A Heartfelt Thanks From Ato Desta

The main focus of our sponsorship program is education. In fact, the acronym in H.O.P.E. Child Sponsorship stands for Helping Orphans Prosper through Education.

A few of the students at Humbo School

In Ethiopia, over 30% of school aged children do not attend school. The biggest obstacle to school attendance is poverty. Imagine being so poor that you had to choose between food and school supplies. That’s the reality for many families living in poverty. Even though school is free to attend, children are sent home if they arrive without the proper supplies or uniform.

Kids and their teachers in the classroom for deaf students

This is why, each year, we hold our School Is Cool fundraiser. These funds are used to send unsponsored children to school. FOVC has dreams of expanding the sponsorship program to even more villages, and each year they select the poorest children in those villages to receive school supplies so they can get an education.

Ato Desta on the left, with many of the students in Humbo who received supplies last year

Last year we met with Ato Desta Anja, principal of the school in Humbo, near Wolayta Soddo. Ato Desta is a warm, caring man, and he loves his students. He’s been employed at the school for 40 years! He reiterated to us that the 150 children in Humbo who received help with school supplies would absolutely have NOT been in school this year without our (YOUR!) help. 

Meeting with Ato Desta and his staff in Humbo. They were thrilled to receive some soccer balls for the kids!

Ato Desta wanted to make sure that all of our supporters knew how crucial your help was in getting 150 kids to school each day last year. So, from Ato Desta, the staff, and all the children at Humbo School, THANK YOU!

This year you have an opportunity to send these kids back to school this year. It costs $40 to send a child to school for the entire year. Our fundraiser ends in just two days, and we need your help to send 440 kids to school this year!

 

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Orphans No More Radio Interview

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

Justice For Orphans is a U.S. based nonprofit whose mission is to rally the church for the cause of the fatherless, based on James 1:27. One of the ways JFO raises awareness about the needs of orphaned children and children in foster care is through a weekly radio show called Orphans No More, with JFO founder Sandra Flach.

This morning I spoke with Sandra about my own family’s journey of adoption, and how that lead to me to get involved with Partners With Ethiopia. Grab a cup of coffee and click the play button below to hear more, then head on over to Justice For Orphans to learn more about what they are doing to raise awareness for vulnerable children around the world.

 

Renee with Esayas, one of the children her family sponsors

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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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