YOU Changed Her Story!

The life of a widowed woman in rural Ethiopia is one of immense difficulty; with few opportunities to earn an income and support her family, a woman like Alemitu is often left to struggle and beg to feed her family.

Alemitu with her livestock, her face radiating joy!

Three years ago our wonderful donors supported Alemitu and 35 other widows in Shanto through the Widow’s Hope Livestock Development Project. Each woman received a cow and a sheep. Alemitu is just one of the women whose lives were changed by this program.

Alemitu’s livestock has since given birth and increased from one sheep and one cow to three cows and two sheep! Because of this she has been generating her own income and supporting her family independently.

Alemitu reports that her income from selling dairy products has enabled her to send her children to school, seek healthcare for them when they are sick, and improve their standard of living. She made sure to ask us to please thank all of the donors and supporters who made this program possible, so THANK YOU for believing in women like Alemitu!

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The Message

Day 1.

It broke me.

 

150 of the most beautiful kids.

Kids with one parent, kids with no parents.

Kids with no parents and SIX siblings.

150 kids, and only 4 are sponsored.

 

 

Inside those gates was joy and singing and dancing and HOPE.

 

 

Outside those gates, driving away, all I felt was overwhelming despair.

I wasn’t thinking about Shanto or Dale, where 300 kids are sponsored and thriving.

I was only thinking about the immense need all around me, and feeling completely defeated, deflated, and inadequate. How could I presume to come here and help? I couldn’t do ANYthing. My ‘help’ was a tiny drop of water in a vast sea of need.

I was a poser. I couldn’t make a difference. I was nothing.

Yeah, Satan, he knows how to get to me. This was a spiritual attack of epic proportions. I had just flown halfway around the world to get smacked in the face with the knowledge that I was completely insignificant.

 

But then, this:

My brilliant friend Joanina, who grew up in rural Kenya and is now working at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, sent me the most encouraging message that same night. I am pretty sure she will never understand how very much I needed that message at that particular time, but GOD knew. It was Galatians 6:9, the New International Joanina Version, and it was like an ice cold Ethiopian Coke (with real sugar!) to my dry, thirsty soul. Joanina’s simple message revived my spirit.

Over and over again, God has shown me that He’s got this.

So I’ll work on being patient and waiting on him, trusting and resting in the knowledge that the kids in Boricha are HIS kids. He wants what’s best for them even more than I do.

Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

If you would like to be the hands and feet of Christ to one of our children awaiting a sponsor, please visit www.pwesponsorship.org

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Belaynesh’s Dream House

When you imagine your dream home, what do you picture? Italian Marble countertops? Gorgeous hardwood floors? A master suite with a hot tub? A luxurious in-ground pool, beautifully landscaped?

Belaynesh pictures something a little different:

 

Typical modern style house in Shanto.

Belaynesh is one of the widows who received livestock through FOVC’s Widow’s Hope Program. With the income she has begun to generate through this project, she’s been able to support her family independently.

 

Now Belaynesh is very excited to be building what she calls her “Dream House”. She has been living with her children in a small mud hut, called a tukul. These huts have thatched roofs, and the weather really gives them a beating over the years.

 

Belaynesh standing with one of her daughters in front of her tukul, with her new house in progress in the background.

Belaynesh’s tukul was in poor condition. Fortunately, FOVC had the foresight to include a sustainable benevolence fund as part of the Widow’s Hope program. Each of the beneficiary widows pays back a percentage of their income to this fund. FOVC staff also make contributions.  The benevolence fund, together with some of her own income, has enabled Belaynesh to have a new house built; the house she has been dreaming of for many years. The house is being built with locally generated income, local materials, and local labor–providing jobs and a boost to the local economy.

Partners With Ethiopia and FOVC believe strongly in sustainable solutions to poverty. The Widow’s Hope program exemplifies this belief, encouraging and empowering women to not only earn an independent income, but also to save a portion of their income and give back to their community as well. This cooperation strengthens both the family and the community as they solve economic problems together. Every gift you make to Partners With Ethiopia allows us to continue funding amazing projects like this. Because the widows cooperated among themselves, we can learn from this great example. We can accomplish a lot when we each give a little!

 

If you’d like to give a little to keep these great programs running, you can make a gift at www.give2pwe.org – Thank you!

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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

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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

 

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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

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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

 

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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