The EASIEST Way to Give this Giving Tuesday! You & I

Giving Tuesday is here, and our hearts and minds turn to helping those in need, but sometimes it can be difficult to know how.

We have an answer: the easiest way to give this Giving Tuesday.

 You and I FINALCOVER

Recording artist, Andrew Allen is a big supporter of Canadian Humanitarian and Kids Hope Ethiopia.  He has released a song to help raise funds for the organization. We are excited to announce the world-wide release of ‘You & I’. Andrew Allen wrote this song for the students in the programs, and then had them help him record the vocals and the music video.  They have taken the message of this song to heart – we can do amazing things alone… but together? We can change the world.

Check out the music video below:

Andrew Allen and many others have donated their time and talents to produce this song so that every penny will go to the amazing programs that Canadian Humanitarian and Kids Hope Ethiopia run in Ethiopia and Malawi. It’s an incredibly simple way you can help.  

**Pay a few cents for a GREAT song, and help change a life.

You can purchase the song here:

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In the spirit of “Giving Tuesday”, make the choice to pick up this song – and then share it, gift it, invite others to join in giving these students hope! Can you imagine the difference 10,000 purchases would make? What about 1,000,000? Imagine the lives those numbers could change.

Please join us for #givingtuesday to buy the song, gift it to family and friends, share it out on social media so everyone can have this song in their music library and support a great cause in the process! Feel free to use the graphic at the top of the post and share it on your social media accounts using the hashtags #givingtuesday #you&I  then send them the link to this post, or directly to Google Play or iTunes.

If you want to donate directly rather than purchase the song, please consider us for Giving Tuesday 2015!

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 Together we can change the life of someone in need!

You & I.

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Let’s change the world!

2015 MNP Global Youth Expedition Winner!

We are excited to announce that the Global Youth Citizen Award for 2015 has been awarded by MNP to a high school student in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Myah has been given this award, and will be joining our Global Youth Expedition in August.

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Matt (MNP), Myah (winner!) and Lyndon (Kids Hope Ethiopia)

 
Myah also participated in our November 2014 evening at Medalta with her concept to help change the life of an Ethiopian family with $1000.  Her project came in 2nd place and she was able to present her ideas to the crowd. She’s turning into quite a humanitarian! 

Thanks to Matt, Chris and Ron from MNP for this 2nd annual award to pay the expenses for a deserving youth from Medicine Hat to travel to Ethiopia with the youth expedition.  

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Congratulations Myah!

There is still room to join the expedition but time is getting short so contact Deb as soon as you can to get in on the experience of a life-time! 

Thanks Bobbi-Jo for the great pictures! 

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

Construction Project in Addis: A New Roof

Close to the beginning of our trip, our group took on a real construction challenge- replacing a corrugated metal roof! The home was that of one of our students and his mother. The roof was no longer sheltering their little one room of 4Ft X 6 Ft Looked like this! 2015.03.firstroof1 We had two graduated wood working students from our SSCM Vocational Training Center along to help us with this task. The home was in the middle of a set of 4 one room homes… so they all shared a roof. The crew began the slow process of tearing everything down BUT not disturbing the others. 2015.03.firstroof2 There was lots of dust in the air from soot and from the construction. 2015.03.firstroof3 Once the roof was off, the crew had to replace the rotten frame boards, so that the new roof has a solid foundation to be nailed to. The only thing that could hold them up were the walls… so this was a precarious position to cross over! 2015.03.firstroof4 Slowly the new metal roofing was put under the neighbours, and extended to cover our family’s home! 2015.03.firstroof5 This was the job all done – the look from the inside! The open edge was very important, as they had their open fire cooking area within the room,.. so the smoke can ventilate out this edge. 2015.03.firstroof6 When we were finished, we all came together for a small farewell. We introduced the whole team from Canada, and the family had a chance to thank the group for their help. A really special moment! 2015.03.firstroof7   -Deborah Northcott, Expedition Team Leader

Guest Post – Shelly Vansbinbergen

Over Their Heads

There are so many stories that are floating around my mind and heart upon returning from Ethiopia. I wish I could bring back something tangible to show you and have you feel and experience and smell and touch what we felt while we were there. Alas, luggage allowances aren’t what they used to be and  even if they were, they wouldn’t suffice so I’ll have to rely on words to bring you as much as they will for now.
 

