Do you ever feel that the problems in this world are so big that there is nothing you can really do to make a difference? It is tempting to feel that way especially when the numbers are so overwhelming – I can hardly wrap my mind around the number 4.8 million. There are an estimated 4.8 million orphans in Ethiopia. Of those millions, many of them have been orphaned by AIDS and are HIV+ themselves. What can we do about suffering of this magnitude?
AHOPE for Children was created by Kathy Olsen when AAI found that one in six of the children they brought into their orphanage was HIV+. At that time these children were not able to be adopted and something needed to be done to care for them. Kathy took on the task of creating a non-profit organization to provide funding for a home for these children. For six years Kathy has run AHOPE for Children from her home, taking no salary, and working like crazy. Now AHOPE has outgrown being a small home-based organization and is making many transitions. Still nobody, Kathy included, has a salary, but the rewards are fantastic.
In January I became the Supplies Coordinator for AHOPE and have recently changed roles to become the Director of Development. My focus is now on promoting AHOPE, fundraising, supporting other people in their fundraising efforts, and helping AHOPE as it grows. There are many talented and enthusiastic people who might be wondering what they can do to help. If you are interested in helping AHOPE please email me at email@example.com and share your ideas with me. We hope to update our webpage, possibly develop an online store to raise funds, increase our number of sponsors, plan volunteer work trips, and so much more.
AHOPE for Children also has a Yahoo group that you are welcome to join. You can find it here.
The children of AHOPE are incredible and we loved the time we spent with them. When AHOPE was founded, the staff would not take a child in unless there was enough money in the budget to pay for a funeral. In September 2005 lifesaving ARV medications were made available and the children began to thrive, grow and simply LIVE. Now AHOPE is working on issues such as transitioning teenagers into adulthood, education for all of the children, and recently we have begun providing education, medication, and help to children who are able to remain living with their families.
I am very excited to be part of AHOPE for Children and hope that some of you will join our efforts. One simple thing you can do is sponsor a child at AHOPE. Sponsorship is the backbone of our budget and keeps AHOPE running. It is $30 per month with a minimum six month commitment. You can find sponsorship information on our webpage.
Enough for this morning! I’ll try to post more about what is happening with AHOPE soon.
This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.