Summer News 2015

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It’s hard to believe it is already July! We are loving the summer, and have certainly been busy with exciting things!
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June was a fun month for fundraisers – the Medicine Hat Chapter hosted their first ever Hues for Humanity event, as well as the Drive the Wagon golf tournament. Both events were a success, and between them raised enough funds to feed 50 students one hot meal a day for a year at our Education Support Centers.

We are looking forward to holding our next Hues for Humanity event in Virginia this fall!
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We took a great group of students from Okanagan College to both Ethiopia and Malawi in May. It was a wonderful trip, full of great experiences!

The team was able to do medicals, and provide the community clinics in rural areas, as well as introduce some local children to Frisbee – a game they had never seen before!

We have just released the 2016 Schedule of Expeditions – take a look below!
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The Gindo Center gets New Paint

In Gindo we painted two classrooms and the dining hall. We asked if they had a ladder– so they went out and made one from trees. When we took it into the room, it was 3 feet too long to use- so they took it outside, sawed off the bottom 3 feet, and then gave it back to us It was quite unsteady so required someone to hold onto the bottom when in use but it did the job! 2015.03.gindo1 2015.03.gindo2 We first did all the upper part of the room in white, then the second day all the lower parts in Green.
The classroom with white part done first day!

The classroom with white part done first day!

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Dining hall completed and hand made ladder on the floor.

Dining hall completed and hand made ladder on the floor.

The center looks good as new again, and we felt accomplished after two days hard work. -Deborah Northcott, Expedition Team Leader

Games at Kirkos

At the Kirkos center we had two days of fun! The first day we did North American dancing and Ethiopian dancing – the second day we had a carnival which included an UNO tournament, face painting ( although some wanted it on their arms), a craft table, a puzzle table… The kids LOVED this! 2015.03.kirkos1 2015.03.kirkos5 2015.03.kirkos4 2015.03.kirkos2 2015.03.kirkos3 -Deborah Northcott, Expedition Team Leader

A Kitchen for Kality

At the Kality project- the guys built a structure to give shade to the children, replaced many of the taps on the water center, and helped construct a smokeless oven in their new outdoor kitchen! Lots of fun! 2015.03.kitchen1 2015.03.kitchen2 This now captures the smoke and takes it out a chimney so the women can cook the hot meals for the children without being faced with a smoke filled room. AWESOME job! 2015.03.kitchen4 -Deborah Northcott, Expedition Team Leader

Puppets in the Theatre!

One of our expedition volunteers traveled on this trip with her daughter. Together, they led a program at each center that the kids loved! Each center got a puppet theatre, and puppets to make up stories with. 2015.03.puppets1 2015.03.puppets2 They each built their own out of socks as well This was a LOT of fun too!   2015.03.puppets3 -Deborah Northcott, Expedition Team Leader

A Fun Day at Kirkos

Our Fall Expedition Team has been in Ethiopia for over a week now, and it looks like they are having a wonderful trip!

2014.11.Kirkos30khe The team spent a few days with the students at the Kirkos Education Support Center, and were treated to presentations from the students, and from the dance club.

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Then they taught the students how to use magnifying glasses. None of the students had ever seen one before, but they quickly found out you could burn your name into a piece of paper if you maneuvered it just right!

2014.11.Kirkos32khe Each of the students received a hygiene kit as a gift from the expedition team. Thank you to everyone who donated hygiene items for making this gift possible!

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Fill a future in Uganda

Education is more than what you learn at school. Our new education support center will have extra-curricular programs for the students – music clubs, drama, reading, soccer, poetry, art, and whatever else the students are interested in. Fill their future with all the things they hope for.
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Global Youth Expedition: Fun and Games at Kirkos!

We spent our last day at Kirkos Center enjoying the program that the students had put together for us, and playing games together.
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Kirkos Center has a wonderful student dance troupe. They have won city-wide competitions for traditional dance. We were treated to several different cultural dances from them, and it was awesome!
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The older students planned the program out, and had thought up several games to include our Global Youth volunteers in. Such as blowing flour in someone’s face while blindfolded!kirkos.81
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Kirkos also has a very active Drama Club, and this trip they entertained us with several different miming skits. This one was about a burglar – which explains the makeup!kirkos.05
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Egg races! Our Global Youth team didn’t last very long – the students at Kirkos are really good at this!
This was our final day working at the Kirkos Center – playing games and dancing with the students was the perfect way to end our visit there. Thank you Kirkos!

Packing up again!

Our Global Youth Expedition leaves for Ethiopia tomorrow and we have been busy, and even busier getting ready to leave! Thanks a ton to our Global Youth Citizen Award Winner Cherilyn, who dropped by and helped us sort out all the soaps and toothpastes and shampoos.

