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.

Awards Encourage Kids

The school year may have wrapped up for our children in Ethiopia, but FOVC’s role doesn’t end just because school is on break. Sponsored children continue to come to the Center of H.O.P.E. six days a week for their daily hot meal, use of the bathing facilities, summer tutoring, and fun games and activities.

In order to encourage the children to excel academically, FOVC presents awards to high achievers at the end of each school year. All sponsored children and their parents are invited to the awards party. The children are encouraged to do their best. They are congratulated for their hard work, and the parents are encouraged to continue to support their child’s academic efforts.

Girum receives his award from site coordinator Tesema Kuma

Girum receives his award from site coordinator Tesema Kuma

This year Girum made great improvements in his studies. Girum has been at the Dale Center of H.O.P.E. since the very beginning. He worked hard this past year and attended tutorial classes at the Center of H.O.P.E. He asked lots of questions to better understand the material. Community workers also encouraged Girum and followed his academic performance closely through home visits. All his hard work paid off. Girum performed better academically than he ever has before, and has certainly earned his award!

Girum and friends in a less serious moment

Girum and friends in a less serious moment

Our sponsored children receive all the support they need to attend school: things like uniforms, pens, notebooks and other scholastic materials. We still have many unsponsored children who will not be getting this support. FOVC’s Shanto and Dale Centers of H.O.P.E. have around 75 unsponsored children between them. FOVC also has a third site, Boricha, where 150 children have been profiled for sponsorship. This means there are around 225 children who will not have the supplies they need to attend school this coming year. We have begun a fundraiser on their behalf. Please consider a one-time gift to this fund. $10 will purchase scholastic materials for one child; $20 will purchase a uniform.

Give a gift to our unsponsored children’s education fund here.

 

A Visit With Ermias

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Raising a child isn’t an occasional responsibility. Children in all parts of the world need daily advice, guidance, and encouragement to truly thrive. FOVC arranges home visits with its charges to stop in, say hi, and see how they’re doing. We’re thrilled to say our latest home visit host, Ermias Engeda, is succeeding in more ways than we could hope for.

One of the children who has been in the program since the establishment of Shanto Center of H.O.P.E., Ermias has been getting all the benefits of sponsorship: hot meals, hygiene supplies, scholastic materials and other incidentals, and of course an education. On that last front, Ermias is succeeding with flying colors.

During FOVC’s visit, they got a sense of Ermias’ sheer intelligence, and they describe him as nothing short of brilliant. He’s accepted a number of academic awards from school, and he also recently took the national exam for grade 10 students.

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Ermias with a letter from his sponsor. Receiving mail from their sponsors is a joyous occasion for our sponsored kids!

Awaiting the results of the exam, Ermias enjoys his spare time by playing football (soccer to Americans) with his friends around the neighborhood. He’s also reading lots of books to feed his curiosity and keep up with world events.

Finally, it’s important to note that Ermias is also an upstanding member of his family. Many rural folk in Ethiopia support their families through helping with the family farm and Ermias is no different, keeping the family income strong with his efforts – he even says he enjoys farm work. This child is truly one in a million!

58 Children have been waiting for more than a year for a sponsor. Help a vulnerable child like Ermias succeed and thrive –  www.pwesponsorship.org

 

Introducing… Yacob!

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Yacob in March 2016

Summer has arrived in Ethiopia. To the children there, that means largely the same as it does elsewhere around the world: Children are enjoying their summer vacation, their annual respite from school.

Even better news is that our groundbreaking  #ShareHOPE program, Partners With Ethiopia’s sponsorship drive in which we hope to find champions for as many kids as we possibly can, has resulted in a sponsorship for Yacob.

One of our latest beneficiaries, Yacob, from the Dale area, only just started participating in FOVC’s H.O.P.E. child sponsorship program. FOVC social workers stopped by his home, which he shares with three sisters and a brother, all under the care of a single mother. Asked how he feels about the H.O.P.E. sponsorship program, Yacob is thrilled to be newly sponsored.

Under the program, Yacob’s family will no longer have to worry about the cost of sending him to school. Sponsorship helps greatly with educational materials, food and hygiene supplies, medical care and more. Yacob’s entire family is thrilled that he’s been sponsored, because not only will it help Yacob with his education and other needs, but the program will also help Yacob’s mother stretch her resources further to care for the rest of her family. Each of Yacob’s family members have offered their sincerest gratitude, and believe us, they mean it.

