School Supplies For Lola

It’s school supply time for Lola Children’s Home.

Would you like to help with this mini project? Your gift of $25 will provide a child with the needed school supplies, uniform along with a new set of clothes for sports. Our amazing guests at Lights of Hope auction kicked off this project and were getting close to our goal.

Please visit here to make a gift of $25 or more to complete this project. Our goal is to complete this project by August 10th just in time before they start school.

Thanks for all you do for the kids at Lola Children’s Home in Mekelle, Ethiopia.





500 calories

Next month will be the one year anniversary of our Plumpy Nut nutritional program at Lola Children’s Home in Mekelle, Ethiopia.

Five days a week 22 of the 30 children at Lola consume one foil pack of Plumpy nut which contains 500 calories. The staff at Lola has seen wonderful results over the past 11 months. We’ve had weight gain in every child, vast improvements in learning and overall good health.

Plumpy Nut is a peanut-based nutritional supplement for malnutrition. Your generosity has made this project a success.  Many of these children are HIV affected and the need for additional nutrition is essential to their health.

The weekly cost for 22 children is $11.50 making this a cost effective nutritional program.

This week we received a new photo of the children receiving their plumpy nut.

Many thanks to YOU our amazing donors for helping with this project.

To make a donation towards the Plumpy Nut program please visit here. 0a9f8497-bfae-42f7-984d-d20f569bdd82K 4

It’s Monday…Missing the kids at Lola

Here is a picture of EOR’s first trip to Mekele, Ethiopia to visit our partner LOLA Children’s Home. This picture was taken in November 2011 with the kids and our team of eight who travelled all over Ethiopia.
We were so impressed with Abebe Fantahun and his small, yet comprehensive program for HIV affected kids. This was the beginning of a long and successful partnership.

Lauren – Partner & Project Chair

The gift that keeps giving

Exciting news from Lola in Mekelle. As you recall last May at Lights of Hope in Portland we auctioned off a Chicken Coop. The proceeds from that coop went to Lola to purchase a chicken coop + chickens for the HIV affected children.

Yesterday we received these adorable photos of the chickens and their offspring. So glad to see our donation multiplying. 

Kim, Lauren, JoAnna & Sara






We’ve been running at full-tilt for the last few days.  The cousins arrived from Florida to enjoy a Buckeye Thanksgiving, and the house has been full-to-bursting since Wednesday.  11 people–eating, laughing, playing games, making art and…eating.  It’s a joyous occasion. Nothing illustrates my American good fortune like setting aside half a week to feast with some of the people I love best!

In the midst of all of this celebrating, my Ethiopian friends remain much on my mind.  I think about my friend Tiru, who is celebrating her Thanksgiving with all of her lovely daughters away from home for the first time.  I think about my friend Seleshi, who’s mother is visiting the United States for the first time since he moved here more than 20 years ago.  I think about Demissew, the man I met at the airport in Mekelle.  Every day I  wait for news that he’ll be starting his PhD program this spring at my alma mater, The Florida State University (with full funding, fingers crossed!)  And always, always, I think about dear friends at Children’s Heaven, Lola Children’s Home, and FOVC.

How nice, that in a life that was already filled-to-the-brim with good fortune, I’ve been given the gift of a wider world view.  The people I know, the places I’ve been…I’m an incredibly lucky girl, um, middle-aged woman.

So gifted, that when pressed to name a Christmas wish, I could only think to ask for one thing:  a goat (or a sheep… I’m not picky).  My relatives thought this a fabulous idea, so I know they won’t mind a bit when they receive the same, because really…what more could we wish for?  We all enjoy fine health, lovely homes, terrific kids, happy marriages and abundance. Nothing under my Christmas tree could possibly change my life in any lasting way, but the gift of a goat (or cow, a sheep, or chickens) will make a real difference to my very real friends in Ethiopia.

I’m sure most of you have been counting your blessings over the past few days too.  I hope that like me, you find your life is overflowing with good.  If so, maybe you’ll also ask for a goat for a holiday gift, or maybe you’ll give a gift of livestock instead?   Who wouldn’t like 8 chickens for Hanukkah?

Hoping your life is as abundant as mine,


Want to fill someone’s stocking with a sheep? Here’s how:


a thank you from YOU

It always brightens our day at Ethiopian Orphan Relief when a note arrives from YOU via email, snail mail, comment on our blog, comment on facebook. 

We wanted to share this beautiful insight from a friend of EOR and Lola Children’s Home, Tiffany who shared with us first hand how YOUR generosity is helping. 

I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all your work. I’m a volunteer who has spent time at Lola Children’s Home for the past two summers. Everything you have done for them, I know has been much appreciated, but I wanted to share this story with you- to reiterate the beauty that is the Lola/EOR van!! Last summer, one of our little ones(and I mean little) had to have a tooth removed- it had been damaged and staff had located a dentist that did pediatric work-so one late afternoon, I went with her and a staff member to the dentist. This took quite a walk followed by two or three different bagets (little 3 wheeled cabs) in the rain to get to the dentist. Then after a traumatic dentist visit for our little one- which was just as traumatic to her English speaking ferengi(me), we had to make that same trip home while also stopping at the pharmacist. This whole process probably took at least an hour and half longer than it should have. I’m so glad they have the van now!!! Your organization is amazing and directly impacting many children. I just wanted to say that.

Thank you Tiffany for your uplifting letter. We love the children at Lola and all that our gracious donors provide for the orphan and vulnerable children in Ethiopia. 