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Games and craft supplies – we are going to have so much fun with the students at our Education Support Centers!

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School supplies, crafts – everything we need!

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All packed up and tidy - and weighed in advance!

All packed up and tidy – and weighed in advance!


And thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! to everyone who donated for our hygiene kits! We have received donations from many of our volunteers in several different cities, and we appreciate how hard you work to organize everything.

Scholarship Student Update: Senayet

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Senayet joined our program in Kirkos at the age of 10, and did very well in her classes. She was accepted to a 3 year nursing program after graduating from high school in Addis Ababa.

Through our Scholarship Program, Senayet was supported as she attended her university classes. Wanting to do more, she also got a part time job, and started saving any extra money that she earned. Over the 3 years, Senayet was able to save enough money to send herself to one extra year of university so that she could get a 4 year degree and have an even better education.

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Senayet joined an expedition group’s medical team and was able to help with clinics in rural Ethiopia, working alongside North American medical professionals. Here, she is getting some practice in taking blood pressure under the supervision of an expedition volunteer who is a trained nurse. Another scholarship student, Eyerusalem, watches.


Congratulations on entering your final year of university Senayet! We are proud of all the hard work you have put into your education.

22 Children in 22 Days: Thank you!

During the last 22 days in May, we were able to sponsor 15 of the children in our programs in Ethiopia who still needed sponsorship. Thank you to all those who shared our goal with their friends, and who sponsored children – we couldn’t run our programs without you!

There are still children who are in need of sponsors in Ethiopia, and we are opening a new program in Uganda this fall – so keep sharing! With your help, we could have 100% of our students sponsored.

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Again, thank you!

The motivation for our work

When I arrived back in Ethiopia this trip (my second this year), it felt as though I had barely been gone. Things were much more familiar to me and it is beginning to feel like home while I am there. We had four volunteers on this expedition plus myself as the team leader; as a small group we were able to work closely together.

We were able to accomplish a number of educational and interesting sessions on this trip. We worked with the staff, with the children in the education centres, and with the students at the vocational training centre. For me this trip allowed me to build better relationships with our staff and with our students. I was able to build good friendships with our volunteers, all of whom I look forward to working with again in the future.

This trip I was able to interact with the children at each of the centres in Addis very closely. We spent a few days with each centre and this gave me the opportunity to get to know a number of the children, their names and their situations. These children are why we do what we do. They are the reason that we work hard at fundraising. They are the reason that we talk about our jobs and our work to everyone we know. When you get the opportunity to spend time with these children and to meet their families, you realize the effect that these programs have on the lives of these children and their families. The children in the photos below are just a few of the ones that are expanding my capacity to love and to work hard at what I do, in the hopes that they will have an advantage in life in spite of anything else that may happen in their lives.

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fill it up – uganda

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A new Education Support Center and Program will be opening in Lira, Uganda this fall. We couldn’t be more excited! 50 children in Lira will be enrolled in the center, and will have the opportunity to stay in school, receive educational support that they need, as well as medical support, a hot meal every day, and extra tutorial help with their school work.

We want to fill up the Education Center with everything it needs: books, backpacks, hygiene kits, school uniforms, tables, desks, pay their tuition fees, and provide food for the hot meal program. You can donate one item for one child, or as many of each as you would like! You can also make a general donation towards the new center at any amount.

Help us Fill it Up in Uganda, and get our Lira Education Support Center off to a full start!

22 children in 22 days: 10 children sponsorsed!

We have now sponsored 10 of the children out of the 22 that still needed sponsorship at the beginning of May. We have 2 days left in the month, and 12 more children in Ethiopia who need sponsors.

Thank you to all our new sponsors and to everyone who has shared our goal with your friends. Keep sharing! We are almost there!

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Birthday Party at Kality

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At the Love and Hope Center in Kality, Ethiopia the education support center staff has introduced a whole new kind of party to the children – a group birthday party.

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There are 70 children in the Kality education support program – and that’s a lot of birthdays! So every 3 months, the center gets together and celebrates all the birthdays that have happened since the last party. The children who have had those birthdays get to sit up at the head table, and everyone gets cake.

Happy Birthday Everyone!

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22 Children in 22 Days: 5 children sponsored!

Since we started our 22 children in 22 days on May 9th we have had 5 children sponsored!

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We have 8 days left, and 17 more children who are in need of sponsorship. When a child enters our education program it changes their lives.

 Tamrat, Teddy, and Eyerusalem are a few individuals who entered the Education Support Centers at a young age, and have now grown to be outstanding individuals.

By sponsoring a child you give them hope, education, and love – so begin sponsoring today!