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Yacob with his mother, two of his sisters, and FOVC social workers Tesema and Thomas in front of Yacob’s home

There are plenty more children like Yacob who would benefit in so many ways from a sponsorship by a caring individual or family. Imagine a child not having access to basic education because he or she can’t afford pens, books, or the proper clothes. You can make a difference in the life of a child like Yacob for only $38 per month – barely more than a dollar a day!

Become a child sponsor by visiting pwesponsorship.org and choosing a waiting child today!

Dinkinesh Talks About Sponsorship

Dinkinesh has been in FOVC’s Shanto sponsorship program since the very beginning. She came to FOVC ten years ago as a six year old. She attended the Kamfourd School of Excellence through 8th grade. Now she is 16 years old and going into 10th grade attending the local high school in Shanto. Our friends at FOVC sat down with Dinkinesh to ask her a few questions about what sponsorship means for her.

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Dinkinesh says the number one way sponsorship helps her is to ensure her education. Sponsorship provides her with all the supplies she needs to attend school. FOVC says she is one of the top students in her grade and is a good role model for the other children. Because Dinkinesh is from a poor family, she says she would not have been able to afford to attend school on a regular basis. She also believes she would have been married by now.*

Better access to hygiene materials has also helped Dinkinesh to stay healthy and retain her dignity. FOVC’s Shanto Center of H.O.P.E. not only gives her access to clean water, soap and bathing facilities, but also provides her with feminine hygiene supplies. Many girls in rural Ethiopia must miss school during their period, but Dinkinesh says she is grateful for the supplies the sponsorship program provides for her. Because of this she is able to attend school every day.

Dinkinesh receiving school supplies, hygiene supplies, and supplementary food.

Dinkinesh receiving school supplies, hygiene supplies, and supplementary food.

Kamfourd School of Excellence is a private full day Pre-K-8th grade school which is supported by funding through Partners With Ethiopia as well as tuition paying students. 90% of our Shanto sponsored children attend Kamfourd School. We are looking for monthly partners who would be interested in helping us fund Kamfourd each month. If you’d like to partner with us on a monthly basis visit give2pwe.org and click ‘monthly recurring donation’.

To break the cycle of poverty for a child like Dinkinesh visit pwesponsorship.org to view our waiting children in the Dale area. Your $38 a month provides six hot meals a week (or supplementary food if the child lives far from the Center of H.O.P.E.), tutoring, homework help, hygiene training, medical care & more! There are currently 70 children waiting to be sponsored.

 

*UNICEF recently released a report on child marriage in Ethiopia which can be viewed here.

New Hope Kids Love Terefe!

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A few of the kids from New Hope Community Church proudly display their photo of Terefe

As you might imagine, most of our sponsors are adults, but we do have a few kids like Terefe, who are sponsored by amazing groups of children with very big hearts.

Last fall the junior church classes at New Hope Community Church in Potsdam, NY decided that they would like to sponsor a child. They knew they would have to work hard to come up with the $38 a month needed for sponsorship, but they were eager to take on the challenge! They made a commitment and began sweeping floors, washing walls, doing dishes and chasing cows to earn their $38 a month.

The kids were so excited when they found out they were sponsoring an 11 year old boy who loved soccer! Terefe is one of eight children. He lives with his mother, siblings and grandmother. He’s a very bright kid who loves languages and wants to be a doctor when he grows up.

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Our team visited Terefe’s family at their home – March 2016

The New Hope kids were very excited to learn that our team was going to visit Terefe. They wrote letters and sent photos. They signed and decorated a new soccer ball to send along to the Center of H.O.P.E. where Terefe attends six days a week.

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Terefe gets mail!

Sponsorship affords Terefe the opportunity to stay in school by providing him with all the school supplies he needs plus after school homework help and summer tutoring. He also receives a hot meal at the Center of H.O.P.E. six days a week, as well as hygiene training and medical care.

We have 78 waiting children who are also eager to be sponsored and receive the kind of help Terefe is getting. You can view them all at pwesponsorship.org. Become a child sponsor today!

Studying for Success

Habtamu

Kids in Ethiopia are preparing to take regional exams. Results from the 8th grade exams determine whether a student will be going onto high school and which academic track he will be on when he gets there.

Fourteen-year-old Habtamu has been in FOVC‘s sponsorship program for five years. His parents are deceased, and his grandfather cares for him and his siblings. Habtamu will be taking the grade 8 regional exam in a few weeks. He tells us he’s been using most of his free time to study for the exams, and has been getting extra help for things he doesn’t understand. FOVC’s community workers are following him closely to help him prepare. He is receiving tutoring at the FOVC Dale Center of H.O.P.E. along with sample tests to study and review. Habtamu is working diligently to make sure he does his best on the exam.

