Category Archives: FOVC

One Final Opportunity to Make a Significant Difference

Dear FOVC family and supporter,

2015 is almost here! That means you only have one more day to make a tax-deductible gift before the New Year begins!

And when you make that $5, $10, $25, $50, or $100 donation to the FOVC today through the Partners With Ethiopia website, www.partnerswithethiopia.org (please look at DONATE button on the website), you are going to really make a visible, long-term impact in the lives of over 450 vulnerable children and 150 widows in Shanto, Dale, and Boricha centers in Ethiopia by providing our 28 teachers’ and supporting staff’s salaries and FOVC administration costs.

In the year of 2014, with the support of generous people like you, ???????????????????????????????we could deliver quality services to about 250 vulnerable children in our Shanto and Dale centers and over 65 widows in the Shanto center. Our teachers’ and supporting staff’s services to the children were including quality education and tutorial classes, preparing hot nutritious meal (lunch) per each school day including Saturday, house-to-house visiting, healthy care, personal hygiene care, sanitation and basic life-skills educations. And the staff could also provide continues technical supports and assistance as well as regular follow-up to the widows who have been included in our Widows Hope Program in Shanto since 2011.

In 2015, FOVC is going to include about 125 new orphaned and vulnerable children in our two existing centers (50 in Shanto and 75 in Dale) and between 75 to 100 new orphaned and vulnerable children in our Boricha project site in Sidama, Ethiopia. We will also include about 100 new widows in our three Widows’ Hope projects in Shanto, Dale, and Boricha centers in 2015. With this all, FOVC and its teachers and supporting staffs will be providing quality services to over 450 orphaned and vulnerable children (OVCs) and about 150 widows (65 existing widows and about 85 new widows) in our Shanto, Dale, and Boricha centers, in the southern Ethiopia.
So help us jump start 2015 by supporting FOVC, its teachers and supporting staff provide quality services, technical supports and assistance to the 450 OVCs and 150 poor widows who desperately need them to break the cycle of poverty.

Happy New Year, and may your 2015 be filled with happiness and joy!

With warm regards,
Desalegn Daka
Founder and Executive Director
Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (FOVC)

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Ermias’ Road to Success!

Meet Ermias Ingida from FOVC Shanto Center of H.O.P.E.

Ermias is a 15 year old teenager who lives in Damot Pulassa Woreda of Wolayta Zone, Ethiopia. He joined FOVC when FOVC started its humanitarian work in 2006 in southern Ethiopia.

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Ermias in Shanto Secondary and Preparatory School now

The boy was able to get support from our H.O.P.E. Child Sponsorship Program for orphans and vulnerable children. His mother was also able to benefit from the Widows Hope Poultry and Livestock Development Project we offer to poor widows. While he has benefited from our programs, he is also a shining success too.

DSC03950 DSC03951 DSC03952Ermias and his mom in July 2013 and receiving animal donation

Ermias is now grade 9th student at our Shanto Secondary and Preparatory school. Academically, he is very intelligent. He passed to grade nine with outstanding scores.

“I am lucky that I get this chance, because if I didn’t get this chance I would have been stayed in my house, while my peers in my village would go to school,” said Ermias.

What makes his situation difficult is that he is the eldest son and unfortunately he lost his beloved father when he was a little boy. So he has to take care of his family by earning money for their basic needs.

Can you imagine how it will be difficult for a teenager to take responsibility for his family? Thanks to our beloved sponsors, Ermias and his family have been relieved of the worst-case situation. Today, Ermias is enjoying school without several difficult family responsibilities. His family also benefits from the dairy products of cows and sheep provided to them. And because he is learning, their future is filled with new potential to escape poverty for good.

ermias's mom

new calf, new sheep, and original cow after a year (original sheep was soled for important family need after giving new offspring)

While I was visiting Ermias’ family in June 2014 to assess the impact of our Livestock Development Project

Ermias is perfect example of the children who are born with good potential, talents and gifts but could not get access to education because of financial and material hardships for schooling. We’re happy to report that Ermias is beginning his road with many successes.

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Meet Our New Communications Officer – Etsehiwot Afework

Etsehiwot AfeworkWe are pleased to announce the new hire of Etsehiwot Afework, Communications Officer, at FOVC Head Office in Hawassa.

