When Children’s HopeChest began working in Ethiopia, we were serving a small number of children through about 10 CarePoints. But today, the number of registered children has grown to 5,000 of which over 4,000 children are sponsored. These sponsored children are getting support through 34 CarePoints in different parts of the country. The children attend CarePoints from nursery school to university. In addition to the sponsored children, more than 30,000 children and guardians are being indirectly supported by the organization. On top of the sponsorship program, development and capital projects such as construction of school blocks, water wells, toilets and showers, water kiosks and water points, provision of class room equipment, and others are benefiting about 20,000 children and guardians.
The Survive, Thrive, and Succeed model that Children’s HopeChest is using has been the best way of delivering the program to achieve the objectives of our organization. Furthermore, families are benefiting from the various income-generating activities (IGA) and self-help group (SHG) programs that the organization has initiated and is busy implementing.
The Community-to-Community sponsorship model has opened a door for a number of sponsors to visit their sponsored children here in Ethiopia. Because of the model, strong relationships have been created with the children, CarePoint staff, and local community. We have hosted more than 1,000 American sponsors in the last five years–some of them visiting repeatedly. On top of creating strong relationships on both sides, the mission trips have been benefiting both the children and the sponsors in many ways. Because of HopeChest program, more than 150 people have received employment opportunities in the country office as well as at CarePoints.
The elements of Survive, Thrive, and Succeed are the foundation for HopeChest’s Community-to-Community approach to holistic care, child development, and community transformation. In each program model, Children’s HopeChest has been contributing a lot. To mention some:
- Under survive- medical treatment, medical checkup, supplementary food, water-wall drilling, water-line extensions, and water point construction, and other various support has increased the physical well-being of the children.
- Under thrive- school construction, education material support, school uniforms, socio-emotional and other school related support has helped children to exhibit strong growth in their spiritual, cognitive and socio-emotional life.
- Succeed- concerning families that have been divided into self-help groupings, many have saved money and started income-generating activities, and small shop construction has been built for children’s families to create jobs and generate income. The succeed phase built on community-based programming has increased the likelihood of long-term livelihood success for orphaned and vulnerable children and their communities.
It is so encouraging and wonderful hearing all the great stories and handfuls of testimonies from the children being supported by the organization, especially graduates of the CarePoint who are employed in different professions. We have many achievements to celebrate, though it’s been only five years since the organization has been operational.
It was back in 2010, when we agreed to come alongside and work together for the benefit of the children in Ethiopia. I really thank God and appreciate HopeChest leadership for such a great privilege to work for Children’s HopeChest and minister to the children. I am deeply honored to serve as a Country Director and grateful for the organization for entrusting me with this position for such a great ministry. It has been a great blessing and a learning opportunity working for Children’s HopeChest. In the beginning, it seemed very difficult and not even possible for the organization to have its own license to operate in Ethiopia, but thanks to God and the leadership of the organization at the end the dream became true.
As an organization, when we think of our future, we think of the children and the community, to serve them more and increase the quality of our programming. We have plans to carry out what is more developmental and transformational for the kids. We strongly believe that God has great plans and a future for each and every child. We are coming alongside to contribute something small to help the children see and stretch forward for what God has already stored for them. We have a plan to expand and increase the number of CarePoints to address and serve many more children across the country. We want to increase the number and coverage of the various capital and development projects for the use of the children and the community at large. We know that the work ahead of us demands much effort and persistence; but together we challenge our obstacles and make it happen. I would like to thank and praise the almighty God for He is worthy of our praise. I want to thank and appreciate our sponsors and donors for they are truly our greatest assets. I am so grateful for our partners, organization leadership, and staff.
-Tesfatsion Tsegaye | Country Director