programs.

If you live near Kelowna (or are willing to send it) and have an extra laptop, please email info@vulnerablechildren.ca

Follow Vulnerable Children’s President across Ethiopia!

From President Arnica Rowan:

Hi folks –

I thought I’d let you know that I’m heading off to Ethiopia again for a whirlwind trip next month! (See our trip map!)

I’ll be leaving mid April and will be in traveling on a mad schedule for Vulnerable Children Society.

My mom and I (my mom is the volunteer who sends out all your sponsor updates) are going to visit all the 5 communities where we sponsor House 2 House  children and families (Nazret/Adama, Wonji, Mojo, Ambo and Guder), Faya Orphanage in Adama, Canadian Humanitarian’s education project we are helping with in Gindo, and a few other non-profits we’re looking at working with in Addis Ababa.

We’ll share our stories and experiences from all of Vulnerable Children’s current and future projects… please feel free to repost them on your Facebook page.

So if you’d like to follow our travels and see pictures from all around central Ethiopia, please tune in to this blog April 22, 2012! You can also subscribe to our blog posts on the homepage so you don’t miss a thing!

We’d love to take you all along for the ride!