Feeding the children in Kelakil
In front of us were two large half barrels with four metal handles. Two pretty young women stirring the contents with a long Eucalyptus branch. ‘Aqwi Ater’ (high protein beans) had been ground into flour and mixed with sugar to produce a gruel. While watching the cooks we saw a line of children come and sit under the shade of the large tree, then another line of children until eventually over three hundred children sat quietly in the shade. Bright plastic cups were handed out to each child and the porridge like liquid poured into each large cup, they sipped and then drank quickly as the drink cooled.
Behind them were five tents and one basic bush built structure, in the distance two open to the skies bush toilets, each room has mud benches upon which lay a few notebooks and pencils inside flour sack bags, wealth indeed!
This unique group of children is from Kelakil, they are marginalized, vulnerable and outsiders simply because there was poison in their community that contaminated them so that now they are ill, some have died others are orphaned… Abraham's Oasis was concerned because the savants said high protein diet could help them combat the disease but how can those already ill and weak find the required food.
So Abraham's Oasis through its donors, a friend in Netherlands and Baptist Mid Missions has stepped in bought the beans, sugar and cereals required enough for five meals a week for one year.
Our resident children have known enormous marginalization before coming to the village of Grace. Just recently several of our children were selected by their schools to compete in an area wide scholastic competition and this is on going. Imagine the challenge this is for our Samuel who until a few years ago was living on the streets of Shire Town, a known thief and little rogue, rising above his history.
Triple C’ (Community Child Care)
Many lone children eke out an existence with siblings and relatives; their parents have left them or died. They often manage to survive in their own way, so in order to strengthen their amazingly stoicism, Abraham's Oasis supplies funds to help with food, schooling and medical requirements when appropriate. We have a group of fifty seven at Kelakil, as well as other donors, one in Italy the ‘Michael onlus’ who fund eighty four children and Mariet Frigge, who recently visited us, from Netherlands and helps with a further twenty children. So through Abraham's Oasis one hundred sixty one children who live around us and manage to cook meals, care for younger siblings, help relatives, attend school and because of wonderful donors around the world, may one day hope to attend university or vocational school and walk with dignity simply because someone somewhere helped.
Abraham's Oasis has in recent months developed the five year strategic and financial plans, finalized the staff handbook and organizational chart and established the salary scale along with identifying gaps, which we hope to fill over the next months.
The building where the clinic was has been changed into the Bethel Centre; those needing extra care may come and be cared for, such as people living with aids (PLWA). Another room has been changed into the Fistula Waiting Area for north-western Tigray. Women with obstetric fistulas may come to us for primary care, nutritional supplements before sending them to the Mekelle Fistula Centre for surgery.
Letish and Berhine have had a short training for this service in Mekelle.
There will be plenty of health education when the two health care providers will take turns to go out to rural communities and teach health promotion.
We serve joyfully and we love our work;
You have helped spread hope and joy in this corner of Ethiopia