Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC)
Creative thinking! School is open and we have now added 9th and 10th Grades. The final approvals are being finalized after some effective intervention on the part of our team. We have two deaf children this year and two blind children, one partially sighted child has moved to Addis Ababa.
We have employed degree holders bringing the status to a much higher level than heretofore. We have included children from the community and that is a big plus for our children to be able to compete with others.
Our three teachers who are doing sandwich courses to upgrade to Diploma level have performed very well at the Teacher Training College and we are proud of them.
One new addition this quarter, Delina (meaning – we want her); has arrived from a town on the road to Gondar. Her mother is paralysed, her pregnancy the results of rape. A younger relative cared for the baby, consequently Delina prefers our younger girls to her Nanny. This is improving day by day.
Emnet House is developing into a rather delightful compound for the older boys, a veranda for them to ‘hang out’ in; a larger kitchen and an extra cook to help feed all the growing lads. Muez has taken responsibility for monitoring the lads and helping them clean up and create family time together.
We now have two great young men, both graduates from University. Getachew, a Psychologist, is already busy counselling our children at Grace Village while also helping his colleague, Sociologist Yemane with the huge task of sorting files of /and meeting the children from the Community Orphan Project. They are working on an implementation plan based on the Baseline Survey that was done earlier this year.
Books that we had been using in the library in town have now been given to the school in town that has most of Abraham’s Oasis’ sponsored children. The teachers were delighted!
Elementary School Support (ESS)
Degana School (Phase Two) has now presented us with a new proposal and this is to be developed into a retail shop. We have suggested they meet with their neighbouring school, Kelakil to learn how they set up shop and turned it into an income generation concern. Then we can give them the money and they can move ahead.
The Kelakil School is now ready for Phase Three in order to expand their income generation activities. This has proved to be very successful.
The cowhand proved to be unreliable and left us without notice. The work of running the dairy has now been established into two teams take from our own lads. There are the milkers, the grass cutters, the barn cleaners and the cow bathers. They enjoy working together – we are proud of them.
Sadly the cow that had two operations did not do well; so the village had a feast of meat! We fortunately have a new calf and she is female! Another cow is pregnant and we hope for another female.
We are still looking forward to building the new barn and gradually increase our herd. Milk sales are good and our product is in much demand. We certainly have a market for the sale of raw milk.
Women in Need
As per usual our outreach into remote parts of the designated area is totally inaccessible by car. The rains are just now coming to an end. So we are planning outreach to various sites with some innovative ideas including drama; increasing male involvement in female issues such as early marriage / pregnancy and the need to better care of all mothers.
Women with Childbirth Injuries
Wubete and Yenenish have come back having undergone further surgery. They have been advised to wait some time before expecting to notice any radical improvement. So we remain hopeful of eventual good changes for these two beautiful women.
Assembly / Dissemination of CDK
There are some supplies left over and we plan to continue to make as many more as possible while waiting for a reply from our donors in Australia.
We would like to make up to 10,000 kits in order to supply every health centre and post with these kits to further reduce maternal and newborn infection rates. The local Health Offices are excited at the prospect!
Women’s Income Generation Activities
At the last Management Meeting, we came to the decision to phase out these projects. Initially they were done upon request from Women ’s Affairs Offices. However, the two cooperatives we have been guiding do not appear to comply either with us or the government agency, therefore in fairness with our donors and good stewardship we will consider other means to assist needy women.
Gender Based Violence Awareness
Our WIN Coordinator is impressed with some of the women attending the Gender Based Violence Focal Group discussion events held periodically in their towns and communities.
These individuals have taken the small stipend given to attend the sessions and reproduced this by starting up small scale business. We would like to see this develop slowly with giving too much money but allows the individual victim of GBV to create her own style of income generation.
All our activities dovetail together when we see Lukas learning to talk, walking and laughing we realise that if our Women In Need Coordinator had not identified a needy dwarf from Dima, brought her to Shire for delivery, if we had not given a home for her baby… there would be no Mebrat or Lukas today – both would most definitely be dead! You have made this possible! Thank you!
Karin van den Bosch and Ruth C. Kennedy