Our trip to Ethiopia last month was a whirlwind of traveling. Our goal was to visit each of our partner organizations to see first hand the projects that were completed and funded by YOU our generous donors, to assess future needs and continue to build the great relationships we have with our partners.
Lola Children’s Home is located in Mekelle, Ethiopia. Mekelle is the capitol of the Tigray Region in Northern Ethiopia. We flew out before dawn for the hour flight from Addis Ababa. Mekelle is beautiful and had clean fresh air which was a welcome blessing from the bad air quality in Addis Ababa. The cobblestone streets reminded me of a little village in France.
Lola is a home for HIV affected children. Currently 16 young children are provided care, food, education and medical treatments by the staff at Lola.
Abebe, the director at Lola greeted us at the airport with the VAN!! This van was purchased by Ethiopian Orphan Relief to assist wtih taking children to their medical appointments, school and HIV doctors. Abebe has so much compassion for these children. It was so humbling and precious to see how he treats these beautiful kids as his very own.
We had such a great two days with the kids. We played games, created art, painted a new gate, passed out project gena backpacks, took the children to an amusement park, celebrated with 3 coffee ceremonies , filled the care center with baby formula, school supplies, lotion and much more.
While there we met a husband and wife, Ben & Natasha who blew our minds away. This delightful Aussie couple along with their son are volunteering two years of their time to help at Lola. They are both nurses but we often referred to them as “jack of all trades” as they are doing great things for Lola, coming up with new ways to be a self sustaining orphanage.
Abebe surely has his act together and our EOR board members were very very impressed with his business plan, the health and cleanliness of the facility. It was a tight run ship with skilled staff members and a warm feeling as we walked through the gate.
In 2010 EOR donated beds, mattresses, linens for the care center along with most recently the van. Lauren, EOR project chairs shares that she feels as though with this new transportation has opened doors for the kids and improved the overall function of the program immensely.
Thank you Abebe for our wonderful visit and for leading Lola Children’s Home into a well run sustainable program that will last many years. We are honored at our partnership.