Another Year of Support for the OVC Program!
Leah Yee, Social Media Manager Compassionate Eye Foundation is proud to announce that we have pledged $25,000 and another year of support to Partners in the Horn of Africa for the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) program in Amhara, Ethiopia.
Partners in the Horn of Africa is a Canadian-based non-profit organization focused on improving the daily lives of Ethiopians; their projects strive to improve infrastructure, develop health and welfare, and combat extreme poverty in remote areas which often fall short of the reach of larger organizations. What sets them apart from many other non-profits is the strength of the relationships they have with groups on the ground in Ethiopia. A key part of every project includes working closely with a local community group and the partner organization always plays an essential role in the project design, decision-making, and implementation of any given program.
The OVC Program supports orphans and vulnerable children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Without an income-earning adult, young children are tragically left without the means to secure basic needs or afford the necessary materials to attend school. Far too often, these children have no other choice but to withdraw from school so that they can begin earning money for food, medical expenses, and to care for their families. The OVC Program was created to provide community-based assistance to 100 children by finding them foster care homes and providing ongoing support. Foster parents and guardians receive monthly stipends to cover the financial cost of providing for the child
and the program donates the educational materials needed for them to attend school. The children in the program are between the ages of 15 and 20 and living in either Bahir Dar, the capital of the Amhara regional state, or in the district capitals of West Gojjam and Awi zones. This project also supports two university students who have previously graduated from the program.
The following is a selected excerpt from a 2013 program update from the program coordinator in Amhara, regarding a 14-year old student in Grade 9:
“We visited Addisu at his home, a tiny mud and tarpaulin shelter in a densely populated slum. The home, which was immaculately clean and organized, has no running water or toilet facilities. They buy water by the bucket and pay to use a public pit latrine that is a 5-minute walk away. The area is home to many commercial sex workers, who sometimes work from their homes.
Addisu’s favourite subject is mathematics and he wants to be an engineer or mechanic. His role model is his physics teacher, as well as Ethiopia’s late prime minister. He’s been enrolled in the program for 6 years now, since he was in Grade 2. In addition to the subsidy, he receives clothing, school bags and materials, and a school uniform from the program.
We asked him if he had any comments or questions for us as we were leaving. He said, “The support is good, and I would be happy if it could continue this way.”
It is always rewarding to see exactly how income earned from our Getty Images collection impacts the daily life of a someone across the world. A huge thank you to all the CEF supporters who continue to make projects like this one possible!