Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC)
Polly Strong came and helped us for six weeks with learning English. She soon found her way into the children hearts.
Our Nahomi is growing fast and we have had no more new children join us; but we have opened house No. 5 in readiness for smaller children. Wobete is the Nanny in charge – at present she also watches over the other babies and smaller toddlers.
Yordanos and Danayit, whose mother has found safe haven in Norway, from the conflict in Libya; have moved to their grandparents who we have identified and are delighted to have the girls with them as they await family reunification with their mother in Norway. We are pleased for them, though their buddies here in the village miss them.
We have been able to identify some of the weaker students after examination results came out and we have paired them with teachers who will provide tutoring in the weaker subjects.
One afternoon I watched Teacher Asseffa teach visually impaired Teferre learn to read and write in English Braille, while Rosa, who is hearing impaired signed with Ethiopian Sign Language the Tigrinya letters written on the black board; she was word / hand perfect!
We are delighted to have Jeff from USA to help with practical English, music and involvement with the young lads with us.
The gradual sale of our beloved cows is happening, we are down to two and they will soon go... The reason for the sale is because of the problems related to the many fasting seasons in Ethiopia when the sale of milk almost comes to a total halt. The recent setback with Foot and Mouth Disease did not help and our lack of experience with handling the animals and poor advisors who gave either little help or wrong advice.
We have sought expert council who encouraged us to go into sheep rearing – there is no religious barrier – all faiths buy sheep. The cost of one sheep is cheaper than a cow. They can be housed in our current barn with minor modifications. We are now is the planning stage and simultaneously preparing the Income Generation Activity Business Plan for later this year while buying a small flock that our own lads may manage for us with some training from the local Agriculture College in town.
Workshops with caregivers and community OVC have been very useful, helping the caregivers understand the role thrust upon them and the need to encourage the OVC dependent to attend school to have an improved future.
The ongoing attraction of bars (for girls)and panning for gold for the lads remains a challenge; fortuitously through the efforts of the Sociologist some children have actually come back and asked to be reinstated as they realise the value of schooling over empty promises. We hope to continue this effort to ensure as many of the children being sponsored remain within our programme to the best possible outcome at school.
Providing them with basic supplies, notebooks, pens and pencils goes some way to encourage them.
There are a number of them who have untold misery at home, both parents dying of AIDS extended family not able to help them, slowly seeing furniture and kitchen supplies being sold just to buy food, reflects also the current financial situation faced by so many.
Elementary School Support (ESS)
Degana School (Phase Two) has now started the retail shop and is already making a profit. We believe that after seeing the success of both Kelakil School and Degana School in this retails shop for school, we will use this as a pattern for future schools.
So first phase urgent needs of the selected school are met upon approval by Abraham’s Oasis and Phase Two – retails Shop is set up for the rural community.
Women in Need
“So mothers dies, they become disabled hasn’t it always been this way?” Well, yes but this can change and must change; with raising awareness in rural communities, through teaching men about improved maternal care, attending prenatal clinic, supporting their wives, and other women folk to have babies in health facilities we can bring about these changes This is what Abraham’s Oasis is doing through the local Health Offices and Service Providers. In addition to this we encourage the Health Professionals through workshops and updating of their skills and experience sharing sessions. It is tough to work in these remote areas! Thanks to Women’s Hope International we are making some inroads to highlighting the plight of mothers.
Assembly / Dissemination of CDK
The grant from Australia has arrived! We have already made a start on making the kits with one thousand already made up. Now we can order the remaining supplies and produce the required number for the North-western Zone of Tigray.
To be able to share out clean delivery kits throughout health facilities, to Health Extension Workers and to Traditional Birth Attendants means we can make a difference in the future of both the mother, the baby and the service provider. We are so grateful to the Birth Kit Foundation and the Australian Government for this kind contribution to the women of Ethiopia!
Women with Childbirth Injuries
Some of our resident cooks and one Nanny have chronic injuries; but you would never know it! They attend school in the afternoons and progress well.
Several women have come through our Charity asking for help; those with Obstetric Fistula go to Mekelle for surgery. Sadly there are others with Uterine Prolapse who also need help – so we are helping them by paying for them to be treated at the local hospital.
Gender Based Violence Awareness
Berihu, the psychologist has expanded this work to include counselling, role plays, sharing of dreams and visions and the women tell him they see hope despite the enormity of their suffering this then is what we set out to do and we are pleased.
“Selamawit – visually impaired was selected to run for Tigray in the Para Olympics- she is now being trained to compete for Ethiopia; if she is placed she will go to the World Para-Olympics – she comes from Kelakil, she lives at Grace Village, attends Grace School! Thank you for making all this events possible! God bless you all!
Karin van den Bosch and Ruth C. Kennedy