With the sun high in the sky, I was grateful for my wide brimmed hat. Most of the New Hope children crowded under the narrow shadow of the building while their guardians wore hats and head coverings in the sun. It was a hot day, but also an exciting one! When we arrived that morning, the New Hope students had welcomed us with music and dance performances, including this joyful song by the youngest children at the CarePoint:
Then student leader Firehiwot stepped up and delivered a passionate gospel message to all present, giving God all the glory for the blessings their families have experienced at New Hope. The interpreter echoed her words to us:
“This is the love of God! We are grateful for the sacrifice of the sponsors who support us in our education, but they are merely a reflection of the great love of God! Who else would give His only Son to die for us and save us from our sins? Only God! Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice for us.”
Then several of the children’s parents stood in turn to address our team, their children, and each other. Every family expressed their love and gratitude to all the sponsors, and they praised God for working through 4others and SVO to bless their families.
One mother rose to speak directly to the students: “You are not children anymore. You are all becoming young men and women. You must equip yourselves!” Then, using a metaphor that would be repeated throughout the week, she added, “Education and resources are a valuable key to possess, but you must use that key properly to unlock the door to your future!”
Another mother shared, “Like the name of this project, you have given us a renewed hope! I encourage all guardians to send their children to school and to the project every day to take advantage of these resources we now have.”
To the delight of the students and staff, our team then presented the CarePoint with a new educational resource: a RACHEL digital library system and four new laptops. These are the first seeds of a Learning Lab at New Hope!
Sponsors may recall that the children at Spring of Hope already have their own Learning Lab with five desktop computers, a mini library (with printed books and textbooks), three large classrooms and five part-time tutors. However, New Hope lacked any sort of Learning Lab resources. This is primarily because it has only reached a sponsorship level of 18% which is not enough to sustain a full tutorial program.
Even while operating with a reduced staff*, New Hope staff and students are making the most of the resources available to them. They created a child-to-child tutoring program where strong students tutor the younger ones. Children like Asmera (Hoffman) have seen significant improvement during the first semester, thanks to her older peers’ assistance!
The children’s guardians also formed their own Education Committee, taking it upon themselves to visit all the children’s schools and gather academic results for each child. They hold monthly meetings to update every family about their student’s academic performance. We love how involved and passionate these parents are for their children’s education!
Needless to say, both the students and their guardians were so happy to receive the RACHEL digital library and four laptops! We hope these new tools will assist the children in their studies, and as these resources prove to be effective, we plan to add more laptops to their growing Learning Lab next year.
We ended the first day at New Hope with a clothing distribution and lunch! The boys received new shirts and jeans while the girls received bright sweaters and skirts. As our team distributed the clothes to each child, almost every one of them briefly disappeared inside the CarePoint office to reappear only moments later in their bright new outfits. There were so many giggles by the little ones, and the confident smiles on every face perfectly complemented their new outfits. It was a fun day indeed!
On behalf of all the students and families at New Hope, thank you for your faithful support and prayers for this community! Just like Firehiwot said, you reflect God’s love to these families through your sponsorship and advocacy. Please join us in sharing the opportunity to sponsor a child at New Hope so that hope may continue to grow and flourish in Ambo! Thank you!
Spread the word: Sponsor a child at hope4others.org
*Spring of Hope operates with a full staff of one CarePoint Director & Accountant (Abebech), one Child Social Worker (Daniel), one Family Social Worker (Mekonnen), and two security guards (Mirkena and Fekadu), along with five part-time tutors and a cleaner. New Hope currently operates with a reduced staff of one CarePoint Director (Tejenesh), two security guards (Fikru and Kumela), and one volunteer Supporting Social Worker (Tiruneh).