Request for Hygene Donations

With an emphasis on personal hygiene, the goal is for each of the 70 children at the Love and Hope Centre in Kality to have at least three sets of underwear: shorts, panties, socks and undershirts (100% cotton). The center also needs toothbrushes and toothpaste.

If you would like to donate these items to the Vulnerable Children Society’s Love and Hope Center in Kality, please send them to Communications Director Nicole, who will be travelling to Ethiopia in the near future. The address is below.

Or, if you are traveling to Ethiopia soon, please consider bringing these items to the centre. You can contact Nicole for details on how to get to the centre, and for their current needs: info@vulnerablechildren.ca

Nicole Bellefleur – Please send before February 1st
6 Gay Avenue
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
C1A-2N3
CANADA

FAQ: What is happening with the House 2 House program and Educational Centre?

One of our values at Vulnerable Children Society is transparency – so even when we don’t have complete answers, we want to keep you fully informed about recent developments in our programs. We would like to assure you that we are wisely stewarding your donated funds, and working diligently to help vulnerable children in Ethiopia.

To begin with, I feel some back-story is necessary.

Back in April, we announced that we had partnered with Canadian Humanitarian, so they could operate our House 2 House program, in the place of Faya Orphanage. Most of you know that three directors from Vulnerable Children Society, including myself, spent a gruelling three weeks in Ethiopia in May working on the transition from one operator to another.

Our House 2 House program has operated in essentially four communities, with roughly 20 kids each in Ambo, Guder and Wonji, and a handful of kids in Adama.

While in Ethiopia, we met with government officials in Guder, and via the phone, in Ambo. The program in those communities is governed by an agreement between Faya Orphanage and the Ambo zone level of government. The purpose of our visit was to introduce the government to our new program operator; however, when we met, it was obvious that Faya Orphanage was continuing to operate the program using residual funding.

We also met with a local politician in Wonji, and were able to visit with and support the families, who had not heard from Faya Orphanage in a couple of months. We reassured them that we had every intention of continuing the support of their families via Canadian Humanitarian. This program, we learned, never had a formal agreement in place, and we confirmed that we would approach the government to make a formal agreement and set up an official program to support the kids and their families.

We also met with Faya Orphanage – six times over the three weeks. We asked them about their capacity to continue the program without our financial support, and what their intentions were moving forward. If they had the ability, we were content to let them continue to operate the House 2 House program without us, as the kids would be cared for, and that is the main thing. However, they told us very clearly that they did not have the financial capacity to continue the House 2 House program. Finally, Faya Orphanage agreed to the transfer of operational responsibility to Canadian Humanitarian, and promised to write a letter releasing the responsibility of the children in Ambo and Guder, so that Canadian Humanitarian could move forward with their proposal to start a new program and assume responsibility for the children.

As soon as we left Ethiopia, Faya Orphanage changed their minds and chose not to follow through on the commitments they made. We are telling you this, because we want you to know that we at Vulnerable Children Society, and the rep at Canadian Humanitarian, bent over backwards to work with Faya Orphanage, and to ensure the continuing support of the children. We have done everything in our power, but Faya has broken every agreement and has blocked our attempts to continue support.

So where are we at?

As of this week, the government in Ambo (that governs Ambo and Guder) told us that Faya Orphanage will not release responsibility of the children and is continuing to operate in those communities. So until they are seriously in arrears with payments, the children are not available to support.

In Wonji, we are still working on setting up an agreement to start an educational centre, and are cautiously optimistic about our ability to continue work in that community. Our intention is to continue support of the same Wonji children with the full capacity of an educational centre and a formal agreement between the government and Canadian Humanitarian. We are hoping to open an educational centre in another community in Oromia, to help more children. We’ll tell you more about the other community as we soon as we determine if it is an appropriate fit.

In essence, our House 2 House program and our educational centre program are in a time of transition. 
We are working hard with Canadian Humanitarian to get them back up and running. We are hoping to support both the children in Wonji, as well as children in an additional community, with complete educational centres that will provide for their learning, health and social needs.

