As you may have heard, EOR is planning its first annual “Art For Ethiopia” event on November 8, 2008 in Lakewood, Colorado at Flash Gallery (see previous post with flyer info included). In addition to some amazing art from artists all over the country, we’ll be hosting Hanna Fanta, founder of Children’s Heaven, at the event. The proceeds from the art sale will benefit Children’s Heaven to help with their goal of building a new facility for the girls. Hanna created Children’s Heaven to meet the needs of so many adolescent girls in Addis who have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDs. These girls are in a very vulnerable position in the culture and Hanna’s vision is to support them emotionally, spiritually and academically so that they can thrive and have a secure future. Currently, Children’s Heaven is renting a temporary space and also has a makeshift tarp shelter that they have also been using for the girls’ classes and activities.
I had the priveledge of visiting Children’s Heaven this summer while I was in Ethiopia and it was a wonderful experience. Hanna and the girls had organized an entire afternoon program for us with speeches by each girl, singing, dancing and a coffee ceremony. It was a moving and powerful experience and we were struck by the girls’ dedication to their education as well as their hopes and dreams for their futures. We brought them some small trinkets as gifts and were amazed that all the girls preferred special pencils to fancy, glitzy hair ties. This spoke volumes about their committment to education and learning.
We feel so lucky that Hanna will be coming back to Denver for this special event in November and hope to raise as much money as possible to help with their building project. For more information, see our website at http://www.ethiopianorphanrelief.org/Art_for_Ethiopia_2008.php
I am including some pictures here of the girls at Children’s Heaven that we took during our visit there! Please come out to support our event if you are in Colorado and feel free to send art/donations as well.