a little and a lot

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Project HOPEFUL Awassa

I wanted to take a minute today to tell you about something really cool that is happening in a city that is special to my family.

the beautiful Lake Awassa
Rhet was born in the city of Awassa, Ethiopia--about 4-6 hours south of the capital city (depending on how many cattle & goats are crossing the street on your way there).  It is a beautiful town set right on a lake, and the streets contain both ritzy hotels for tourists on lake holidays with extreme poverty surrounding them on all sides.  (Isn't this the case with most cities anywhere in the world, only perhaps more well-hidden in the places Americans frequent?)

We had a chance to visit Awassa during our second trip to Ethiopia, and (for many reasons) I will never forget that brief trip.  I just can't even find words to write about it--my heart breaks and my eyes are literally filling with tears trying to figure out how to tell you about it.  There are a billion "what-if's" that exist within the world of adoption...what if things had been different?  What if there had been better resources?  What if someone could have helped?  Adoption is complicated like that--one family's loss is another family's blessing.  The way God can take something terrible and turn it into something new and beautiful is an awesome mystery to me.  I knew that if I ever had a chance to be involved in the city of our daughter's birth--to be an instrument of redemption, I would do it in a heartbeat.

And then, a wonderful opportunity presented itself last year.  Project HOPEFUL, a nonprofit we have been involved with for a handful of years, began a sponsorship program in Awassa!  We don't have a lot of expendable income in our household, but we felt strongly that we needed to participate in this effort. We may feel "poor"...the budget & numbers & debt & bank accounts may suggest to use we are "poor," but I have seen Awassa with my own eyes, and I know we have enough to help.

We sponsor a little boy from the community surrounding the Ajuja orphanage (an orphanage in Awassa--not the one Rhet was in), who is the same age as our daughter and living in similar circumstances as she was at one time.  Through our monthly donation, Project HOPEFUL Awassa gives him essential things he needs to stay healthy, get an education, and grow up in Awassa.

While you may not have as personal a connection to this city and these people as we do, you probably do have enough to help this project if it strikes a chord with you.  There are 40 children that currently need sponsors.  If you're interested, here are the details from Greg & Charisa Knight (the program coordinators):

Why Project HOPEFUL Awassa?
In working with Project HOPEFUL’s FIG (Family in the Gap) program we have a sponsorship style program that provides the following for sponsored children- some of which live at Ajuuja while others live alone or with family in the community near Ajuuja:
  • clothing and shoes two times a year
  • medical checkup twice a year and medication in the case of sickness
  • basic hygiene materials three times a year
  • food support (formula/milk for children in the center and wheat for children in the community)
  • all the necessary school supplies twice a year with school uniform and back bag once a year
  • annual recreational trip around Awassa
  • annual get together at Ajuuja Center
  • sporting goods like balls, soccer shoe and jerseys
  • regular prayer with men of God invited from different churches at Awassa
  • Christmas and Easter celebrations with staff at Ajuuja and invited guests from the community 

We are thankful for the work that Project HOPEFUL does and consider it a privilege to join the effort. We know that God loves the Awassa children more than we can even comprehend and pray that our efforts will bring glory to His name as we heed His call to bring help to widows and orphans.
In your role as FIG advocate you agree to:
  • commit to praying regularly for “your” child or family
  • financially support for $30 per month
There are many other ways to support our Awassa Initiative:
  • You can give one time donations to our general fund to help fund special needs and things that sponsorship may not cover.
  • You can be a monthly giver of any amount to help fund projects and children who do not have a FIG yet. Every single dollar helps.
  • A goat or sheep can be provided for a family to provide meat or income from their offspring for $45 each.
We will also have income generating projects and skill training to help people achieve independence. You could help a family start their own business (tailored to what that family could realistically do in their area and ability.) Contact us if you  or your business would like to be a business backer for a family in the community.<
Here are a few of the children that YOU could make part of your family!
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(if the slide show doesn’t show up head over to this link: https:// picasaweb.google.com/105253626628862918579/ChildrenNeedingFigs?authuser=0&feat=directlink)

To contact us with questions or to set up a FIG sponsorship email us   charisa@projecthopeful.org
You can also join us at facebook and see live updates and pictures:
http:// www.facebook.com/groups/ProjectHOPEFULAwassa/
To donate go here: http://www.projecthopeful.org/donate?view=donation
Make sure to select FIG Awassa Ethiopia Initiative in the campaign box!

Greg and Charisa Knight


Adopting Rhet: Click on the timeline above to read more