What is so special about AGOHELMA?
AGOHELMA Orphanage in Ethiopia takes a holistic and direct approach to fulfilling the needs of vulnerable and orphaned children, not only giving them care as orphans but then supporting them through their formative years, in loco parentis, to equip them with skills, knowledge, awareness and assertiveness so to provide them with a foundation for life within modern society.
What is so special about AGOHELMA?
AGOHELMA is far more outreaching than any other orphanage we have visited in Africa.
Abebech Gobena, the mother who founded it, is now 80 years old and has dedicated her life to caring for vulnerable and orphaned children. She is known as the Mother Teresa of Ethiopia and with good reason. She is incredibly humble yet very strong and has faced adversity in her life of caring, like so many do.
Although the organisation looks after and educates the children who live in the ‘village’ (as they call it), this is only a last resort and instead they work on many projects to improve children’s lives in their local communities.
The organisation supports many children to be fostered into families. Their first aim is to place a child with his or her own extended family but if that is not possible, they find a family within the child’s village or local area.
The orphanage then financially supports that family to raise the child, with regular assessments to check the child’s wellbeing and to ensure that the money has been spent on the fostered child.
This ensures that the children grow up in a family environment and have a safe, secure and cherishing family around them. The child also grows up in their own village or local culture so retains the social identity in which they were raised.
No child is adopted overseas and sent out of the country. Thousands of children have been assisted through this method of local fostering.
AGOHELMA is also educating the children under its care and the other local children who would not otherwise receive an education. They have set up two free schools in Addis Ababa which they run, as well as supporting and assisting with construction at various other schools in the area.
Excellent Development supports people living in drylands to build sand dams, and grow enough food to feed and support their families. We hope you will consider supporting us, so we can enable more communities to build sand dams, putting the future firmly in their own hands, and providing a lifelong supply of clean water.
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How have the Explorations Company assisted?
The Explorations Company through its registered charity Philanthropy Plus, are delighted to be able to visit again this year on my travels of Ethiopia. We have spent time there and seen that although the nursery was in need of some refurbishment, all available funds go towards providing finds for the devoted nurses and carer’s.
So with this in mind, before every visit, we spend a wonderful day shopping locally beforehand (this ensures that one’s donation goes further and additionally contributes to the local economy). We arrive with a truck full of supplies, with everything from pots of paint, brushes and ceiling boards to curtains, new bedding, some toys (not easy to come by), books and cotton clothing.
What is wonderful was that in real terms, it takes only a very small monetary contribution but it makes such an impact to improving the nurseries and the lives of the children staying there. We continue, on each visit to Addis, to add any support
How can I make a donation?
There are many more ways you can help towards our goal. We understand that your giving is important to you and we want you to do it in the way that suits you. If you would like to find out about more ways you can support The AGOHELMA Orphanage , please contact our Individual Giving Manager at [email protected] and find out how we can make the best of your generous contributions.
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By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
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