Crafting, reading and meeting at the Love and Hope Centre

20140227-185844.jpg
On March 10, I had the delight of spending the day at Vulnerable Children Society’s Love and Hope Centre in Kality, on the outskirts of Addis. In fact, a whole gaggle of us met at the centre. My family came along with me to teach crafts, and my kids ran around with the other Ethiopian children their age. I had a meetings with staff from Canadian Humanitarian, our partner organization that operates the centre, as well as Deb, the expedition coordinator from Canada. We were also joined by other Vulnerable Children reps: our project consultant Birhan, as well Nicole, one of our directors from Canada. It was a merry, busy day!
20140227-185903.jpg

20140227-185911.jpg

20140227-185916.jpg
Now, as the president of Vulnerable Children, I spend most of my time in Ethiopia in meetings, strategy sessions, and project evaluations. But this time, I got to interact with the kids, reading them stories and leading a craft.
20140227-190000.jpg
My mother, a retired school teacher, prepared a fantastic but very involved craft, that helped the kids practice their English. Counting, colours… My husband father, mother and I all lead groups of 15-20 kids, making beaded frogs and lizards. My hats off to my family… I had the benefit of rudimentary Amharic on my side; but they operated their groups with humour, determination, and a lot of hands on help. At the end of two hours, two hours! all the kids went home with an incredibly special, durable, and fun toy to show their families.
20140227-190006.jpg

20140227-190013.jpg
On a personal note, my seven year old daughters visited and participated too. Most of huge children at the centre are right around their age, so even though they were shy at first, once their daddy got involved in chasing around the kids, they were in their like dirty shirts. My husband Jason only knows a few words of Amharic, but all he needed to start that game was by yelling “Anbassa!” (Lion!) at the top of his lungs. Then he had a crowd of kids, including ours, after him!
20140227-190020.jpg

20140227-190033.jpg

20140227-190046.jpg
The children usually come to the centre for lunch, then return to school until the end of the school day. Then they return for after school tutoring, games, art club, showers, teeth brushing, etc. but since it was the first day back for them after “spring break,” the kids came for lunch, and stayed until the end of the day.

I was really impressed by how the ideas concocted between Canadian Humanitarian’s former executive director and I, those months ago, have transformed into reality. It’s amazing to see. For example, we asked the caregivers to be involved in cooking… So far, five groups of female guardians have rotated through the kitchen, making lunch every day. The guardians are paid as cooks usually would be, and then the next month, they are replaced by new guardians. It’s a pretty awesome, legitimate way to financially involved them in the centre, as well as being involved and supportive.
20140227-190629.jpg
The centre’s coordinator, an amazing young woman, came with the children from the former program, so she knows and understands their individual needs well. Also on staff are a social worker, and an accountant. In reality, they all help with the day to day operations, and it’s an extremely efficient and effective operation.

We did have meetings after the children went home (what’s a visit without a meeting?) to discuss the needs and new developments at the centre. I’ll share those with you all after I have a chance to discuss them with Vulnerable Children Society’s directors. But the punch line is that both our project consultant (who is doing formal evaluation work for us,) Nicole and I… We were all extremely happy with the project!
20140227-190055.jpg

20140227-190103.jpg
If you are currently a Love and Hope sponsor, you should be really proud of your support. It’s money extremely well spent! With an incredible well run centre. Hats off to our partner, Canadian Humanitarian, for operating a fantastic project. And hats off to you, for funding it!
Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!
We hope you will ask a friend to join us as a Love and Hope sponsor, so that we can enrich this program, and open another centre in the near future!
20140227-190107.jpg

Report from Hope for Children – Teenage Sex Trade Workers Retraining Project

We received an official sponsor report from our partner, Hope for Children in Ethiopia, that operates the Teenage Sex Trade Workers Retraining Project in Addis Ababa. It’s a very comprehensive report, but I’ll include a couple of excerpts! It’s so nice to have good reporting form our partners!

“Dear partners,

The social challenges Ethiopians face are complex but at Hope for Children of Ethiopia Relief and Development Association (HCE), we continually strive to increase our understanding of these challenges. We have made significant strides in our understanding and interaction with the culture around us. We have learned more about Streetism — a danger that undermines the potential and development of children — and its major impact on society. HCE’s focus is to understand and provide relief and assistance to our community to fight Streetism, child labor, prostitution, and crime. All of these are inter-related and HCE has realized significant success in our efforts.

HCE relies heavily on the support of our partners and donors to continue our work reaching the destitute and most helpless individuals in our society.

Our partnerships are vital to our continued success. Thank you for your continued support and assistance as we relentlessly pursue our mission to provide education, medical care, school supplies, counseling, and life-skills training to thousands of Ethiopians every year.

Warmly,

Yonas Tesfaye, Managing Director

…..

