30 posts in 30 days–ha! we did it! While we occasionally struggled to find the motivation to post “right now” we were never at a loss for words about Ethiopia and the children we love, here and there.
On the eve of World AIDS day, we’ve chosen to share updates related to AHOPE and Lola Children’s Home, both orphan care centers that serve the HIV positive population. Any orphan-related non-profit working in Ethiopia would be remiss if it didn’t include work with this particular group. Early on, EOR began work with AHOPE, located in Addis Ababa. We added a playground there (our very first project–thank you!), and have done several smaller projects, including a bedding project (to be completed by the end of December) and a vital alarm clock project. EOR purchased alarm clocks so that caregivers (at AHOPE and in the community) could keep track of medication doses, and times it is given, and these have proven invaluable.
Recently, EOR added its newest partner, Lola Children’s Fund.
Lola Children’s Home is the brainchild of Abebe Fantahun, an orphan from Tigray who survived the famine. As an orphan himself, Abebe feels a calling to help kids in the same predicament. Working as a social worker at one of Addis Ababa’s only HIV-positive orphanages, he felt a specific commitment to children with HIV. He decided to return to his birthplace to serve the local children, as the founder and director of Lola Children’s Home.
Lola Children’s Home houses approximately 20 children. Abebe has permission from the government to expand the orphanage, as well as a commitment from them to provide anti-retrovirals. Unlike many orphanages, Lola serves both HIV-positive children and their HIV-negative siblings, allowing families to remain in tact, without having to be separated due to their HIV status.
The eventual goal is to turn Lola Children’s Home into a large-scale sanctuary for orphans. Abebe is in talks with American adoption agencies to provide adoption services for the children. They offer child sponsorships and a sponsorship program for HIV-affected families in Mekele, and hope to extend its outreach to offer more community services for families with HIV and for HIV prevention.
Ethiopian Orphan Relief has already funded its first project for Lola–a bedding project so that Abebe can expand the center more quickly. Board member Katie and EOR supporter Becky visited Lola while they were in Ethiopia last week–we look forward to sharing a more complete update, with pictures! once they have time to recover.
There you have it, a tidy list of the projects you’ve supported, the lives you’ve changed. Did you ever imagine that giving a potato could bring such joy? That you would buy the first bed a child has ever slept in? That you would change hundreds of lives with your generosity? You’ve done this all, and more in 2010. I can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish in 2011.
Thanks for reading 30 posts in 30 days. Thanks for being part of 30 posts in 30 days!