Thursday, March 29, 2012

Clean Water Flows at Trees of Glory in Ethiopia!

We just received two exciting updates from Ethiopia, from our Trees of Glory CarePoint.  Nearly 150 orphaned and destitute kids attend the CarePoint for meals, school and medical care.   Currently water is carried to the CarePoint in jugs on the back of a donkey from the village spigot or a nearby river.  There is just enough water to use for drinking, cooking and washing hands.  Bathing and washing clothes are a luxury that these kids have not experienced with any regularity.

Drilling started at the end of January on a clean water well at Trees of Glory that will not only serve the CarePoint (and enable them to expand to serve even more children!) but will also serve the community.  When I was in Ethiopia in November, Simret, the CarePoint director, explained that she plans to designate one day each week where the kids will be able to shower and wash their clothes!

When we work with the kids and visit their homes, the lack of water is very evident.  Water is scarce and they walk 45-60 minutes to fill a jug and carry it home - and then it is only used for cooking and drinking.  There is none to spare for washing clothes or for bathing.

That is all about to change at Trees of Glory!  The well has been drilled and now phase 2 is underway.  The pump that will bring the water to the surface and the pipework that will deliver it to faucets at the care-point are under construction now.  The kids and staff are looking forward to the day that water flows abundantly at Trees of Glory.

A trench was dug by hand (with shovels and hard work) 
to bury the pipe that will bring water to the faucets at the CarePoint. 

A water delivery station for washing clothes is constructed. 

The building under construction in the background is part of the new poultry farm!

Another exciting project that is underway at TOG, is the construction of a poultry farm.  To develop a poultry farm, consistent access to fresh, clean water is needed.  The building is under construction now - and the vision at Trees of Glory is to develop a chicken farm that will supply the CarePoint with eggs and meat (protein!) for the kids - and that can also be sold at the local market to generate funds that will help the CarePoint become more self-sufficient.

The big-picture vision for the poultry farm is to train older children to care for and raise chickens - and to also teach local families how to raise chickens in their own backyards.  The farm will also raise and sell chicks to local families to help them start mini-enterprises of their own that can provide food and funds for each family.  Eventually, the team at Trees of Glory envisions this project benefitting up to 1000 families within the surrounding communities and villages, as well as the CarePoint!

The funds for the poultry farm were provided by Buffalo Covenant Church in Minnesota during their Advent fundraiser.  Right after my trip to Ethiopia in November, several members from our volunteer team (Stacy Uecker, Wendy Ling and me) shared about Trees of Glory and Kind Hearts and the poultry farm project.  Before Christmas,  Buffalo Covenant Church raised ALL of the funds to completely provide for this project!

Between the fresh-water well and the poultry farm at Trees of Glory, the staff and kids at Trees of Glory are THANKFUL and amazed at the commitment and outpouring of support.  Because of YOUR ongoing support, prayers and provision, the lives of nearly 150 kids have been dramatically changed and the CarePoint is enrolling more children right now.

As these projects progress and near completion, I will update here with a report and more photos.

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