This might seem like a strange topic for a BRracing Blog post……but there is a connection.
We have been very blessed at BRR, and we have all our customers to thank for that. But, there is a much bigger world out there than the little area or ghetto we live in. And in many areas of the world, the world is not as nice, or hospitable, or where you can even get simple things we take for granted like water, food, and education.? On the one hand, we could just sit here and acknowledge it, or we could do something about it.
At BRR, we have decided to do something about it, and to try to make a difference in others lives, to touch them and make their world a better place.? As part of that, this is about our efforts in Ethiopia.? We have examined the world, and have determined there are a couple of places in third world countries where help is needed, and where we can have a plan and a method to change it.? Those areas are Cambodia, India, and Ethiopia. But this update is about Ethiopia.
About a year ago, as part of a bigger program, we decided to invest in a childs life, and to provide direct financial support for them – to provide them food, clothing, shelter, and education for the year. We pay a very small amount of financial support to care for a single child. This is not giving just to an organization, this is giving to a child we know, and who knows us. To qualify for participation in the program, the child had to either by an orphan, or a child of a single parent. In our case, all of these children are from a specific village just outside the town of Awassa (or Hawassa), called Hitata Genet. There are over 300 kids in this village that are with outside looking in….and that qualify for the program.
So, we joined with Childrens Hope Chest to support a child. In the first year of the targeted program for that village, they have been able to raise support for many of the kids. Calvary Church is the lead in the program, and we now have support for 200 of the kids for a full year as of May 15, 2012. We are in the 2nd year of the program. But, there is more….there is WAY more. A group (led by my daughter, Christine and from Calvary), visited the village and school last year to meet the leaders, the kids (she also sponsors a child directly), and to lay out a five year vision of how we could help them and increase awareness and funding for the school. We wanted to see, touch, and understand their needs and vision.
We are now ready for the next visit to help the school. As a result of the program that was started last year, we have been able to raise funds to purchase land this year, and then just recently, build a playground for the school on that land. Why the playground????? Because, the school, which has three school buildings, did not have a playground, and even though they were a full school, they could not qualify for state funding as they did not meet all the criteria for a fully sanctioned school…and the item they needed was the land and the playground. Now they have the playground, and they can be fully sanctioned as a school, receive additional state funding, and expand (qualify to get more land). They do not have the capacity in the school today to meet the demand….we know there are over 300 kids that are not in school and that qualify….so, we need to get going to help them.
Therefore, we (BRR) are joining a team that is going to Ethiopia this summer (June 29, 2012 to July 11, 2012) to deliver some more school supplies, develop some of the schools programs, lay out the next steps in the vision for the school, and to teach a summer program for the kids. Those from BRR going – (Christine Todd is leading the team, Bruce Todd, Stephanie Todd, and Ryan Holst). We all support kids there today. We will all get to meet and see our kids.
I make this post for several reasons…one, to increase awareness of the needs in other third world countries. Two, to let you know that there is a bigger world than just the area we live in and that we, at BRR, choose to do something about it. And finally to share this need with you should you care to join us in supporting the needs of these kids (financially or by buying supplies that we will be taking there). There are all sorts of ways to join in….you can buy Ehiopian Coffee from us (we will bring back bags of some of the best coffee in the world for you or for you to share, and the proceeds go to the kids), you can buy supplies (talk to us about the simple list of supplies that we are acquiring and that we are able to get into the country), you can support a kid, or you can provide financial support to raise the funds that the school will need to expand.
We would love to talk about this or answer any questions you might have about this program….ask us any time. But I will update this post thru the summer on the trip, the needs, and the excitement we have about helping to change someones life in this world.
BRracing ……..life is great, so lets share in it