In the meanwhile, I can assure you that your monthly sponsorship funds are not being squandered or wasted. In fact, we are very careful fiscal managers. As soon as the educational centres are up and running (this may be as soon as a couple of months from now!) every sponsor will be reassigned to a child at one of the two educational centres. Wonji sponsors will, of course, stay with the same children. Ambo and Guder sponsors, as well as educational centre sponsors, will be assigned to new children in one of the two centres. It will take approximately three sponsors to support each child at this level of care, so working together, we are able to start two centres at the same time! Your sponsorship dollars are essential to start these centres and support all these children.

You may also be interested to know that we are also working on another project to help vulnerable children with our one-time project funds, and you can expect to hear more about that in the near future!

We promise to keep you up to date with the development of our educational centre and House 2 House programs, even when we don’t have complete information. I hope this communication reassures you that your funds are being stewarded responsibly, and will indeed go to the intended purpose: giving vulnerable children in Ethiopia a chance to not only survive, but thrive.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at info(at)vulnerablechildren.ca We will do our best to reply back within a week, or post the reply to your question as an FAQ post.

Our sincere appreciation for your continuing support!
Arnica and the other five directors of Vulnerable Children Society

A $10,000 donation goes a long way in Ethiopia!

Putting the tiles onto the floor inside the centre. This project employed all local workers!

A huge thank you and shout out to all our donors and supporters who have enabled Vulnerable Children Society to donate $10,000 to Canadian Humanitarian’s educational centre project in Gindo, Ethiopia.

Painting – soon the rooms will be ready for the children, and our furnishings!

Our VCS director Tawnya visited the site two months ago, and was so impressed by the project organizers, the volunteers, and the thoughtfulness of the program. Read her report here.

The community garden is already adding to the community! 1/3 goes to program families, 1/3 for sales, and 1/3 is for the centre for the children to eat!

Recently we sent off the $10,000 check to do our part – furnishing and fitting the centre so the children and community can learn, grow, and play and become more self-sustaining. In case you were ever wondering what $10,000 buys in Ethiopia – here is the list! Right down to the broom…

Purchase of furniture and equipment for the                         BEKA Center – Gindo   Ethiopia
Class room 1
Tables 4,800.00
Chairs 6,600.00
Table for the teacher 1,200.00
White board 1,700.00
Class room 2
Tables 4,800.00
Chairs 6,600.00
Table for the teacher 1,200.00
White board 1,700.00
Library room
Usertables 4,800.00
User chairs 6,600.00
Book shelves 11,400.00
White board 1,700.00
Teacher’s chairs 450.00
Teachers’s drawer case 1,500.00
Printer – Leserjet black 3,500.00
Photocopier – Used 8,000.00
Purchase of books for library 25,000.00
Multi purpose hall
Chairs 11,000.00
Tables 7,800.00
Benches 7,500.00
Managers office
Filing cabinate 3,500.00
Secretary office
Table 2,050.00
Chairs 1,450.00
Form formats and other documents display 1,200.00
Store
Shelves for food items 2,850.00
Horizontal storage box 500.00
Metal box/cupboard 3,200.00
Plastic container/drum 2,000.00
Kitchen
Shelves  – big, metal 950.00
Washing sink – plastic 350.00
Meal serving table 3,700.00
Kitchen cabinet 6,000.00
Materials shelve – plastic 1,050.00
Food processor – set 2,350.00
Reserving storage/container – set 1,800.00
Water bucket 500.00
Big tray -plastic for serving 450.00
Water jug 450.00
Janitor room
Shelve 950.00
Broom 200.00
Mops 100.00
Water baskets 500.00
Washing baskets 700.00
Staffs room
Benches 1,500.00
Tables 1,850.00
Locker 4,500.00
Transportation 7,500.00
Total 170,000.00
17 ETB   = $1 CND
170,000   = $10,000 CND

We are so happy to have partnered with Canadian Humanitarian on this project, and look forward to many collaborations in the future!!

This program will have a lasting, sustainable impact on the entire Gindo community.

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.

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.

Board Meeting Minutes for June 2011

Did you know that Vulnerable Children Society posts all its meeting minutes on the website? It’s part of our “transparency” value in action.

This meeting, we discussed: Okanagan College projects, charitable status, updates to sponsors, travelers, House 2 House program, oversight of current projects and board travel, a potential project for furnishing an educational centre, and more!