Growing Success in Shanto

In rural Ethiopia, widowed mothers struggle to meet their children’s daily needs. Because of high rates of illiteracy and a lack of jobs, they have very few opportunities to find gainful employment. Inspired by James 1:27, our partner organization, FOVC, is working to change this in the village of Shanto.

A beautiful field of sweet potatoes in Shanto.

A beautiful field of sweet potatoes in Shanto.

About a year ago we did some major fundraising for another phase of the Widow’s Hope Project, this time with a focus on crop farming. Thanks to a generous grant from a private foundation, and many individual donations, 71 widows received help in the form of agricultural training, improved seed, fertilizer, and farming tools.

Crops are cultivated by hand or with oxen.

Crops are cultivated by hand or with oxen.

The intention of the Widow’s Hope Projects is to create sustainable opportunities for widows to generate their own income. From the reports we’ve been receiving from  FOVC, the program has been wildly successful. We’ve received many accounts of women who were previously unable to meet all their children’s needs. Their kids were malnourished and not attending school on a regular basis, because the supplies needed to keep them in school were too much of a luxury.

Neighbor men who own oxen have been helping the widows cultivate their fields.

Neighbor men who own oxen have been helping the widows cultivate their fields.

Nigiste is one of the women who has been empowered by this project. We visited her farm last March, where she proudly showed us her beautiful fields of corn and sweet potatoes.

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Nigiste in her corn field, March 2016, with PWE board member Renee Stauffer.

Now, after harvesting her crops, Nigiste’s children are well-fed and in school, and she has earned enough income from the sale of the excess produce to purchase a cow! A cow will improve her children’s nutrition through nourishing milk, and earn more income as she sells the excess milk. Nigiste’s success story is one of many, and we are so proud of these women and thankful for all our donors who made this program possible.

Nigiste with her new cow, November 2016.

Nigiste with her new cow, November 2016.

We are looking for monthly partners to help us sustain these types of income generating programs that empower vulnerable families. If you’re interested in becoming a monthly partner, please visit www.give2pwe.org to set up monthly recurring gifts. All gifts are tax deductible in the United States.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.  James 1:27

 

 

 

 

 

Give H.O.P.E. This Christmas!

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H.O.P.E. stands for Helping Orphans Prosper through Education. Over 200 children are already benefiting from sponsorship at FOVC’s Centers of H.O.P.E., but there are many more waiting children who need someone to stand in the gap for them. This Christmas, you can give HOPE to one of these waiting children for as little as $10!

 

$10 provides a child with soap and other hygiene care items

 

$20 provides nutritious food for a child for one month

 

$50 helps fund urgent medical needs

 

Or visit pwesponsorship.org to sponsor a child for $38 month/$456 annually

 

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Click here to experience the JOY of giving HOPE!

Honor friends and family with a gift they will be proud to receive – one that will forever change the life of a child in need. When you make a tax-deductible gift to Partners With Ethiopia, you can request cards to send to your loved ones to explain the gift you’ve given in their honor. We can mail them to you or send them directly to your friends and family. You may also request a printable version which you can print or email yourself.

Partners With Ethiopia and Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (FOVC) are faith-based initiatives, following the example and directive of Jesus to “care for the least of these,” “love orphans and widows in their distress,” and to see God’s “Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.”

As we focus on serving and building lasting relationships, we use that as a platform to share God’s love and His desire for us to know and be known by Him. However, we realize that faith is a personal choice that each individual must make for themselves.

Regardless of their faith, we serve all children and do not require any child to adhere to the Christian faith in order to receive our services. In the same way we encourage you to join us (regardless of your faith) in the life-giving journey of loving and helping to care for others.

 

 

Lemonade Stand For The Win!

Alan and Katie Boswell attend New Hope Community Church in Potsdam, NY. The kids’ Sunday School class (grades K-6) at New Hope sponsors Terefe, one of our kids at the Dale Center of H.O.P.E. The kids have been very diligent in earning money by doing chores, making handmade cards to sell, or tithing part of their allowance toward Terefe’s support.

Over their summer vacation, Alan and Katie ran a very successful lemonade stand in their front yard. In just one day they raised $100! They decided to split it up and send half of the money for Terefe’s monthly support, and the other half for a family gift for Terefe.

FOVC staff met with Terefe and his family, and the family decided what they wanted most was a mattress and bedding. FOVC took them to choose their new bedding and paid for it with the $50 Alan and Katie raised selling lemonade.

Alan and Katie at their lemonade stand; Terefe and his mom with FOVC staff, receiving their new bedding.

Alan and Katie at their lemonade stand; Terefe and his mom with FOVC staff, receiving their new bedding.

