Friday, March 15, 2013

Updates from Ethiopia ...

Our CarePoints in Ethiopia have had several visitors lately ... and one large team of volunteers is about to depart for Ethiopia.

Paul Cooper (who was part of our team in November) is bringing his daughter home from Ethiopia right now and during his embassy trip, he visited Trees of Glory CarePoint again ... to see and encourage Simret (the director), to get a progress report on projects, to see his sponsor child Samrawit, and to have his newest daughter (Helina) and his oldest daughter see the CarePoint and meet all the kids!!!




During our trip in November, Simret had shared with me one of her biggest challenges.  Trees of Glory is located about 2 hours North of Addis in a remote area.  Access to health care and basic supplies is very limited, especially without a vehicle.

With so many children in her care, emergencies are inevitable.  And when an emergency occurs, they wait for transportation.

Even the most basic food supplies are not available in the rural markets - and things like fruits and vegetables for a balanced and nutritious diet for the kids, are only available in the markets in Addis - which is two hours away.

Simret travels to Addis every 9-10 days to purchase the bulk food supplies to feed 200 children!  She waits along the road, in the hot sun, sometimes as long as 3 hours, for a vehicle to come by and agree to take her to Addis.  A fee is negotiated (which is usually quite expensive for the long drive) and she is dropped off in the city.  She makes her way to the market, purchases the bulk supplies, and then negotiates with a driver in the city to take her and the supplies back to Trees of Glory.  Again a fee is negotiated and the long trek back to TOG ensues.  This simple trip to the market takes all day and is a large transportion expense.

Children's HopeChest has begun the lengthy and complex process of budgeting and acquiring government permission to purchase a vehicle and once this process is complete - we will be fund-raising for a vehicle so that the CarePoint can be more independent and self-sufficient (and have a vehicle readily available for emergency situaitons!)  Please pray and consider helping us fund this very important project once we have the budget and plans in place.

Paul is aware of this need from our visit in November, and so he decided to alleviate some of the pressure on Simret for one of her supply replenishing expeditions.  With his two daughters in tow, Paul began the adventure of purchasing and delivering bulk food supplies for Trees of Glory.  Nothing is as easy as it may seem on the surface (how hard can it be to get groceries in Ethiopia for 200 kids??? ).  Paul will provide an update upon his return from Ethiopia!!

Photos of the Cooper girls (above and below), buying bulk food supplies for TOG. 


To read more about Paul's visit to Trees of Glory (and see more great photos!), please click to the Cooper's excellent blog here  http://blog.jcooperphotography.com/2013/03/day-four/


In addition - we have a large team of volunteers leaving for Ethiopia next week to work with the kids at Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory.  Joey Austin will be leading this team - and her team has generously offered to deliver a care-package to each child from their sponsor family.  Here is a photo from her as she packs for that trip!! 



This team will also be delivering about 500 books to the library at Trees of Glory from an organization called Rescued Readers headed by Tammy Flowers!!  Slowly but surely we are equipping the library at Trees of Glory!!

A photo from Paul Cooper of the TOG library which is about to receive
500 more books from Rescued Readers.

There are still a handful of children at Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory who are waiting for a sponsor family.  $34 per month provides nutritious food, clean water, clothing, medical care, education and Christian discipleship for one child.  If you are interested in sponsoring a child, please contact me at kjwistrom@yahoo.com.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I'm so happy to hear Paul is back home with his daughter and what a good update. I had no idea Simret had to struggle so much to get supplies. Looking forward to spreading the word anf getting that vehicle for TOG