Are we ever excited at what has been happening!
We were told that our Sammy was better and would we come get him, but before we could do that he arrived off the local transport bus, on his own and in his right mind! He is living in the Boy’s Home with the teenagers and they are working this rainy season and he right there with them, helping the builder, pulling weeds or whatever he is asked to do! When you pass him he runs up to you and gives you his wonderful smile and a big hug!
Then our Yonas who had surgery for his hydrocephaly was doing so well; then last Sunday he fitted for 45 minutes… Oh no we thought as we rushed him to the hospital… All the children got together in chapel and prayed, and prayed and three hours later a very weary but ‘I am fine thank you’ Yonas came home. The next day apart from rings under his eyes he walked and talked normally! We are happy people.
Tamrat our littliest baby is HIV+ or rather was, his last result came back negative and we are now waiting for confirmation from Mekelle. His name means miracle… Thank you for your role!
These darling children struggle in their homes, but with family as we help pay school bills and medical expenses when they are sick. We have a former teacher Tesfalidet who is now helping in that department and doing a good job working with Frehiwot. They visit the children in their homes to ensure they are well and safe, during term time they visit the schools and talk with the teachers so that the donors may know the learning status of the children. The annual reports to sponsored children donors have been sent out now with photos and reports cards to these wonderful people around the world who help us help others. Thank you!
Refugee Child Protection
So we are now immersed in refugee camp life, our superb child protection officer Bethel goes each week and stays overnight in a nearby hotel in order to be near ‘her children’. Animators and supervisors have been selected from within the refugees and these are fine young men and women with qualifications from their own country that provide them with the required skills to care for children.
Shelters for these unaccompanied minors have been provided and already one party has been held to cheer them up! Now everyone wants to be part of the Oasis for Kids activities! The children have planted vegetables, corn and other food stuff to supplement their rather meagre rations. They have a long road ahead and some horrendous stories to tell. Thanks for praying for them.
We have completed our annual review and feel that given the low number of women actually using the Fistula waiting Area that we cannot justify keeping it open. This does not mean that we stop reaching out and identifying women with childbirth injuries, no not at all! In fact we plan to intensify our search for them, to employ a more senior health professional and go further into the countryside to find these poor women. The selected professional will also teach more aggressively about maternal health and the hazards related to pregnancy and delivery. S/he will distribute clean delivery kits where these are needed. We are now searching for an energetic midwife to help with this work.
Our nurse will work fulltime at Grace Village caring for the children and providing more hands on supervision of the many small babies we have and will continue to receive. She will also support the childcare coordinator in his very responsible job at Grace Village.
Unknown Liver Disease
The Health Extension Worker has been re-assigned to work with the people with the unidentified liver disease. One specific group worries us because they are internally displaced and are now so weak and demoralized from having had so many die, that we want to be able to help these people with some sort of rehabilitation project. Perhaps making high calorie food from peanut and soya that could be marketed, or possibly making simple delivery kits. We need to examine all the options and see how best we can help them stand tall despite having lost so much.
Alganish has died and Tsegaye both under 12 years and who will be next. We now have one of the local university involved in the research but we need funding for this and this takes time, we wonder who will be next before we find the definitive cause.
We continue to expand in this area with two new sites and the women working hard to develop the land given to them by government. We have changed our policy to allow more decision making for the women, we give them instalments of money and as they spend it wisely the second and third instalment is given. Some are more creative than others, but as a whole they are doing well. The threat is that the project is taken from them and given to others, so it is in their interest to do well.
They can develop this and provide for their children as these women are lone women, either widows, abandoned or single mothers with children still dependent on them.
Tadesse Haile Mariam who had spent so much time with us and previously with Karin decided to leave Abraham's Oasis to move to Addis Ababa. We were so excited that he had obtained an MSc, but then no doubt it is natural for a young man to want to progress and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
So the rains came, abundant and plenteous rain! Great! But then we only had electricity every other day all over Ethiopia which meant the cement factory as well! So we then had water but no cement… We did complete the lake which is now full and over flowing but the buildings were again put on hold.
Very blustery storms tore off roofs from two of our current buildings, the office and one home so that was a priority for the builder… The price of cement went up and up… so we waited and now it has started to come down and we have both water and cement.
Yes, we plan to open our own school here at Grace Village! This will allow smaller classes and more supervision and help from teachers to help our children. It means that Sammy won’t have to worry about being ‘in town’ where he was a street boy for so many years… He can go to school across the field from ‘home’. The old clinic is being developed into our school house and everyone is so happy!
You are valuable and previous to us! September is our annual birthday party for all the children at Grace Village. This year they will receive a plate, mug and cup from their sponsors to help them feel special and unique.
Regularly parcels arrive with cardigans, baby clothes, children’s clothes, pens, pencils, notepads, hair ribbons and elastic and toys that bring smiles and laughter to our wonderful children, at Grace Village, in the community and now to the Oasis for Kids refugee children too!
God bless you all for your part!
Ruth C. Kennedy for all at Oasis!