Lola Children’s Home

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.

Kim & Lauren

Mek’ele, Addis Abba and Soddo, Oh My!

Today the Ethiopian Orphan Relief’s crew is traveling back to Addis Ababa after visiting LOLA Children’s Home in Mek’ele. Next stop: Soddo, to visit FOVC.

From Kim, “Back in Addis Ababa tonight after a great two days in Mekele! We had a wonderful visit with the children at Lola Children’s Home! The kids LOVED their Project Gena bags. Can’t wait to share the photos!! Tomorrow we drive 7 hours south to Soddo. Can’t wait to meet the kids at FOVC-Ethiopia.

And from Lauren, “Good Morning! Slept well last night after I lost the key to my room and it took 1.5 hours to get a new one 😉 . Everything is on “Africa Time”. This morning my mom Judy Andronici and I are eagerly awaiting the rest of the team to arrive in the lobby while I type this post. I must say the coffee is AMAZING .. and FREE. So far we have had 5 coffee ceremonies and I may need a caffeine detox upon arrival home. Todays plans include painting a huge intricate gate at LOLA, Project Gena backpack distribution and Creating art tiles with the kids for a Lights of Hope Auction item, that is sure to be a popular item in Portland Oregon. We are flying out at 5 Pm and plan a mellow eve at the guest house. Tomorrow we head south to visit partner FOVC for 3-4 days. We will have a 6 hr drive through beautiful country. I am excited to see the orphanage that Ethiopian Orphan Relief built with your generous donations in this past year. At our last years Portland Lights of Hope auction we raised 31K in 15 minutes during the “raise the paddle” portion of the event. It should prove to be the most intense part of our journey yet and I doubt I will have internet access regularly. So you may have to wait for further updates. Thanks for all your well wishes and support”

Off to Mek’ele

The EOR crew in Ethiopia spent Saturday in Addis Ababa by joining in the 7th Anniversary celebrations at Children’s Heaven. Children’s Heaven is a place for girls pre-teen to teen in danger of being orphaned and without a place to go. If I knew how to link you to all the wonderful blog posts on Children’s Heaven I would do that now. Since I am holding down the proverbial ‘EOR Fort’ while everyone is away, you just get the basics.

Sunday, the EOR group flew to Mekele to visit EOR partner LOLA. LOLA is a children’s home for HIV Orphans. The following is a note from Lauren, EOR Partner and Project’s Chair.

“Day 3 or is it 4?..- Caught a flight to Mekele this AM from Addis. Met with the amazing crew at LOLA Childrens home. Ethiopian Orphan Relief supplied this new orphanage with computers, beds, linens, mattresses, and a new van. This city is beautiful and we are so proud to be partnered with such a well run program. Had a great meeting with the director Abebe, board members, and assorted staff. Tonight had a surprise dinner at the house of 2 volunteers from Australia. Great evening. Great team. Exhausted with the travel and experiences, but thrilled with the project evaluation. Miss my sweet family.”

Our crew of 8 travelers have given EOR an incredible gift of time, money, emotion and heart to make this trip to Ethiopia. All of us involved in EOR hold a special place in our hearts for Ethiopia, but to leave your family and make a trip like this takes another level of compassion, which all of our team on this trip clearly have. They have gone to make sure every dollar given to EOR is in the right place, spent the right way. EOR is a 100% volunteer organization. 96 cents of every dollar you give goes to our projects in Ethiopia. That right there is an amazing fact. 96% Beyond that, we at EOR make sure that those 96 pennies of every dollar are spent in a responsible and honest manner. We make sure of it, and every 20-24 months, EOR members go to check on things in person.

I know our group is physically and emotionally exhausted, you can’t travel to the other side of the world without that happening. Please send all your wonderful thoughts their way. We all look forward to their safe return, their stories, their photos, but in the mean time, they have much more great work to be done. Please continue to follow us here on our blog, Facebook and Twitter for the play by play account.



Project Gena – 113 backpacks to children in Ethiopia

Christmas in Ethiopia is called Gena and it’s celebrated on January 7th.  Here at Ethiopian Orphan Relief   we’re gathering gifts to put in backpacks for children at Lola Children’s Home   & FOVC (Friends of Orphans & Vulnerable Children).  Through “Project Gena 2011″   your generosity will brighten an orphan’s life.  EOR provides the backpacks~~ can you help us fill them?

In November, EOR board members will be traveling to Ethiopia to meet with our partner organizations and assess future needs. We will be hand delivering these backpacks to the children.

Boy or girl? Email to make plans to shop for a specific child.  Too busy to shop for all the special someones on your personal gift list? A backpack for an Ethiopian child makes a wonderful gift for others.  For a donation of 15.00 we’ll shop for you  AND send a special card to the honoree of your choice.   A personalized letter or photo makes a wonderful addition to any backpack – we welcome yours.  We can’t wait to share a photo of the children receiving their gifts,  please include your address with your donation so we can send you one too.   To see a video of Project Gena click here.

For those counting, it’s 137 days till Christmas! Let EOR help you take some gifts off your list.  Do your children have a service project at school?  Feel free to pass along our flier and…

Melkam Gena!


Gift Ideas

Toothbrushes, socks, underwear, small toys, pencils, hair do dad’s, small cars, yo-yo’s, jump ropes, etch a sketch, markers.

Please contact for questions and address on where to ship your treasures.