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!