The African Connection
A Quarterly Newsletter of East African Village Outreach (EAVO)
Greetings in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We rejoice at this sacred time of year as we celebrate the coming of Emmanuel.
We also rejoice for all the work the Lord Jesus is doing in the lives of our dear brothers and sisters in Africa.
From Roben Jirecha:
Derje can neither hear nor speak. When East Africa Village Outreach (EAVO) opened a school in Roben Jirecha, Derje would attend, even though he could not understand nor communicate with the teaching. The rural nature of Roben Jirecha has no services for a child with disabilities. Upon learning about his situation, EAVO board made the decision to provide funding (living expenses, transportation, and tuition) for him to attend a school for children with disabilities in Addis Ababa. He is now living with his grandmother in Addis Ababa and learning to communicate.
Lana Reese Preschool:
For several years, a centerpiece of EAVO’s ministry has been to support students to successfully complete secondary school and college. Worknesh is one such student. With support from EAVO, she was able to attend high school in Acheber and complete a 2 year pre-school teacher training. She has returned to the community to teach in the Lana Reese pre-school in Aderay. Nine new baptized believers in Roben Jirecha this fall.
It has always been EAVO’s objective to help educate the young so that they can return to their communities as productive adults who can apply their newly acquired skills to perpetuate the cycle of growth. We celebrate this step toward self-sufficiency for the community.
The preschool itself has opened with 30 students. They are served with two teachers and rudimentary supplies (2 blackboards, a few cupboards, small desks for the children.)
In Kenya we have reconnected with the “Purpose Driven School.” You may remember that last spring, EAVO helped a child, Treci, from this school who had misshapen legs as a result of severe malnutrition. Treci is now recovered and can walk unaided.
The school itself began as a grass roots community effort to provide care and pre-schooling for the disadvantaged and orphaned children in the community. Susan, her husband Samuel, and another young mother began a day-care center in an old grist mill, with about 20 children. Today, the school runs as a non-profit organization recognized by the Kenyan government. It serves over 140 children through secondary grade levels from its site in a church compound.
At this time, EAVO helps with supplies, clothing, mosquito nets, health clinics and a bit of organizational advice. In our last letter we shared photos of an EAVO-sponsored field trip that students took to Lake Victoria. This month we received this photo showing desks that EAVO funded. Samuel was excited to tell us that they were able to purchase different size desks for children from kindergarten up to 4th grade.
In addition, the school provides a “feeding program” as funds are available to provide a bean/rice meal. For many, it is their main meal. This program often comes up short. Even at .25 cents per child/day it adds up to over $7000/year including firewood. At this time EAVO is not able to sustain this level of assistance. It is our hope that we will be able to substantially subsidize this program in the future.
Celebrating a Partnership:
On a recent visit to California, Hailu Ibsa (Seifu’s brother and our main collaborator in Ethiopia) was welcomed by his fellow Rotarians in Sacramento as their special guest. Hailu’s excellent motto: “Don’t wait so long to get involved in service above self” encapsulates his dedication and selfless commitments over the years in helping EAVO accomplish many of its objectives in the rural villages of Ethiopia. Coincident with Hailu’s visit, Past President Peter Dannenfelser (Architectural Arts) presented a third anniversary update on the joint water project between EAVO and The Rotary Club of Sacramento. A team from Sacramento Rotary club was sent in 2013 and worked with Hailu and others to build a gravity feed cistern and provide a clean water supply to villages in the Acheber area. Peter summarized his experience in Ethiopia with two words: beauty and hospitality.
Hailu is pictured below with President Dan McVeigh exchanging club banners.
An Updated Website:
EAVO recently updated its website. You can see the changes and the new features at www.eavo.org. Along with increased mobility, the site now has the capacity to bring you electronic updates of our newsletters, and you can communicate directly with EAVO’s staff. We are especially encouraged by the added feature for online giving. It is now possible for you, our friends and faithful supporters, to make donations directly to EAVO through PayPal.
We are grateful to Simon Ibssa who redesigned our website. Check it out!
2016 Year-end Donations:
At this special time of year, we wish to give thanks and praise for your support of the work of EAVO. If you are considering making a special gift or donation to charity before 2016 ends, please consider giving to our work in Ethiopia. The situation there is tenuous, and many of our churches and communities are facing uncertainty and danger due to current political unrest. Your gift would be especially appreciated at this time as we continue to offer aid and spiritual comfort to our villages there.
We welcome your questions and comments, and hope that your lives might be abundantly blessed.
Mail your tax deductible gifts to:
East African Village Outreach
7276 French Road
Sacramento, CA 95828