40 New Children in Ethiopia!
We have added 40 new children to our ministry in Ethiopia! God has been so faithful throughout this past year and blessed our work in countless ways.
The needs of orphans in Chiro, Ethiopia are vast, so it is an answer to prayer to grow from 20 to 60 children!
Last weekend, PATH Ethiopia held our weekly Saturday program. This particular Saturday was unique because marked the start of Year 2 of working in Ethiopia. It was also the first Saturday where we had our 20 children from the first year, and the 40 new children that just began, all together.
We started the new school year on a light and fun note, planning lots of games and ice breakers to help the children and staff get to know each other and learn each other’s names. Almost immediately, we as a staff could see the difference between the groups of children.
Sometimes, when we are working with the children day after day, it is difficult to notice small changes in behavior and character. School grades and reports from home help us measure progress, but often our focus is so zoomed in that we forget to take a step back and observe. Seeing the Year 1 students interacting with the Year 2 students, gave us that zoomed out perspective to realize the huge change in character and behavior that our Year 1 children have made. We are so encouraged!
Some of our ice breaker games included passing and receiving a ball, calling out one’s name or the receiver’s name when playing. As expected, the children who are brand new to our program were often timid, soft-spoken, and shy. In stark contrast, the students who have been sponsored by PATH for a full year were very bold in calling out names, passing the ball, and interacting. They immediately stood out as leaders among the children, and several of the newer, younger children slowly gravitated to some of the older children from Year 1.
Part of our Saturday program includes doing basic math drills to gage where our students are academically and what additional resources or tutoring they require. One of PATH’s Year 1 children, Destu, just completed first grade; although she is nine years old, this past year was her first year of school ever. Nevertheless, during the math drills, Destu was up at the front of the room confidently showing third and fourth grade students how to perform not just addition and subtraction but also multiplication and division problems. These students are new to our program and have not received quality or stable education until now. The difference that just one year in our program has made is becoming very evident, and we are excited to see the continued growth of all our kids this coming year.
We hope this glimpse into our recent Saturday program encourages you! Your support is really, truly changing children’s lives and today we want to celebrate all that has been accomplished this past year in Ethiopia, and dedicate what is to come.
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