An opportunity for a poor child in Ethiopia
In Ethiopia, a large proportion of children live in very poor conditions. It is not unusual to see impoverished children sitting in the street in the morning and begging. They have no other option, because nobody gives them the chance to live in regulated circumstances.
None of these children have enough to eat during the day, they are rarely able to attend school and are often mentally stunted. There is so much suffering that lives in their hearts. So much pain, sadness and despair. How can they ever lead a better life if nobody gives them a chance? As a mission we want to change that. As far as we can, we want to give children the chance to take their lives into their own hands. The spiritual aspect is especially important to us. Children need support in body, soul and spirit.
Holistic promotion (body, soul and spirit)
Of course, it is important for us as missionary ministry to bring the gospel to the children. But how are we to tell the children that they need Jesus when they are malnourished, neglected and mentally stunted? We want to help our children holistically. This includes for us:
1. A physical and medical care
2. A school and vocational training
3. Family support
4. Spiritual promotion
Physical and medical care
Many of our children are severely malnourished in our project. Of course, our first task is to make sure that the kids get enough to eat. Mostly, the children have to be re-dressed, and we provide reasonable accommodation for them and their mothers. Frequently, the children still suffer from illnesses that are either physical or mental. The consequences of years of hunger and neglect often manifest themselves in the health of the children. In Ethiopia, only the rich can afford health care. Our children are therefore supported by an internal "health insurance" of our mission. Part of the monthly support is reserved for this; so we can pay for individual children important medications or even life-saving operations.
Our children should be able to stand on their own two feet if they are released from the project. That's important to us. This includes a good education and vocational training. Many of our children are learning very practical occupations, such as auto-mechatronics, mechanical engineering, etc. But others also manage to get jobs in the higher-end occupations. That's how we released engineers, office workers, teachers and even doctors from our project. School education includes tutoring programs for the weaker children, words of encouragement or encouragement to learn from our carers, and the provision of monthly tuition and a school uniform required in Ethiopia. This exceeds the financial resources of all our families.
What good is it to the children if they have to eat every day, but see how their mothers work to the point of exhaustion in the daily wage and yet can not even pay the rent and still have to live on the street? We want to give parents the opportunity to build a source of income for the family. Some mothers make bread, others sew clothes or build a small vegetable stall. The Micro-Business project gives mothers the starting capital and provides the necessary training to help mothers use the money properly. These trainings are made possible by the Ethiopian state. They provide teachers who give mothers the knowledge they need to build a small stall, bake bread or sell handicrafts. They also advise our mothers by asking them two questions.
"What am I good at?" Every woman has different talents. The one likes to bake well and the other knows how to build a large vegetable stand from a small stand with a few tomatoes and potatoes, while others are capable of processing beautiful fabrics. We would like to find out about this talent in our training courses.
"What is needed and bought in my place?" In every place, people need different raw materials. Together with the mothers, for example, we found out that the coffee market is particularly good at selling coffee, and in the countryside, on the other hand, it is very hot and people enjoy a cool glass of water. It is up to the mothers to find out what is needed and bought in their region. Thus, the mothers can build a small foothold with which they can contribute something to their family fund.
Often the children come to our project with great mental scars. They had to suffer from hunger, neglect and often physical violence. We would like to help these often severely traumatized children through our caregivers and caregivers. They regularly look at how they are doing, what they need and how their physical and mental condition is. In addition, they invite the children to our weekly children's classes, because the only one who can really heal their emotional wounds is Jesus Christ. Our attendants try to talk about the faith with the children and the mothers during the visits, and also in the weekly tutoring there is always a little devotional service that gives the children the opportunity to talk to the staff. This is how we succeed in winning some children for Jesus and sometimes even reaching out to parents. Through the children's lessons, so many children have found in our project to Jesus and her parents were not rarely then come to the church and have decided to live with Jesus.
Our way of working
With our project we work in four cities in Ethiopia. Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, Asebe Teferi and Alage. In each of our cities we have several groups, each with around 40 children. In order to do the work responsibly, we have set up a leader in each city to coordinate the work, monitor the finances, and also design the tutoring. Most of them are former teachers because they have good prerequisites for the tutoring program. There are also smaller groups of children in the countryside, such as Ketar Genet or Kemona.
An example: Beza Tadesse
Beza came as an eight-year-old girl in our project. She grew up with her mother Tigest and a little sister in Dire Dawa. Beza's father had died in the war and her mother remained alone with two children. In addition, Tigest had severe tuberculosis and could no longer work. When Beza came in our project, she was very thin, had different physical complaints and had to be enrolled only once. With her eight years Beza came in the first class. She proudly put on her school uniform and was happy because she knew that from now on she would be able to go to school every day. Beza was taken to a doctor on a regular basis, felt better as the years went by and noticed how much changed in her home.
The mother Tigest was so well again by the medication that she could look for a job in the market. She set up a coal trade, with which she could improve the family fund.
At first, Beza struggled to attend school because she did not attend nursery school like the other children. But she went to great lengths and managed to get a place in college for an education as a kindergarten teacher. Beza was diligent. The work with the children made her so happy that she completed her apprenticeship as a year best and immediately got a job in a good preschool.
We released Beza from our project in May 2017 and we are happy and proud to see how positively she has developed. We were especially pleased that Beza and her mother are going their own way with Jesus. Beza has been baptized and has become a consistent Christian.
We are happy if our children can be released so positively from the project. However, to give them this opportunity to guide their lives, the children need a supporter. It would be nice if you offered this chance to a child with 30 euros a month.