We are SO proud of these kids, and so thankful for their kindness and love for Terefe. If kids can sponsor, so can you! Check out our children who are still waiting to be sponsored at pwesponsorship.org.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

 

76 Sponsors Needed!

Friends, these 76 kids have been waiting for a year and a half, and that is long enough. Let’s get these beautiful kids sponsored so they can grow up and change the world!

For $38 a month you can provide a child with six hot meals a week, medical care, hygiene training, school supplies, and after school tutoring. Your sponsorship will be a life-changing, life-GIVING gift. Become a sponsor today – www.pwesponsorship.org

Order your PWE/FOVC shirt today!

Show your support for our awesome programs and share the love with your friends! We have sizes available from Youth XS to Adult 3X in both long and short sleeved styles. You’ll smile every time you put your shirt on, knowing you’re supporting awesome programming and helping us to spread the word!

If you are a sponsor, a donor, or one of our awesome prayer warriors, you are a part of Team H.O.P.E.!

Orders must be placed within the next 2 weeks. These are printed to order and there will be no extras printed. 

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Shirts can be purchased at www.booster.com/partnerswithethiopia

 

 

Because of YOU, 450 kids are in school!

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Partners With Ethiopia supports two sponsorship programs. The Dale and Shanto Centers of H.O.P.E. each have 150 children. Between them there are around 75 kids who are still unsponsored. Sponsorship covers the cost of all the school supplies and uniforms the sponsored kids need for school, but because the unsponsored kids are not receiving services, their families must purchase supplies for them. For families living in severe poverty this is a tremendous hardship. Many of these unsponsored children would not be able to attend school.

There is a third village, Boricha, where FOVC hopes to expand its sponsorship program in the future. 150 children have already been profiled in Boricha, but are not currently receiving any assistance. This year Boricha was hit incredibly hard by famine. Not only do families not have enough money to purchase school supplies, they are struggling to provide their children with the most basic necessities. FOVC recognized the need and approached us to help send the 150 Boricha children to school this year.

All this translates to around 225 children who do not have the support of sponsorship to help them get an education. In early August, when we began fundraising, raising enough money to purchase scholastic materials and uniforms for 225 kids seemed like an almost unattainable goal. We did a LOT of praying! So many of you helped by sharing our fundraiser with your friends, and a $1,500 matching donation really got the ball rolling. Within 24 hours, ALL the matching funds had been matched, and just a few days after that our goal was met! It was amazing (and a lot of fun!) to see how quickly the need was met. God is so good, and our donors are amazing – because of you, 450 kids are now in school!

Yesterday we received photos of some of the children with their new school supplies, which were all purchased locally in Ethiopia. They are so happy and proud, and so are we! Thank you so much for all the ways in which you helped: donating, helping to spread the word, and praying. You have made a huge difference in the lives of so many children. Thank you!

A few of the children in Dale show off their new supplies.

A few of the children in Dale show off their new supplies.

Interested in sponsoring one of our waiting children? Please visit www.pwesponsorship.org – your sponsored child will receive services such as a hot meal six days a week, hygiene care, medical care, and after school tutoring.

 

Perfect Attendance + A Love Of Books = SUCCESS!

This certificate means a lot to young people in Ethiopia!

This certificate means a lot to young people in Ethiopia!

There are few better ways to start the day than by getting a great progress report about one of our sponsored kids. Eighth grader Ashebir W. recently received a passing score on his eighth grade regional exam. Only kids who pass the eighth grade exam are eligible to enroll in high school. To put this in perspective, in Ethiopia, just 15% of young people attend high school. We are so proud of Ashebir! He said the exam was very difficult and he was so excited to find out he passed. Ashebir thanks God for all the good things that have happened in his life.

 

FOVC staff interviewed Ashebir’s teachers to find out what contributed to his success. We know that his participation in FOVC’s H.O.P.E. Child Sponsorship Program has provided the materials, nutrition, tutoring, and school fees that helped him succeed, but the real star is Ashebir himself. His teachers say that he has had perfect attendance in school, and spends much of his free time reading. A supportive family and involved community workers from FOVC have provided lots of encouragement to Ashebir along the way.

Ashebir is pictured with Mebratu Thomas, FOVC's Program Manager.

Ashebir is pictured with Mebratu Thomas, FOVC’s Program Manager.

Without the continued support of his sponsor, Ashebir’s story would have unfolded very differently. Sponsorship makes all the difference in the world to these kids!

Do you want to make a difference in a child’s life? There are 52 more children waiting to be sponsored at www.pwesponsorship.org. $38 a month gives your sponsored child the gift of opportunity!

