Our First Newsletter!

Well, Vulnerable Children Society is seven months old and doing amazingly well. We’d love to share with you some pictures and highlights from the first whirlwind half-year.

Please download our newsletter and share it with your friends! VCS April 2011 Newsletter!

Excerpt from the president’s report:

In the summer of 2010, three women were sitting outside in the sunshine drinking hot cups of Ethiopia coffee. We shared friendship and connections to Ethiopia: two of us (Arnica and Tawnya) had adopted children from that country, and one of us (Menbere) originally hailed from there. For several months, we had been contemplating how we could get more involved and contribute to the country that had given us so much. We talked about how Faya Orphanage had an opening for a new partner, and we decided – now is the time. With commitments made over buna, Vulnerable Children Society was born.

Thanks to your strong commitments, we have met and exceeded each of our goals!  Two highlights: We have complete sustainable funding through sponsorship for the orphanage, and have applied for charitable status.

I can’t wait to see what the next six months bring!

Lyndsey and Kevin visit Faya Orphanage

The eyes of mischief! A and F, two of the orphanage residents.Sponsors Lyndsey and Kevin visited their sponsored family in Ethiopia last month, as well as Faya Orphanage. They found the experience deeply rewarding, and are graciously sharing a whole bunch of photos from their travels with us!
They wrote:

We are home now and I wanted to send you some pictures from our trip to Adama. Meseret and Sintayehu were AMAZING!!! We just fell in love with
them. We spent the day with them, and are planning on visiting them again on our next trip. Sintayehu and Kevin really hit it off, and Meseret and I are
both PHN’s so we had a lot to talk about. The work they are doing is really amazing. Their goals to expand in the future are admirable and we hope to help in anyway we can.

Thank you so much for your support, and for your photos, folks!

If you would like to sponsor a family or a child in Ethiopia like Lyndsey and Kevin, please learn more about our amazing House 2 House program.

We DID it! Sustainable Core Funding for Faya Orphanage

Thank you so much, you amazing sponsors!

Thanks to your gracious and generous support, we have reached our first major goal at Vulnerable Children Society: achieving sustainable core funding for Faya Orphanage!!!!

What this means, is that we have enough monthly sponsorship dollars flowing in each month to cover the operational expenses of Faya Orphanage, as well as the administration of the House 2 House community support program. (All of the Faya Child sponsorships and a portion of the Community Child and Family sponsorships are dedicated to this core funding.) 

This is such a big deal for us. When we built our relationship with Faya Orphanage last summer, we asked the director Meseret what her first priority was. Her answer was dependable, consistent funding that she could count on to take care of the children. Well, thanks to all of you – we have done just that. And the folks at Faya can rest easier (as well as us!) knowing that they are enabled to take care of the children without worrying about where the next bag of teff flour is coming from.

As a side note, a special thanks also to our fundraisers and one-time donors. Thanks to your amazing donations and support, we were able to bridge the gap between sponsorships and Faya Orphanage’s needs from the first month we opened our doors. Your generosity is amazing! We will continue to appreciate and use your donations well… from this day forward, they will be used to build a project account and help other deserving vulnerable children. Keep those donations coming! We can assure you, they will be put to good use.

So what’s next?! you may ask…

Well, there is still enormous need in the Adama and Wonji communities. With your help, we are now focusing on building the House 2 House community support program. There are literally hundreds of deserving children and families waiting on a list for Community Child and Family sponsorships. Each sponsorships ensures another family will be able to feed its children, send them to school, and receive the medical care they need.

A portion of the House 2 House sponsorships had been dedicated to supporting the administration of the program and the orphanage (in Ethiopia! Our Canadian VCS organization is 100% volunteer run.) Now, that portion of the sponsorship money will be dedicated to a future project account, and as the House 2 House program grows, will be used to hire additional Ethiopian staff to manage the program.

We are so pleased to deliver this news, and thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

Congratulations! – now, let’s get some more community sponsors!!

Money well spent

Woman who sells teff at a discount to Faya Orphanage

I recently had a question from a donor… “I have some money to give, and I’ll be visiting Faya Orphanage soon… what the best way to spend the money that will help the most?”

What a great question! Ok – so if you would like to talk “bang for your buck” – here goes.

Of course, anything donors give is very much be appreciated!

But the biggest need is for funds to continue operations – to pay salaries and rent and medical visits, etc. The folks at Faya are also saving to buy a house for the Faya kids. Both of these things – well, that’s what we at Vulnerable Children Society do for them.

Vulnerable Children is their dependable, reliable income source – and we do that thanks to the donations of kind people like you. We are also starting a small capital fund, which may very well go towards building them a house (but there is still a lot of groundwork to do.)

Our monthly transfer to Faya Orphanage allows the Faya folks to prioritize, and buy what is needed most. When we started out, Meseret the director was quite adamant that she prefers the dependable, consistent income through us that lumps of cash every now and again.

The best expenditure after that is to buy stuff locally. My husband and I did that, when there was no Vulnerable Children, and when we were entrusted with some money to “help as best we could.” We went with Meseret and Sintayehu and bought them furniture, teff, and stuff they really could use. It was great to see all these local corners and places you wouldn’t otherwise – and they got to spend it as they saw fit. Best off, it supports the local economy.

The least effective is to buy stuff here and bring it over. For two reasons – one, your money goes SO much further in Ethiopia! and because you are supporting the economy there, and (ok three reasons) the stuff you bring may not be as culturally appropriate as stuff you could buy there.

The storeroom at Faya Orphanage full of donated formula.

I’m not dissing donations – heck – free stuff is free stuff!!! We had a hockey bag of donated formula that went a long way to nourishing a whole bunch of Ethiopia babies, and boy o boy, was it appreciated! 

BUT if you have cash to give, I would donate it to Vulnerable Children, or spend it with Meseret, in the local community, in Ethiopia.

Thanks so much to that donor for asking – and for all of your wonderful people who have visited (and brought donations, bought teff) and donated via Vulnerable Children!

Last minute gift? We’ve got it!

It’s the ultimate gift of love that keeps giving year round!

And we can send an ecard  for you, right up until noon on the 24th!

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Genna, a December gift of love for a vulnerable child is sure to delight and warm the heart.

Show your loved one that you care about them, and about the children in Ethiopia at the same time. Sponsor a child in your friend or family member’s name… or make a one-time donation to Vulnerable Children Society to honour your loved one.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Simply donate using the appropriate graphic on the left for a Faya Child, Family, or Community Child sponsorship (or a one-time donation.)
  2. Send us an email info(at)vulnerablechildren.ca [replace the (at) with @] with your name, and the gift recipient’s name,  and email, as well as any special instructions.
  3. Right up until noon on the 24th, we will create a lovely ecard for your loved one. Then, we will send out an e-card to their email address on December 25th (unless you instruct otherwise.)

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Joyous Kwanzaa! Melkam Genna!