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!

Back to School in Ethiopia

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

Every child, regardless of their socio-economic circumstances, has the right to be educated. Unfortunately, more than 7.8 million Ethiopian children do not attend school on a regular basis (source: UNICEF).

Public school in Ethiopia is free, but parents/guardians must pay a registration fee of 100-120 birr ($5-$6) per child at the start of the school year; they must also buy uniforms, which cost approximately 300-350 birr ($15-$16) per child. The most common reason parents/guardians don’t send their kids to school is that they cannot afford to pay the registration fees and/or buy uniforms. This is especially true for many of the kids enrolled in our House 2 House program: many of them and their parents live with HIV; some are orphaned and live with extended family members or neighbours. Their care-givers struggle to provide basic necessities for the members of their households; school is a luxury they simply cannot afford.

Believing that education is the single most effective way to break the poverty cycle, Vulnerable Children Society has committed to paying the registration fees and buying uniforms for all 76 children currently enrolled in our House 2 House program, for the upcoming school year.

This is the second time Vulnerable Children Society has paid for school fees for our House 2 House children; however we have doubled the number of children in our program since last year.

Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!This initiative will cost of approximately $1760. If you would like to help us send 76 deserving kids back to school, please click “Donate Now”. Any amount, large or small, will be greatly appreciated (you will receive a tax receipt directly from CanadaHelps).

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.

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

Gindo Education Centre: The walls are going up!

Digging the centre’s foundation in 2011

Canadian Humanitarian’s educational support centre in Gindo, Oromia, Ethiopia, has been making amazing progress since it broke ground in late 2011. Vulnerable Children is looking forward to filling the centre with furniture and supplies; we need your help to complete the project!

Building the center will greatly increase the number of children that can be assisted as well as expand the services to support other segments of the rural Ethiopian community. Not only will the completed centre provide great value to the community but the production of it has proven to be extremely beneficial to the community by providing jobs to the Gindo population.

Ingenious local techniques for building a lasting multi-purpose centre!

The pictures show us the different types of labour that must be used in constructing such a building. These workers do not have the luxury of machinery or tools and are therefore using extreme labour to develop this centre. It is amazing to see what they can do with such minimal supplies!

As construction continues, so does our desire to raise funds so this amazing center can be furnished! Vulnerable Children Society is filling the library with books, furnishing the preschool and kitchen, and filling the centre with supplies. Please help us meet our $5000 fundraising goal!

Please donate to furnish the Gindo education centre! Donate here!
Learn more about Vulnerable Children Society and Canadian Humanitarian’s partnership here!

We’re furnishing a library and pre-school in Rural Ethiopia!

Vulnerable Children Society is proud to announce our partnership with Canadian Humanitarian!

Canadian Humanitarian, a fellow registered Canadian charity, is also very focused on breaking the poverty cycle. We are helping kids in rural Ethiopia by furnishing Canadian Humanitarian’s new educational support center in Gindo, Oromia.

This amazing center should open this summer, and will include a preschool, after school program, library, microenterprise center and community garden. We are very excited about the social, physical and emotional opportunities it will create for this community.

The completion of this center will allow the entire community to blossom by providing them with the tools to get themselves out of poverty. We are building sustainability, so the community can thrive and take care of its most vulnerable citizens! Our partnership with Canadian Humanitarian is so effective because  it will allow for resources from around the world to be pooled together to these deserving children.

Please donate to furnish the Gindo education centre! Donate here!

A floor plan of the building is below and the construction is well on its way.

Thank you for your continuous support and please stay in touch for updates on the center’s progress!