Before joining FOVC Head Office as Communications Officer, Etsehiwot spent two and half years as teacher in Benevolence International School and Yisakor International School. In that school, she worked in kindergarten as a main teacher. By being main teacher, she helped the kids by making them academically computable and good. In addition, she was treating the kids psychologically which in return help them to be good at their education. Besides, she used to give free service for one month in Hawassa University 97.7 radio station.

Etsehiwot said, “I wanted to work with kids; that’s why I worked two and half years as kindergartner main teacher. And, now I get the chance to work with FOVC which is related to my former interest in working with kids. In my former experiences, I used to work with children who are raised by rich families. But this time working with orphans and vulnerable children will be new experience. So, I am pleased to work with these poor children who have no one to take care of them.”

Etsehiwot believes to practice the same role with FOVC; she wanted to develop the capacity of our organization with communications skills. She wants to practice all her knowledge for the sake of those poor kids.

She has got B.A degree from Addis Ababa University in Foreign Language and Literature. In her works, she will be assisted by grants manager, program managers and executive director who have extensive experience in their perspective positions. She will also be provided with technical supports, supervision and guidance by our volunteer communications manager. In addition to that, she will get continuous follow up from executive director and program manager; while she is working as communications officer.

With her assistance, we hope, our big challenge we face regarding communications with different stake holders and donors will be solved. We also expect that she will design and practice good communications strategy for our organization benefits. She will be working as communications officer for all programs in southern Ethiopia.

Etsehiwot is expected to exercise operational freedom to design and implement the organization’s communications strategy.

Please join us in providing a warm well come to Etsehiwot Afework. You can contact her at etsehiwoting@fovcethiopia.org or etsehiwoting@gmail.com

Desalegn Daka, Founder and Director, FOVC

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FOVC is Seeking for Volunteer Sponsorship Coordinator

Volunteers are not only an essential part of FOVC’s success; they’re a crucial part of everything that powers FOVC’s effort. That’s why I’m happy to announce that we are expanding our efforts to help more children and their families in Southern Ethiopia.

Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (FOVC) is creating a new volunteer position for gifted people like you in the United States, people who have a link with Ethiopia through adoption or other ways to get involved in its humanitarian works in the Sidama zone of Southern Ethiopia and helping the Sidama people.

The Volunteer Sponsorship Coordinator position focuses on connecting children in desperate need with people who want to help and create community-to-community relationships in the SNNPR, Ethiopia. The role has two expectations:

First, the person will commit up to 7 hours per week over the Internet to answer questions, manage expectations and work as our point of contact for this program. You will receive regular updates and pictures on the status of each child and capital project from our on-site coordinator. The second part would require the coordinator to organize an annual trip to Ethiopia for sponsors, donors or prospective funders to see the location, meet the children and see FOVC’s work in the field.

We view this as a fantastic role in not only helping the children of Sidama zone but a crucial part in making FOVC’s programs successful. We welcome a broad range of skillsets to help innovate this new position for the betterment of the children and their families. While organization is key, a strong and caring heart is essential for this role.

Please let us know if you, your family or any potential contacts have interest and I will provide you with full information on the position and the works of FOVC in Ethiopia. Contact us through info@fovcethiopia.org

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How a Little Boy Helped Build a Future for His Family

It was the worst news I could get. Our Shanto staff informed me that one of the new children passed away a few days after he joined our Shanto H.O.P.E. Child Sponsorship Program. His name was Yishak Worana. Our Community Workers in Shanto tried all they could to save him, but Yishak died at the age of 9. He left behind three siblings and two parents. When I asked the community workers and local clinic about the cause of his death, the answer was sad and yet, not uncommon — malnourishment and unsafe living conditions.

The level of poverty that Yishak’s family faced was beyond desperate. Their home was a nearly collapsed hut in Tomtome village in the Shanto area. They had nothing to eat. The two parents were seriously sick. I thought the whole family would die. They truly needed a miracle. When I shared Yishak’s family story with our supporters, they asked me if FOVC could build a new house for this poor family if the funds were available. Of course, I said yes.

Then the miracle started. Our supporters, inspired by Yishak’s story, began fundraising. And by April 2014, we began to build his family a new home. We are happy to report that the house was finished. The family’s transformation was miraculous as the parents grew healthy and their kids grew healthier too.