I’ll start with a photo I shared on Instagram that seems to have touched a lot of people pretty deeply. It’s a young boy, named Teddy, who shyly gathered 7 adults together to thank them for putting a roof on his home.

Teddy lives with his mother, behind a corrugated fence that hides about 6 or 7 families living in small mud and stick constructed shanties. Stepping over the small ditch with sewage and water running freely, into the small compound, I immediately felt claustrophobic. It was a tight little space with piles of tires and bags and plastic on one side of the wall, allowing only about 2-3 feet to walk through to get to the back of the compound where Teddy lives. In the corner, last doorway on the left…a dark little 9×9 shanty where his mother and he share a bed, cook their meals on an open fire with no chimney, the smoke filling their home until it dissipates through the door or the holes in the roof. The mud walls are covered with blackened soot and the floor is covered in ash, though you can tell it’s been swept just recently.

Teddy and his mother live alone, and are only able to live here because their home is owned by a relative who has agreed to let them stay here. The roof is corrugated tin and it has falling into such disrepair that it actually allows the only light into the room that Teddy and his mother share. Sunlight streams through, illuminating the dust in the air, and while beautiful in a photo, imagine it in the rainy season when daily downpours rain virtually unhindered onto the heads of those trying to sleep or eat or cook below. We tear off the roof and there is an indescribable amount of dust, debris and rat droppings that we are inhaling as we go. There is no health and welfare department here to ensure the safety of children in their own homes. The roof comes off, the cross beams are dismantled, nearly dust themselves after years of heat and rain and smoke have had their way with them.
Sunlight through the holes in the roof

They’ve lived with this roof through too many rainy seasons

In the confined space, the guys tackle taking off the existing roof
Frank and Murray and Pete – and a shower of rat feces, dirt and debris that has accumulated over the years

The guys on our team, Frank, Murray, Pete, Keith and Henry work alongside two graduating students from the vocational program, to come up with a plan to support and rebuild the roof, despite the crumbling walls and cramped workspace. We were worried that the guys being on the support beams may in fact cause the walls of not only Teddy’s house to crumble, but also that of the other child headed household on the other side of the wall. We had to move cautiously and constantly reassess the situation. There are no building codes in these slums. Most of the time that the guys were working, I sat outside the pit latrine, on the only free real estate I could find, with my feet up on bricks, hovering above the stream of sewage flowing through the yard. As I sat, I tried to imagine dark nights and rainy days turning the dusty yard to mud. I tried to think of how a mother would keep her son safe and fed and dry when everything around them seemed unstable and unsafe, the very home they shared showering them and the mud walls crumbling into the already cramped space. I tried to think of how I would keep my wits about me if these were the circumstances I was handed, my life to be lived out in this cluttered alley shared by other families, no privacy even in the suffering. I watched Teddy’s mother as she watched the guys rebuild her roof. She was a solemn and serious woman and yet, her hands would touch Teddy’s back when he walked by, she would stand next to him and watch alongside him, her love for him evident in her mannerisms and body language, though her face remained stoic. Apparently there’s no room for emotions in this crowded alley. Maybe they’re a luxury that can’t be afforded to those trying to survive. I know as I watched her and Teddy, my eyes filled with tears several times but I hid them in an effort not to embarrass them or myself. 
Cross beams are cut from local hardwood poles

Keith and Frank spacing out the cross beams for adequate support

Hilo, a recent carpentry graduate is happy to be working and gaining experience. As a result of his work on this site,  we are able to write a credible reference for him to aid in his job search.

Frank learned quickly that you need to oil the nails to allow them to penetrate the hard wood poles.


Teddy pitched in to clear away some of the fallen roof from his home

With the room cleaned out and the roof off, it was still just a 9×9 mud shanty shared by Teddy and his mother.

Teddy’s mother looks on while demolition of the original roof takes place. 

