for the vulnerable and marginalized
The Office and Study Centre
Motor Bike for Childcare Worker
Refugee Child Protection
Grace Village Health
A whirlwind has arrived in our village, Ato (Mr.) Mehari and old friend of Karin’s from when she worked at the local hospital. He has done sanitation campaign – ‘clean the compound day’ and everyone was there to do the work! He has checked the children, follows their growth, teaching health and hygiene to mothers and at school and finds time to write leaflets about hygiene in the dairy for our girls cooperative!
Maternal Health Outreach
In addition to the above, he is busy travelling has held one workshop in Tselemti (near the refugee camp), a very remote place with high incidents of maternal death and disabilities. He taught the use of and distributed clean delivery kits to the rural health workers. He has identified seven women with obstetric fistulae and referred them to Mekelle Fistula Centre. He has also planned for two more workshop in Medebaye Zana and Asgede Tsimbla for the same type of awareness raising. Word is out and the women are coming, the telephones are ringing and the local hospital is calling us frequently!
Mehari has been to advise and raise moral in Kelakil and being a man from nearby they are hearing him and are encouraged.
Hadgu our new agricultural agent is getting excited about what is happening here. After a run of inadequate employees to manage the garden, a decision was reached that this would be an ideal training for our older lads. Allowing them to manage, water, weed and harvest the crops and market them and share profits with the organisations towards savings for their future school or work.
Emnet / Faith Coop as taken off! Johnny is chairman… and doing a good job getting his brothers to work and prepare the land and weed etc. The lads are out there every day doing their chores. Yesterday a neighbouring farmer let his cattle and goats into ‘our’ land and the boys rounded them up and charge the defaulter for the misdemeanour, we kept well out of the way and watch them negotiate. It was great to see them deal with this conflict in such a honouring manner. We don’t think the farmer will let his animals stray onto our land again in a hurry, he realised that he is dealing with young able men! Not two foreign women!
This month the older girls have started to run the dairy as their coop. They have called is Kebir / Glory. They are rising at 5.30am to collect the milk and working until 7pm to prepare butter and sterilise the milk! We are very pleased with this beginning. We hope to sell to folk from UNHCR and IOM and perhaps some of the bigger hotels…
Female Headed Households
Gebre Mehdin, our excellent agricultural agent who works in the community has been diagnosed with diabetes, not easy to handle in any country but especially tough in remote Ethiopia. We have a very good internist at the local hospital who is Gebre Mehdin physician. So we are grateful for that and Gebre Mehdin has returned to work and is doing his usual high quality work with the women headed householders.
A new project is that of Kelakil rehabilitation, this hurting and sick community has now some fine researchers taking over the work we had been doing therefore we now change focus to help in the community and the school. The women will be making various crafts, cotton spinning and wool carding as well as mat making and other local crafts. The school will open a small school supplies shop that may supply simple household items such as soap, matches etc, so that children can buy these upon return from school thus helping their mothers.
This has made a huge difference to our little school building and we have moved grades 1-7 into the new building, we now have teachers room, science laboratory, computer laboratory and grade 8 has a bigger room. The design is so in keeping with our other building, and both teachers and students are pleased.
We celebrated Palm Sunday and Easter in the Hall and that was special as the European Easter and Ethiopian Easter were the same this year! We had our children and the mothers all there looking so beautiful in the traditional white clothing! The library has started with the older children using it for their studies in the evening. KG has yet to be opened as our KG teacher Harag is leaving to get married so we thought new place, new teacher would be good. Other guests have painted the walls there with some fun pictures for the children to look at. Lovely white tiles will make it a safe place and hygienic for our babies to crawl around on. The whole building is around beautiful and we are so grateful to those who have given so generously to make this possible!
Reservoir and Wells
Water, water, water seems to be our constant plea! We believe that we have finally clinched it though. The storage reservoir is nearly complete all but the opening and steps. Then in the rainy season we can pump the abundant water supplies into this storage reservoir and hold it until February through May for the dry months of the year and have enough water for all!The large lake that we had relined has held water until now, this is being used for the gardens and we are pleased about this!
Our Ato Teklaye is still digging away down in the bowels of the earth, chipping away at rock until he meets the floor of the valley when surely there will be water to recompense his hard work.
When we think there isn’t enough money, we look at the accounts and find out that we can move a little from here to there and stretch this money a little further and cover most of the costs. Our main concern for the upcoming year is for Grace School, however when the time comes we find that we have enough money for paying salaries. Kitting out the school does cost money as we are finding out.
What impresses us most is that when we think we are pinched, the required amount comes in and we know that God Almighty is looking out for the fatherless, the widows and the orphans and we rest assured!
You are of enormous value to us, thank you!
Karin v /d Bosch & Ruth C. Kennedy