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Saturday, February 27, 2010

School Uniforms Needed for Kind Hearts Kids!

The kids at Kind Hearts could really use school uniforms. They cannot afford them on their own - and this is something we can step in and directly help with. Only $19 will provide a uniform (and a much-needed change of clothes) to a child at Kind Hearts.

I was asked why uniforms are so important for the kids. Now that the children are getting nutrititious meals every day, and their basic needs are being met because of their sponsors, these are the types of projects we can focus on to make things just a little bit easier and a little bit better for these kids.

In the Ethiopian culture, all children attending school wear uniforms. In the mornings, the streets are filled with children walking to school, all of them wearing matching uniforms to signify the school they attend. From our balcony high above the street, we could easily see where the children were heading based on their uniforms, as their classmates clustered around the school entrance in matching uniforms. A school uniform represents that that child is a "student" - an honored and respected title "student". And that that child is enrolled in a government approved education center.

Going to school is a privilege in Ethiopia, and families pay a monthly fee in order to enroll their child or children. They need to purchase a uniform, books and specific notebooks. Of course if a child is an orphan or destitute - they cannot afford the monthly fees and they don't get an education. A sad cycle of events because education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. The Ethiopian government has made good strides in recent years, as they strive to identify orphaned and needy children and provide the opportunity for an education.

That is the opportunity 68 kids have at Kind Hearts. The government has provided the land and building to the Kind Hearts organization - and the sponsor families are providing the teacher salaries as well as food, clothing, medical care and Christian discipleship. It is an opportunity that none of the kids take lightly. Before we had sponsors for the kids, they were coming to school every day with empty tummies, weak with hunger - trying to concentrate and learn - in their filthy, stained clothes that many of them wear every day, and sleep in at night.

$19 will provide a school uniform (shirt, pants and jacket in a quality fabric) for one child at Kind Hearts. That uniform will not only provide a much-needed change of clothes - but I can promise, each child will treasure it and wear it with pride because they have the honor and privilege of going to school!

There are only 68 kids at Kind Hearts right now and we are half-way to our goal of raising enough funds to provide uniforms for ALL the kids. If you would like to help with a school uniform - please go to the Hopechest website at, click on "GIVE", specify $19 and clearly specify "ET2110 UNIFORMS" in the "child reference/notes" area. It is very important to specify ET2110 UNIFORMS so the funds go directly to the Kind Hearts school uniforms fund.

I will post again when we meet our goal - AND when we have pictures of the Kind Hearts kids proudly wearing their new school uniforms!!

In the photos below, this is an example of children in Ethiopia (in Kombolcha) with their school uniforms.

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