In the end, the guys were able to secure the roof and also to make a place for the smoke from the cooking fire to be vented, without allowing water into the home. Teddy and his mother were incredibly grateful and she shared their gratitude with us after the construction was completed. 
A few days later, when we visited Teddy at the centre where he receives a daily meal and help with school work, he asked the program coordinator, Tillahan, to ask if he could speak to us. Standing there, with Tillahan as his translator, this small boy spoke with such eloquence and gratitude, he moved us all to tears. He told us that in the rainy season, he felt he could never sleep and that he cried each night as it rained. No one should have to live in the kind of conditions that Teddy and his mother live in. Even with the roof fixed, I asked myself if I would feel confident enough to sleep there with one of my boys and I know that I wouldn’t. Although Teddy and his mom have to live in difficult circumstances, I know that when the rains come in the next few months, they’ll know that they will think of a group of new friends who came halfway around the world to do what we could to provide them with a dry place to sleep and the knowledge that they are loved and missed and prayed for by us. 
Teddy and his mother outside their home.

The Andrew Allen Expedition


Calling all humans that want to change the world!

This SPRING 2015, Andrew Allen is teaming up with Canadian Humanitarian and Kids Hope Ethiopia to bring hope, music and inspiration to some of the most impoverished and at risk youth in Ethiopia.

Donate Now so Andrew Allen and his expedition members can donate shirts and shoes to the children his is visiting!

#MUSICWITHOUTBOUNDARIES

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Looking for Adventure

When I signed up to travel with Kids Hope Ethiopia (known as Canadian Humanitarian in Canada) I knew I was headed out for an adventure and boy did I get one…Ethiopia was amazing!

I have traveled many places and I can now strongly say that I have met the happiest and kindest people on this planet, they will give even when they have nothing to give! I was in awe with the time and passion they put into everything they do. We were honored with Coffee ceremonies almost everywhere we went and the time and effort put into them is humbling, and for us …I felt like royalty!

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And my heart…well I don’t know how to explain it, but it felt like it was going to explode with love. I never expected the deep emotional connection to the children but the way they look at you, greet you, touch your hair, and just hold on to you for hours, so tender and with so much love, the pain behind their smiles as they struggle to carry on. They are so thankful to be a part of the Canadian Humanitarian Family and so am I. It feels like it’s what glues them to their future.

The credibility of this organization is real, I felt like I was part of a family from the very beginning, starting from Heather Woodward (Program Development Coordinator, and Expedition Team Leader) meeting us at the airport, to our wonderful drivers that treated us like sisters, to the passionate staff at the centres. Overall it was an amazing experience and I will share with all the great work this organization is doing for these children and families.

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Thank You,

Anita Robinson
Volunteer May 2014 Expedition

Life Changing Experiences – A Volunteer Perspective

Children Parents Families

Teamwork Positive Engaging

Collaborative Responsiveness Inspiring

Engaging Sustainability Transparency

Collaboration Growth Visionaries

Loving Kindness Graceful

My experience in Ethiopia is so hard to describe. Throughout my time in Ethiopia I wrote down single words that help me to better understand and illustrate the work of Kids Hope Ethiopia, the staff, the children and the families in Ethiopia. Their goals and expectations for the children are no different than what we have for our children in North America. My experience has been powerful and simply life changing. I made a commitment to one of the moms during our home visit and told her although we would be going back home that did not mean we would stop working for her family. There are many other children in the community that need our help. I plan to be part of the change and keep the powerful words in my mind when I think I, just one person, can’t make a difference. I can and I will.

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This blog was written by Linda Langevin, one of the volunteers with the May Expedition.

June Newsletter


Dan Alger and Lyndon Grunewald (Executive Director of Canadian Humanitarian and Kids Hope Ethiopia) visited the Foresight Fathers and Students in Kersa and Turge in February.   Check out a few of their favourite pictures from the trip!

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With Kids Hope Ethiopia expanding and opening new programs, we are excited to announce that our expeditions are changing!
Expedition volunteers can now travel to one, two or all three of the countries we work in: Ethiopia, Uganda, and Malawi.  For more information, or to start an application, contact Deb.

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Another exciting announcement is that this fall, a new education support center will be opening in Lira, Uganda.
Help us fill up the center! We need books, school supplies, tuition, uniformssponsorships, and food.

Donate today to stock the new education support center and give children the tools they need to reach their potential!

Highlights From This Quarter

We are having an amazing year so far with two expeditions to Ethiopia, and summertime on its way.  Check out our favourite blog posts from the past couple months:

Guest Blog Post by Shelley Van B (expedition volunteer) 
Global Youth Citizen Award 
22 Children in 22 Days 
Making a Difference 
Scholarship Update: Eyerusalem 

Come find us on facebook, twitter, and linkedin.

Our Expeditions are Changing!

