Friends, we come to you with a plea for help. Things in Ethiopia are not good right now for our sister organization, Miskaye Children’s Welfare Association. There are real, precious children who are in danger of being hungry and hopeless.
For over seven years, Miskaye has worked hard to provide services for children who have no one else through their programs including the Miskaye Children’s Home, an orphanage that has seen over one hundred children placed in homes in the United States and Europe. These children include hard to place older boys and large sibling groups. Miskaye has also developed education programs to serve children who will grow up and be productive citizens of their country. Ethio-American Family Services has been a part of the development of these programs. We have supported Miskaye through facilitating educational sponsorships and hands on work in the centers. A main source of support, however, comes from the adoption agencies who organize the children’s adoptive placements.
How it works is that adoption agencies pay a humanitarian fee to the orphanage they work with. These funds are used to operate community programs. For Miskaye, these programs include the Read and Feed Learning Center and the Community Education Program.
Over the past few years, international adoption in Ethiopia has slowed down significantly for a variety of reasons (some good, some not). Several months ago, the remote region Miskaye worked with decided to end approvals for international adoption. This is their right. What it means, though, is that ther was no more "product" (not our word) so funding ceased. Support ended at a time when “humanitarian” efforts mean the most.
There are children at The Miskaye Children’s Home and at the Read and Feed Learning Center that are left hanging. WE will not abandon them. A fact that we have come to with so very much sadness is that, after arrangements are made for the children there, The Miskaye Children’s Home will very likely close its doors.
We must now focus on saving the Read and Feed Learning Center.
The Read and Feed Center is a refuge for the children it serves. These children live in one of the poorest sub cities of Addis Ababa. Some of them live in what can only be described as shacks. Some live on the street. An education, not to mention a daily meal, would be out of the question for these children without Read and Feed. There they receive the supplies they need to go to school. They eat. They can take a bath. They learn English and computers. They tend a garden to grow food for their families and take field trips to discover a city they would never otherwise see.
We know these kids. We have eaten with them and sung songs with them. We have made silly rubber band bracelets with them and we have visited their homes. We have, on occasion, cried with them and, certainly, for them.
We will share with you the story of one of the Read and Feed children. Her name is Bethlehem. Beti, for short. She has been at the center since it opened five years ago. She smiles. Her mother is dead. Her father works hard all day for about $1. There isn’t enough food. There isn’t enough light for her to study. There isn’t enough of anything material. But this kid comes into the center each day and smiles. That smile is the physical manifestation of hope. Read and Feed is their hope for a future. Without it, their doctor, teacher, architect dreams turn to beggars or day laborers…or worse. We can’t tell them that it is over.
It will take about $2500 per month to operate the Read and Feed Learning Center. That means a $32 per month sponsorship for each child and 100 $20 per month general program sponsors. 100…that seems like so many… The task is daunting. But we have to try. We just can’t think of sweet, smiling Beti and not try.
Please help us by becoming a child’s sponsor or a program sponsor or make a one tiem donation. We are all they have.