Thursday, August 26, 2010

Orphaned Kids in Ethiopia will be Going to SCHOOL!!!

There are 84 orphaned children that attend the Trees of Glory care-point in Ethiopia.  All of these kids have been matched with a sponsor family, and for the past 2 months they have been getting nutritious meals every day at the care-point.  (Sponsorship provides food, clean water, medical care, education and Christian discipleship for the kids!)

Before the care-point was established, these kids were living in a variety of sad and difficult situations.  Most of these kids have lived through the death or abandonment of one or both parents.  For those kids that have lost both parents, they are living with a relative or neighbor that can barely provide for them.  Some of the kids were being "sold" as an indentured servant to herd livestock night and day for $12 per year.  That's not a typo - it's truly $12 PER YEAR.

Their childhood was purchased for $12 per year. And although that sounds cruel and inhumane to our Western ears, that $12 per year kept a handful of rice in their tummy (each day or every other day) and maybe even fed a few more kids in the house, keeping starvation at bay.

Addisu is one of the kids at Trees of Glory that will be
attending school this fall!  Both of his parents have died
and he is living with his grandmother.  He has never
been able to attend school ... until now.


Now that these kids have the safety and security of the care-point and nutritious meals every day, we turned our attention to their education.  It was our hope to find a few families to sponsor teachers - so that we could fund their monthly salaries and begin a school on the grounds at the care-point.  That hope has become a reality as we now have 6 families that have made a monthly committment to support the teachers at Trees of Glory.  The director at the care-point, Simret, is in the process of interviewing teachers.  A head teacher and an assistant teacher that will soon be opening a classroom and will begin providing an education for these kids.

Education is considered an honor and a privilege in Ethiopia.  A monthly fee must be paid for a child to attend school.  A school uniform is required and school supplies must be purchased.  For orphaned children who have already lost so much - losing the opportunity of an education makes it even worse.  Without an education, a child has very little hope of breaking out of the cycle of poverty and despair. 

A sponsor program can provide meals to keep them from starving, but without an education, they can get no traction and become self-sufficient.  It truly is a vicious circle.  A child loses both parents.  That child not only loses the only security, love and protection they know, but they lose their inheritence (any land or dwellings, cattle or possessions) and they cannot pay for schooling.  They become beggars or they become indentured servants or worse.

An education is the key to their future.  Here in the United States, we easily take it for granted because it is part of the basic fabric of our society.  Every child goes to school.  In Ethiopia and other 3rd world countries, that is not the case.

At Trees of Glory care-point, our kids are now going to get that most amazing and transforming of opportunities!  They will go to school!

I will be travelling back to Ethiopia in November and our team (there will be 18 of us)  will be spending time with the kids at both care-points, Trees of Glory and Kind Hearts.  We will be delivering school supplies and teaching materials, and each of us will spend one-on-one time with each child.  Teaching them, loving them and showing them that they are valuable and precious and so very worthy. 

If you are interested in providing a financial gift to be used in Ethiopia for urgent needs or toward the school, please contact me at kjwistrom@yahoo.com.  We currently have the building for the classroom, and the kids will start school with nothing more than benches and a teacher.  Funds will help to provide desks and chairs, along with books, a chalkboard and other teaching essentials.






These are some of the kids who are attending Trees of Glory care-point
and will be attending school for the first time this fall!!

2 comments:

Carla said...

Thanks so much for this post, Karen. I see our boy, Tameru! Such a handsome young man. How I wish I could reach right through this screen and hug him.

Karen said...

I see one our boys in the photos too :-) Can't wait to actually meet him in November!