My first expedition with Kids Hope Ethiopia

Writing a single blog post to summarize a month long journey is nearly impossible. I am new to Kids Hope Ethiopia; I had been working in the head office for 3 ½ months when I left for the February expedition. Ethiopia was new for me, however world travel and Africa were not. I love experiencing new cultures and scenery. Ethiopia is beautiful. It took very little time for me to fall in love with this new country and its people.

I was with the expedition group for a week. I met some wonderful people in this group of volunteers. We worked together, traveled together, and shared illness together. As an employee I am grateful to those volunteers who give of themselves to come with us, work to make things better and engage with the children that we work with. As a person I am grateful to know other people who strive to make this world a better place and to help those not born into the resources we have here in North America.

One of the most memorable days in Ethiopia for me was our last Sunday there. In the afternoon we split into groups to do home visits with a number of the children and their families. Our group saw three families. The living condition of all of these families was not what we are accustomed to in North America. However, the homes were kept clean and tidy and the families welcomed us with warmth. The hope I saw in a mother’s eye as she told us of her gratitude for our programs and the chance that one of her children would now be able to succeed touched me greatly.

Our last visit of the day was very difficult; a small family was living in a tiny place for which they were grateful because it had gotten them off of the streets. However the place was falling apart and the lock on the door didn’t work. The most angering situation because of this was the fact that men had broken into their house and tried to harm the oldest daughter, fortunately neighbours came to their rescue and the tragedy was lessened. This teenage girl lives and sleeps in fear; her younger brother now sleeps on the floor between the door and the bed as an added layer of protection. The bureaucracy of it all is infuriating. The very first step should be to put a lock on the door that works, but to do that you have to go through the local government to get approval for “house improvements”, which can take weeks. I am grateful for staff over there that can check up on this family and follow up with the government so that we can make this a safer place for this family.

Travelling overseas can be mentally and physically exhausting, especially doing humanitarian work where the days tend to be long and active; but each time I have gone I have received more than I have given. Not in the sense of material things, but my life view has been opened and my mind and heart filled by the wonderful people I have met.

The work we are doing over there is incredible, if you think you can give something then please do. If you want to travel, we have multiple expeditions each year. If you have an extra $35 a month, we have children who need sponsors. There are many ways to get involved ask us for ideas and we will share them with you.

Heather Woodward, Program Development Coordinator

A nurse’s perspective on a trip of a lifetime to Addis Ababa(Part III)

At the end of my trip I no longer saw the citizens of Addis Ababa as victims. I chose to focus on more than all the overwhelmingly negative scenarios and situations I had initially seen when I first got to Ethiopia. I am so glad I had the eighteen days to spend in Ethiopia because in the end I felt completely different. I was able to see the positive outcomes it can make to the child and their families future by participating in the programs with Kids Hope Ethiopia. Not only does education give a child a way to break free from the cycle of poverty but the program itself also offers children the ability to gain confidence and have a safety net. I was able to see first hand how these programs at each center became a second home to the children. It was a place they wanted to come to every day after school because it made them feel accepted, supported, and safe! Kids Hope Ethiopia has also begun to help the mothers of the children in the programs by involving them in activities that help them generate an income. Some of the activities the mothers are involved in are baking injera (flat bread) they sell and also the women have a chicken coop. This is another great way to help support the family as a unity. The adults are able to then buy food for their family and pay for their rent or shelter and this allows the child to focus more on education. I felt lucky to have been invited into these children’s’ homes and speak to their parents and hear about how proud they were of their educated children. Many acknowledged the importance of education and how they are going to support their child in school so they can have a bright future.


Our group of volunteers during the first week
 Group as of Feb 18th

Colleen St Mikeal Climb (13)

Helping children wash their hair at Kality

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The injera making project with the guardians

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Medical examinations

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~Colleen Bakke (Registered nurse, Regina, Sask.)

A nurse’s perspective on a trip of a lifetime to Addis Ababa (Part II)

In most cities there is a division between the rich and the poor. However, the time I spent in Ethiopia I did not see this division. I saw families living in poverty or extreme poverty. One of the most shocking experiences of my journey in Ethiopia was taking a trip to the Black Lion Hospital, the government funded referral hospital. This is the hospital where citizens of Addis Ababa and surrounding cities in Ethiopia are referred to when they cannot afford a private hospital. I do not think I can explain the feeling or thoughts that were in my mind when touring through this hospital. From the time I entered the emergency doors until the hospital tour was over I was in disbelief! The Emergency room was overcrowded with people lying on the floor and stretchers all aligned almost touching each other. The initial observations I made was there were no isolation rooms, no gloves being used between patient to patient care, IV bags/blood transfusions were hung on a hanger attached to the roof, and the hopelessness spread across the patients faces was devastating.  