 

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With the exciting news of a new education support center in Lira, Uganda; and a new program opening up in Malawi, we are excited to start traveling to these countries as part of our expeditions.  The first expedition to include all three countries is going in October 2014.  Applications for this, and for next years expeditions, are now open!

We are expressly seeking volunteers who have training in all fields of expertise for Medical Health Care, Social Work, Child Development, Construction and Education. Each expedition is open to anyone wishing to volunteer, but these areas are of a particularly high need.

If you feel you are someone who would be willing to volunteer, despite challenging work environments, Kids Hope Ethiopia needs your help.  Contact Deb to find out how you can travel to Africa as a volunteer!

February 2014 Expedition (Guest Blog Post by Shelly VanB)

The following post was written by one of our volunteers on the February Expedition, we want to be able to share these trips through their eyes and words. Thank you to Shelly for allowing us to use this post.


What Did You DO?


This trip to Ethiopia, for me was very different from other trips I’ve been involved in. We signed up as part of an Expedition which meant that we were travelling with an organization that has been working in Ethiopia for the past 10 years. The founders, Dr. Dick and Deb Northcott, have been travelling to Ethiopia over the past 21 years, since adopting two children from there.

Canadian Humanitarian (known in the US as Kids Hope Ethiopia) is an organization that I wouldn’t hesitate to send people with. The trip was well organized, their local partners were amazing and did a great job of figuring out logistics with a large team of nurses, doctors, audiologists and construction workers all in the mix. Our guys were able to have supplies ready and available for the most part, and when they needed something extra, men like Bisrat and Ketema were able to take them to the best places to find what they needed and to get them back to the worksite in a timely fashion, which is no small feat in a congested city of millions.

Our role in this expedition was to refurbish a couple of the education support centres that were falling behind in maintenance and getting run down. Stick and mud constructed buildings with 70+ children coming through on a daily basis…imagine the wear and tear. The guys did a great job patching and putting in supports for doorways, filling holes and filing down doors that no longer would close due to the shifting foundations. My role in all of this was to make sure the guys had water when they needed it and to paint when they had finished patching and pasting.

One thing about working with guys like Ken and Wayne and Dan and Dave…they never felt they had done quite enough. They worked hard from the moment they got on site and would have continued to do so had we not literally cleaned up their tools from under them and sent them back to the vans at night. There was much work to be done but they took it on and did a really great job. It’s quite something to watch skilled workers look at something that has been left undone for so long, simply because it’s beyond what someone could figure out to repair, and just get it done, not just done, but with a pride of workmanship and skill that really stood out.

The funniest part about working in Ethiopia with these guys was some of the circumstances they found themselves working in. Like painting an entire, windowless room in the pitch black by headlamp because the power was out. Or, arriving to plaster and paint at a care centre that was preparing meals and a birthday party for over 70 kids on site. We laughed at that one, who would invite kids over for a birthday party and then decide to paint the room while it was going on? And yet, we got it done with minimal painting of children…and honestly, having the laughter and shouts of children in our ears reminded us exactly who we were working for.

It’s not often on a trip that I get home and am able to pinpoint a tangible contribution but on this trip, though my skills didn’t really come into play, I do want to just leave you with some photos of the work that these guys took on. The education support centres play an important role in the work that Canadian Humanitarian does in Ethiopia. Children are able to have a safe place, where they are equals, to come and play, get support with homework, have an adult to listen to them and help them with the struggles of their often difficult lives, and to get a nutritious meal every day. The guys on this team left these places better than they found them. Safe. Bright. Clean. Welcoming.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank again, those who donated supplies to our trip. There were several of you who just passed along a ten or a twenty dollar bill and we used that to buy paint and brushes. There were companies in our city who wish to remain anonymous, that donated all the tools for the work we did, and we left those in the hands of Canadian Humanitarian in Ethiopia for their future use. There were those Pier 1 girls, again, who just continue to be supportive and gather painting supplies or money or just write me a note to let me know they’re with me…I love that you’re with me when I go. Especially, a little friend of mine in California, who prays for me every day that I’m gone or as I’m preparing to leave…Sienna ~ you are changing lives already. You are such a great prayer buddy and I’m so thankful to know that when I’m travelling far from home, you’re thinking of me and praying for me. It means so much! You’re the best. Enjoy the photos….you’re all in every one.