Yishak's Family Old House

Yishak’s Family Old House

Yishak's family old house

Yishak’s family old house

The new house under construction

The new house under construction

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newhouse new house
The new house

The family in the new house

The family in the new house

After the new home was constructed, we talked to the family and their neighbors to understand what difference the house had made in their lives.

Ato Worana, the dad, says, “Everything is done through Him (God). I have no words to express my heartfelt thanks to FOVC and all who contributed to the construction of this house. As you all know, I had no shelter. I used to live in a local community policing center ’senteriya’. When I remember those life challenges, tears come out of my eyes. I never want to remember those days again. My oldest son died due to unsafe living conditions. But now, because of you, I am living happily and safely with my little children in my new house. I lost my son because of the life difficulties confronting me. He passed away because of the heavy rain falling on him as he was a little baby!”

Ato Worana adds, “When I was living on streets, life was too difficult for me especially at night; as I found myself protecting my children from the harm of night animals (especially hyenas). Thank you very much!”

While Ato Worana was sharing his happiness, his wife, Woizero Zenebech, interrupted him, “I do not remember the exact date it happened for me. It was rainy season; heavy rain with snow is falling down at night. I could not resist the rain as I was 8 months pregnant. I went to one of the neighbors’ seeking help but they chased me out saying you came to steal. Now I am very happy to have such a good house! My tears are swept out and my prayers are answered. God bless you all.”

The village community’s leader said, ”The help done was not only for Worana and his family. The whole community benefited from the project. We were always worrying about them, especially at night. But now we all relieved from the stress. We thank you in the name of Jesus! God bless you.“

First-born sons in Ethiopia are often responsible for tending to their family, helping them prosper and ensuring their security. Yishak never got that opportunity in his nine years. Yet, through his story, FOVC supporters helped honor him and his responsibility to his family.

Desalegn Daka                                                                                                                                                                  Founder and Executive Director, FOVC

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New School Uniforms!

In Ethiopia, like other developing countries, household poverty is a major factor keeping many children out of school. Poor households often cannot afford to send their children to school or are forced to withdraw children out of school at early ages. Although primary school is free in Ethiopia, hidden costs such as food, exercise books, supplies, uniforms and shoes hinder poor households from sending their children to school. The situation gets even worst when the children become orphaned and the children from the destitute families and they cannot afford foods, let alone school uniforms, supplies and books and they often go without education.

Knowing that education is their chance to step out of the vicious poverty and become dignified happy individuals, Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (FOVC) through its Helping Orphans Prosper through Education (H.O.P.E Child Sponsorship Program) provides the children with both basic needs and educational supports. To fulfill the children’s basic needs, FOVC provides hot nutritious meals ones per each school day through its School Feeding Program (SFP). To support the children’s education, FOVC provides the children with school supplies (like exercise books, pens and pencils), school uniforms, school fees, clothing and shoes, personal hygiene care materials and health care. This all in one package service which we call Seven in One Package Service helps the children to focus on their education and not worry about their basic needs and educational needs and improves their performance in school.

Children in their old tattered clothing

Children in their old tattered clothing

Children in their old tattered clothing

Children in their old tattered clothing

Thanks to the generous supports of sponsoring families and the people like you, FOVC could provide 150 new school uniforms to our Shanto children at the beginning of this academic year.

Here are the pictures of the children in their new school uniforms:

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Through our experiences, we learned that providing school uniforms to the children improves the children’s and their guardians/parents psycho-social status and the children’s performance in school by eliminating feelings of social-economical barriers between children as a standard uniform leaves minimum space for signifying economical status. And it also improves the children’s behavior and conducts by reinforcing the academic setting.

Children in their new school uniforms

Children in their new school uniforms

Children in their new school uniforms

Children in their new school uniforms

What a visible difference! Thanks again for giving these children a chance for an education and a bright future and also a feeling of high psycho-social status for both the children and their guardians/parents!

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Currently, we are raising funds for shoes through our funding partner for H.O.P.E Child Sponsorship Program and we seek your involvement as usual in our Shanto Shoes Project. For more information and details on our Shanto Shoes Project, please go to this link

Thanks!

Thanks!

Thanks again!!!

Desalegn Daka

Founder and Director, FOVC

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