The further we walked through the hospital the more a little piece of my spirit was taken from me. It honestly reminded me of what you would expect to see at a mass casualty triage scene where all resources have been exhausted and people are just trying to make it out alive. The services provided at this hospital were substandard, non-patient centered care. The most surprising to hear was that patients are only physically ambulated/repositioned, toileted, and fed if they have family members to come provide those services for them. If they do not have family the patient is at risk for starvation, as food is not provided in the hospital. I was told there was no running water on the top two or three floors of the hospital. I saw raw sewage running between the hallway and the start of the pediatric ward. The pediatric ward was the last of the tour I could handle with the rows of mothers with such sick children laying in their laps with a ticket waiting to see an attending physician. As a Registered nurse I could tell there were many of those kids who were not going to make the night but their mothers were anxiously waiting their turn in line as if in a line at the bank. This trip made me feel very privileged to have access to the health care that we do here in North America! If any child, adult, or seriously sick/injured person were to come into a hospital they would be seen immediately by an attending physician with a team of health care workers already inserting IV’s, assessing the patient, and investigations would start immediately, with patient centered care being of top priority. Let us be thankful!  

I was able to be a part of doing routine medicals for the children who are enrolled in Education Support Programs and Centers. I really enjoyed being able to perform initial and follow up medical examinations to the children and their families during my time in Ethiopia. It was awesome to see the difference the program had made from a child’s initial assessment to how the child was doing now. I could see many improvements in the children’s’ health such as growth and body weights increasing comparative to the year before. I could also see a difference in a new child entering the program compared to a child who had been in the program for a while. The new child presented with more health concerns/complaints than a child who had been in the program for over a year. It is a great feeling to see the statistics and hear the child express how much better they feel mentally, emotionally, physically by being given the opportunity to participate in programs that are offered through Kids Hope Ethiopia. From a health care perspective I was also able to see many things I would not see at home in Canada: malaria; typhoid; secondary infections from HIV/AIDS; active TB; polio; untreated otitis media (middle ear infection) resulting in either a perforated ear drum to having no ear drum; tapeworm/roundworm; Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia in the eyes); and many other interesting conditions/diseases. 

One commonality between the family members and children of these programs is they were all looking for an opportunity. Organizations such as Kids Hope Ethiopia make these opportunities possible and the children have seized every ounce that has been offered to them. It is quite amazing to see these bright children excel and hear their laughter as they dance and enjoy being children. It is such an accomplishment to see children who were so poor and unhealthy become apart of a supportive family at the different centers in Ethiopia where they have access to fresh water, warm nutritious meals, hygiene materials to improve sanitation, education, medical examinations and medical interventions provided. Not only do the programs offer services on site but if a child or their family members need increased care needs or medical interventions they are referred to the private hospital (not government hospital) in which Kids Hope Ethiopia covers the cost so the children can get healthy and back to school. If it is a child’s family member who is sick the child then knows their family member will be taken care of and can continue to focus on school. 
~Colleen Bakke (Registered nurse, Regina, Sask.)

The Self Esteem Class

One of our team members taught a fun class about self esteem.  The children and youth had the chance to hear a story that emphasized how everyone is unique and has something special about them. Then students had a chance to receive a journal to make goals on new skills things they would like to learn, and create a piece of artwork that represented themselves.
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The Health Class

Our two nurses taught the students about how germs and viruses are spread, and ways they can protect themselves from getting infected. They played a game that taught this concept – germs were picked up as you moved along the board when petting a goat, coughed, or shook hands.
  But if you stopped in-between and washed your hands, then the germs pieces you had collected were all given away. The object of the game was to get to the end with NO germ pieces.  The kids really enjoyed this!

The Fitness Team

Two of our team members brought a Fitness program, and relay race for the students to learn and participate in.  This was modified depending on the age of the group. Kids and staff had a great time learning to do sit ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, mountain climbing, and others techniques using yoga balls and chairs.

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The group left behind a set of yoga balls, exercise instructions, mats so that the youth and children could continue to practice.

Lynn’s Book Club

Lynn’s Book Club in BC raised over a thousand dollars towards buying books and supplies for the Gindo Library, and our other education center libraries.

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Here she is giving the books for the Gindo Center- with some of the kids looking at them! That was a fun way to leave Gindo!

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The Gindo Center

We spent two days working on clean up of construction residue at the Gindo Center! Paint off windows, and door handles, extra grout off tile floors, paint from around the clean up area, and then cleaned up the whole central hall area.

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We even washed down the tables and chairs from the kids’ dining hall.  It looked BEAUTIFUL when we were done!