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

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!

Holiday Donations – Ecards on Dec 23!

Want to give a meaningful gift for Christmas? Make a donation to Vulnerable Children Society in someone’s name!

We will send out ecards for you to print and slip into stockings on Sunday December 23rd. You can also forward your ecard in an email, if your gift recipient lives far away.

Simple make a donation HERE and then send us en email info@vulnerablechildren.ca with who the gift is for, and if you want us to send the ecard to you or to the recipient. Then, on December 23, we will send out all the ecards!

Thanks so much for your kindness. Peace and joy to your families!

House 2 House in Ambo and Guder

Today was our first trip to visit with our House 2 House families, and it was a resounding success!

Our first stop was in Ambo, a busy city west of Addis Ababa. We went to the woleta Women and Children’s Affairs Office, to meet up with some of the families in our program. We were happy that most of the children were able to come and meet us. We had packages from some sponsors to deliver, but we made sure that each child that we got to meet went away with a car, stuffie, or soccer jersey. They were big hits! So thanks to all the donors.

Our plan ahead of time was to sit and talk with each family and get updates from them, but most of the mothers and aunts who brought their children were doing so over their lunch hour, so we didn’t have much of a chance to chat before they had to go. It was fun to meet many of the mothers and amazing to see the sweet little kids in person. unfortunately, the lady who runs the office just passed away two days ago, and of course, the whole office was in grieving mode, so we didn’t talk to any officials at that location.

After a late lunch we drove out to Guder, which is 12 kms away. This is a much smaller community, more of a town than a city. We were all impressed at how immaculately the streets were kept – it is just a pleasant place.

Our visit was at the woreda Women and Children Affairs office, which shares space with the HIV Association. More than sharing a building, we learned how closely the non-profit and the government office work together to identify and support children and families affected by HIV. For entry into our House 2 House program, there are many steps that take place. The kebele (neighborhood) identifies families that are extremely poor and affected by poverty and HIV. Reports are made (we saw examples of these) by the kebele and the adults applying on behalf of the child also have to collect a letter of support. The files go to the woreda Women’s office and the staff there conduct home visits. They then connect the families with the HIV Association to get access to ARVs and some of the children that fit our priorities, such as being HIV+, missing one or both parents, or physically disabled, get onto the wait list for House 2 House. Officially, we have 10 sponsors for our families in Guder, but in reality, we actually support about 16 children and their families. These families receive a cash stipend to help them send the children to school, feed them adequately, etc. I asked the official about follow-up, and I was impressed to hear not only do they do a home visit to ensure the money is being directed to the welfare of the child, but they also call the schools and collect report cards for all the school children to make sure they are attending. Super staff there at the women’s office, I have to say.

I think what really impressed me in general about Guder was how the non-profits, community and government all work together to take care of these extremely vulnerable children. The other distinct impression I had was that it is a real community, with a connection between the families.

Only 1/2 of the children we sponsor were there, but we left sponsor packages for a couple of children and made sure all the rest went away with a toy or jersey. I personally enjoyed interacting with the grandmothers there, and sharing laughs as we took photos. We also had a chance to meet with an enterprising couple of young women who are running a community lending program, which I will tell you more about in a separate post.

Enjoy the pictures! We did get pictures of all the children and their guardians who were able to join us, and will send them out in the next batch of updates in August! For now, here are some of my favorites of the day.

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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

Education Centre is on schedule!

With a lot of hard work the Canadian Humanitarian’s educational support centre in Gindo, Oromia, Ethiopia is well on its way! An amazing milestone has been met with the completion of the foundation!

Hauling all of the rock and breaking them up for the base of the foundation was the first step illustrated in the pictures below.

Once all of the rocks have been laid, they need to be crushed by hand.

Once they have been crushed, rebar must be laid. Seeing the completed sections beside the ones still in progress exemplifies the heavy labour necessary for laying the rebar.

Next the concrete needs to be mixed and lugged to the base of the centre. After seeing the immense amount of man power required, it is easy to believe that 40 members from the local community are employed for the completion of this building.

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!