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We love the way FOVC places so much focus on the children’s education. In fact, the H.O.P.E. Child Sponsorship program stands for Helping Orphans Prosper through Education. We know that education is an important factor in breaking the cycle of poverty. That’s why FOVC works so hard not only to keep kids in school, but to help them thrive in school. A portion of your $38 sponsorship payment is used for scholastic materials such as pens, notebooks, and other school supplies, and also for the academic tutoring your sponsored child receives at the Center of H.O.P.E.

We currently have 79 more children waiting to be sponsored so they can get the kind of academic help Habtamu receives.  Your $38 a month donation is tax deductible, and in addition to the academic help, it provides your sponsored child with a hot meal six days a week, hygiene training, medical care, and caring mentors to guide him or her. Select a waiting child here.

 

Sponsorship Keeps Kids in School

It is a joy to watch our sponsored children grow and mature. Fifteen-year-old Aster began attending FOVC’s Dale Center of H.O.P.E. in 2011. She credits FOVC’s sponsorship program with helping her to stay in school and get an education. Aster lives with an aunt and uncle, and before she was sponsored she often missed school due to a lack of basic school supplies such as pens and notebooks. Her aunt and uncle simply could not afford to purchase them for her. Aster says that since she was sponsored five years ago she has been able to attend school on a regular basis because FOVC purchases her supplies for her.

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Hygiene care is a big issue, especially for teenage girls. FOVC not only supplies the sponsored children with soap and hair oil, but the children come twice a week to bathe at the compound. Aster mentions that she is especially thankful for the feminine hygiene supplies she receives through the program. It’s common for girls in rural areas of Ethiopia to miss school when they have their periods due to a lack of supplies. Aster is glad she has the supplies she needs to attend school. The girls were especially happy with the Days For Girls washable sanitary pad kits our team brought over in March.

Aster also wanted to mention how grateful she is for the medical care she received through FOVC. Last year she became very sick and was unable to walk. Her aunt and uncle were unable to afford medical attention for her, so FOVC stepped in and brought her to the doctor. She’s now completely recovered and glad to be back in school!

Aster works hard in school and plans to become a doctor.

Aside from the school supplies and hygiene supplies that Aster mentions, sponsored children also receive six hot meals per week year round, homework help, and summer tutoring.

Your $38 per month sponsorship payment is life changing for our kids! We have 79 more children waiting to be sponsored. $38 a month is a great investment in a child’s future.

Visit http://www.pwesponsorship.org today to sponsor a child with big dreams like Aster.

Sponsorship Changes Lives

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Biniam with his grandparents, Alemu and Amone, in Shanto, Ethiopia

One of the highlights of our annual trip to Ethiopia is doing home visits of children in the sponsorship program. Each year we choose between five and ten children to visit. Seeing their home, learning more about their life, and visiting with their caregivers gives greater insight to this sponsorship program we are coordinating for our partner, Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (FOVC).

Last month our board president, Ingrid Olson, and vice president, Renee Stauffer, visited with Biniam and his grandparents. Biniam has been in FOVC’s H.O.P.E. Sponsorship Program for over five years. H.O.P.E. is an acronym that stands for Helping Orphans Prosper through Education. By the time Biniam was two years old he had lost both of his parents. His grandparents, Alemu and Amone, have raised him.

Meeting grandparents in Ethiopia is a wonderful experience. They are so warm, loving, enthusiastic, and appreciative about the help and care their grandchildren are receiving. They have had a lifetime of seeing orphaned and vulnerable children around them and know too well how the lack of support can have lasting negative consequences.

During the home visit Alemu talked so fast the translator could barely keep up. He explained that six years ago he heard about this sponsorship program starting up in Shanto. He took his young grandson, walked into town, and asked if Biniam could be added to the program. The saying goes “It takes a village to raise a child.” That is definitely the mindset in rural Ethiopia. FOVC’s founder, Desalegn Daka, had that vision years ago and started this effort to help children in his home village. In partnership with the local government, children like Biniam are selected for the H.O.P.E. sponsorship program and receive help to ensure they have every chance at a bright, self-sufficient future.

It is amazing to see Biniam today. He is in 9th grade and a top student. He plans to be a doctor. His grandparents are so thankful for the support Biniam has received. Biniam has been blessed to have had the same sponsor from day one. Thanks to Alicia and her family in North Dakota, Biniam’s life has been changed.

We are currently recruiting sponsors for the H.O.P.E. sponsorship program in Dale, Ethiopia. Visit www.pwesponsorship.org to learn more and see the waiting children. Isn’t it amazing that $38 a month can change a life? Invest your $38 in a child’s future today!