 

Motorbikes For The Win!

 

 

This path to the left is accessible only on foot or by motorbike, and leads to many of the homes visible in the distance.

This path to the left is accessible only on foot or by motorbike, and leads to many of the homes visible in the distance.

Back in March our leadership team traveled to Ethiopia and was blessed to have a lot of great conversation with FOVC staff. We wanted to make a home visit, so we rented a van. As we made our way through beautiful but rugged terrain, down a potholed dirt road, through gigantic puddles, across ditches and grassy fields, we began to wonder how on earth FOVC staff made these visits to over 200 sponsored kids on a regular basis! It took so much time and energy just to get to one home.

Horse carts (and children!) wait for passengers in Shanto

Horse carts (and children!) wait for passengers in Shanto.

FOVC staff told us sometimes they walked, sometimes they paid to ride on a horse cart, and sometimes they rented a motorbike. We asked them if it would be wise to purchase a motorbike, and they told us that with the money they have spent over the years to rent a bike they could have easily purchased a motorbike, but they never had enough funding all at once to be in a position to purchase one.

The terrain is rugged and beautiful!

The terrain is rugged and beautiful!

We tucked this information away in our heads, and the wheels began turning! Within a few weeks of returning from our trip, a generous donor came forward and offered to pay for two motorbikes, one for each program site. FOVC staff were overjoyed to learn of this donation. After long months waiting for government approval, this morning we received word that FOVC has the bikes in their possession, and they sent us these wonderful pictures!

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Dale Center of H.O.P.E. staff proudly show off their new motorbike.

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Shanto Center of H.O.P.E. staff are also excited about their new bike!

FOVC staff work so hard to stay connected to our sponsored kids and their families. In an area where few people have access to a phone, these bikes are going to revolutionize FOVC’s home visits! Partners With Ethiopia and FOVC extend our most heartfelt thanks to the donor who learned of this need and stepped in to help.

Interested in learning about other needs FOVC has? We have a wishlist posted on our website here!

A Summer Home Visit

Many children in rural Ethiopia do not have the opportunity to attend school. Even though school is free to all children, poorer students frequently are turned away for lack of scholastic materials or a uniform. Indigenous organizations like our partner FOVC (Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children) exist to support and empower these poorer students on the margins of society. FOVC has been working hard with us to increase its capacity to help these vulnerable children, and has grown from just two children 10 years ago, to 216 sponsored children today, and many more unsponsored children on the waiting list.

 

 

Karime at the Dale Center of H.O.P.E.

Karime at the Dale Center of H.O.P.E.

Karime is one of the children who was recently sponsored and began attending FOVC’s Dale Center of H.O.P.E. FOVC community workers recently visited Karime’s home and had the opportunity to interview the family. Karime lives with her parents and two brothers. Because Karime’s father is currently unemployed with no regular income, life is very difficult for the family.

Karime’s mother is very proud of her daughter’s academic success; she is doing well in school and has been promoted to second grade. She is very mature and responsible for her age. FOVC’s social worker reminded the family of the importance of education, and encouraged the children to continue to work hard in school.

 

Karime with her mother and brothers, and FOVC social worker Tesfaye Kensa

Karime with her mother and brothers, and FOVC social worker Tesfaye Kensa

Karime is so fortunate to have a sponsor who lovingly supports her through letters and financial help. Thanks to her sponsor she is able to attend school with all the supplies she needs, and comes to FOVC’s Dale Center of H.O.P.E. six days a week to receive a hot meal, hygiene training, and academic tutoring. If you’re interested in investing in a child’s life through sponsorship please visit pwesponsorship.org.

 

Sustainable Income Generating Opportunities

Last fall Partners With Ethiopia raised over $20,000 for FOVC’s Widow’s Hope Crops Project. Through this project 71 widows were given training, tools, improved seed and fertilizer. Because of the training and capital the women received, they were able to grow and harvest much more bountiful crops than in previous years, enabling them not only to feed their families a better diet, but also to generate income as they sold the excess produce in the market.

Tore is one of the beneficiary widows of the Crops Project. FOVC staff recently checked in with her and were delighted with what they discovered. Tore explained that she used to dream of sending her children to school, but could never afford to purchase the supplies they needed. She said that because her harvest was so good, her children are now able to attend school and have all the necessary scholastic materials.  Tore was also able to purchase a cow with the income she received from selling her crops in the market. She is hoping to soon be running two of her own businesses; selling vegetables and breeding and selling livestock.

Way to go Tore, we are so proud of you! Thank you to all the generous donors who made this project possible.

Tore proudly shows off her new cow.

Tore proudly shows off her new cow.