Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Embracing Hope Ethiopia

Today we took a trip to Embracing Hope Ethiopia.  Before I tell you a little about Embracing Hope, I want to share what has been on our hearts the last few months.  Josh and I are huge supporters of adoption.  We love adoption and obviously have a passion for orphaned children.  However, our question as of late has been, "how can we help prevent so many children being orphaned every single day around the world?"  There has to be a way to help parents (especially mothers) around the world keep the children that they feel they have to give up due to lack of resources to care for their children.  We have talked and discussed a lot about different ideas.  We (ok Josh) read books such as When Helping Hurts.  We also have been researching different organizations that work specifically with orphan prevention.  This is how we came across Embracing Hope and we really enjoyed visiting the organization today.  Without telling you all of the details, (really seriously check their website out) the founders of Embracing Hope set up a day care for children.  They are in the poorer section of the city very close to the dump.  Most of the women that come to Embracing Hope looking for help have been deserted by their husbands, their husbands have died of HIV, or they were raped.  These women are often illiterate and have no idea what they can do other than beg in the streets with their children on their back.  Embracing Hope not only gives then a place for their children to go during the day while they work, BUT they also help them find something that they can do to help support their families.   They provide a loan and set up a savings account for the women and help teach them about saving and working.  I believe Gerry said that in most cases the women have the money to pay back the loan (technically called a grant because it is interest free) in about 6 months.  Embracing Hope works with the women to learn how to have a business.  These businesses can be anything from selling fruit at the market to weaving baskets to making jewelry.  Embracing Hope employs Ethiopians that help run the day care.  There is a nurse, social workers, maids, cooks, and obviously the women that help run the day care.  As of right now the day care can take children ages 0-6 and there are about 60 children in the day care.  By 8:30 this morning there were almost 100 women at the door of Embracing Hope asking for help.  They are hoping to expand but are waiting on government approval to expand.  The organization was very clean and organized and we were impressed with how well it was set up.  It runs completely off of sponsorship money.  We feel as if this mission is doing exactly what we have been talking about over the past several months.  Instead of giving up their children because they have no food or water to give them, these women are given the opportunity to learn how to support their children.  We encourage you to take the time to check this awesome organization out.  We were really encouraged by the work that they are doing here in Ethiopia.  We didn't get many pictures of our adventures this morning but here are a few! 

This is a view from the rooftop of the day care.

This is a view of the dump.

If you look close you can see the people that live in/near the dump and scavenge through it every day.

View looking down the street.

After visiting Embracing hope it was lunch time!

What? I'm just wearing daddy's hat.


 Just one of the MANY silly faces I make for mommy and daddy ALL day.

 and of course we had to stop for COFFEE!!! OH, and um who needs car seats?  HAHA, this kid is going to have a rude awakening when we buckle him up in a five point harness.  
Not looking forward to that!

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