The Teenage Sex Trade Workers Retraining Project in Addis Ababa…aspires to facilitate a healthy environment for working children to allow them self-reliant by economically, socially, and spiritually. In order to achieve the planned project activities, the project designed a strategy that includes renting houses, providing working materials, and providing operation and living expenses for students for one year while the Boy or Girl attends training. A variety of training is provided to the children in order to increase their confidence throughout the training period.

Most of the children have been subjected to child labor and child abuse. Child Labor is a significant problem in Ethiopia. Children are often abused and neglected by their employers. The children suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and have trust issues.

HCE works to address each child’s individual issues to help him/her overcome obstacle he/she faced with a view to heal the scar in him/her. Most of the children in our Boys and Girls Projects are able to recover from the pain that resulted from the injustice by their previous employers and they, after time, training, and healing. They become productive citizen who can help themselves and others.

The ultimate goal of our program is to equip the children to become self-reliant.

During their stay in the project, each child received life-skills and vocational training. After one year, at program completion, these children know how to manage their time, resources, and individual freedom. They are equipped to begin their own life in their own and become the major decision makers in their lives. These children also learn to make and save money become socially active with their respective community.”

More in future blog posts!

VULNERABLE CHILDREN OPENS NEW EDUCATIONAL CENTRE FOR CHILDREN IN ADDIS ABABA

Vulnerable Children Society has partnered with Canadian Humanitarian to open the Love and Hope ፍቅር ተስፋ Centre for at-risk children in Kality, an outlying neighborhood of Addis Ababa.

older kids

In June 2013, Canadian Humanitarian made a long-term commitment to put seventy kids through school, all the way to the post secondary level, through its own sponsorship program. Each Canadian Humanitarian sponsor is assigned to one child, and their sponsorship fees cover uniforms and school registration fees.

Recognizing the tremendous benefits of taking a holistic approach to child development, Canadian Humanitarian wanted to enhance the support provided to the kids in Kality.

Vulnerable Children Society stepped up to the plate.

Following months of careful negotiations and planning, both organizations are pleased to announce that Vulnerable Children Society is opening the Love and Hope ፍቅር ተስፋ Centre  to serve the children in Kality. Vulnerable Children will fund the educational center through its existing sponsorship program.

kids

Vulnerable Children’s Love and Hope ፍቅር ተስፋ Centre  will welcome the Kality children every day, where they will receive hot meals, tutoring and medical services.

An existing building has been leased, and Vulnerable Children is covering the cost of renovating and furnishing it.  Canadian Humanitarian will use its vocational center in Addis Ababa to build some of the furniture; where possible, they will also involve the kids’ guardians in the renovation work.

Renovations are currently underway, and the children are expected to be attending the Centre by October.

???????????????????????????????

JOINING FORCES

Canadian Humanitarian sponsors will continue to be Kids Hope child sponsors; their funds will be directed to supporting the children to attend school. They will receive regular updates on the individual children they are sponsoring through Canadian Humanitarian.

Vulnerable Children Society sponsors will become Love and Hope sponsors. They will receive quarterly updates on the all the children at the Kality centre, including details on one or two featured children.

Canadian Humanitarian will manage and operate the educational centre. Vulnerable Children Society will have strong strategic direction over it, and is the major funder of the centre.

Because of its close proximity on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, it will be easy for Vulnerable Children Society’s Love and Hope sponsors to visit the educational center when they travel to Ethiopia, to see how their financial contributions are transforming vulnerable children’s lives.

kids and guardians

ABOUT KALITY

Located on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Kality is a community of displaced people who live in impoverished and slum-like conditions. The unemployment rate is exceptionally high and poverty is wide-spread;  its residents are among the most vulnerable in the region.

By joining forces with Canadian Humanitarian, Vulnerable Children Society sponsors will have a significant, long-term impact on the lives of seventy deserving kids and their families, through the Love and Hope ፍቅር ተስፋ Centre.

For more information

Please contact: Vulnerable Children Society, info@vulnerablechildren.ca

Help us name our new education center!

20130416-224923.jpg
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.

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).

Please help this sweet little man by sponsoring him

What a cutester!  This little boy in Ethiopia was identified by the local Ethiopian authorities as highly at risk and in need of support. He really could use your sponsorship to be happy and healthy, and to recieve the medical treatment he requires.  Please consider sponsoring him through our House 2 House program.

You can make all the difference in the world for this little boy from Ethiopia. With your House 2 House sponsorship, he will receive adequate food, shelter, access to education and medical care. Most of the children in this program are affected by HIV/AIDS, and many have lost their parents to the disease.

UPDATE: This little boy has been sponsored! Thank you! We still have many many more children waiting, if you are interested in helping another child in need 🙂

Make a difference for this deserving child.
#1 Click the link below
Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!
#2 Add the amount of $35
#3 Select “Repeating Donation”
#4 Select “Community Child Sponsorship” in the Fund area, and type CM048 in the Message area.
#5 Complete your monthly donation. You will receive your tax receipts directly from CanadaHelps.
Please click the button that shares your name, address and email with the charity, as we really want to know who you are and be able to send you updates on the child and newsletters!
Thanks so much!