As 2012 comes to a close, we at Retrak want to thank you for your support of our work with street children in Africa. Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, Retrak was able to accomplish some amazing things in 2012, such as:
That’s just a partial list of Retrak’s accomplishments of 2012. We look forward to expanding our work and reaching even more vulnerable children in 2013. Our vision is a world in which no child is forced to live on the streets, and with your help we will continue working to transform highly vulnerable children’s lives, preserve families, empower communities and give each child a voice.
Thanks again for your support. Have a wonderful 2013!
P.S. Please consider making an end-of-year donation to Retrak by clicking here.
Seasons Greetings from Retrak to all of our supporters! This holiday season we at Retrak have a lot to be thankful for, not the least of which is the continuing support of our GlobalGiving community. Your donations over this past year have enabled hundreds of children in Africa to break away from street life and return to a loving and caring family.
This month, GlobalGiving is giving us the opportunity to stretch your dollars even further. During the month of December, if you sign up for a recurring gift, GlobalGiving will give a 100% match of your first month’s donation. A recurring donation is easy to set up and automatically goes to your credit card each month so you can help provide a steady income for our work without having to worry about making separate donations each month. GlobalGiving is also giving away additional $500 grants! We need at least 10 new recurring donations before the end of the day Sunday, December 31 EDT in order to be eligible for bonus grants. Can we count on you?
A gift from you can help children like Tewodros a 13-year-old boy living on the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Tewodros lived with his mother and older sister, until his mother died of AIDS when he was six years old. His sister and her husband cared for him for a while, but when they learned that he was HIV-positive, he was forced to leave their home and live on the streets of Addis Ababa. The local health center referred him to Retrak. When he first came to us, he was physically, spiritually, and emotionally sick. But Retrak gave him intensive counseling (including play therapy) as well as medical care. Now, Tewodros is in a good physical, mental and spiritual state, and we hope to place him with a family in the near future.
We hope that you’ll consider making a gift to Retrak this Christmas so that we can continue to help children like Tewodros. Sign up for a recurring donation here. Be sure to click on the “monthly recurring” option below the large orange “donate” button. Here, you will find instructions on setting up a recurring donation.
Want to give the gift that keeps on giving? Recurring donations can also be given as gifts! Here, you will find instructions on setting up a recurring donation as a gift or in-honor of someone special.
Are you trying to decide what to get your loved ones for Christmas this year? GlobalGiving is making it easy for you to give an alternative gift to everyone on your list.
When you make a donation to one of our projects on behalf of a loved one via GlobalGiving, your loved one will receive a personalized card letting them know that they’re helping street children in Africa. Click here to give a GlobalGiving Tribute Card.
Your gift will help change the lives of some of the most vulnerable children on Earth, like 13-year-old Biruk, who comes from southern Ethiopia. His mother died while giving birth to him, and he lived with his father, stepmother and step-siblings. A severe alcoholic, Biruk's father abused him and would not allow him to eat. Biruk left home and lived with his grandmother for awhile, but this was also very difficult, as she was very old and had no income.
Because of economic hardship and peer pressure, he decided to come to Addis Ababa to work, but the situation was different than he expected and life was very difficult. He stayed on the street for one year, where he suffered from hunger and lack of shelter, occasionally earning some money by carrying luggage at the bus station.
Biruk's friends on the street told him about Retrak. He entered our program and received food, shelter, clothes, education, life skills, medical care and counseling services. Biruk said that “Now Retrak changed me to have good behavior. Retrak also protects me so that I am not bullied by other children. If Retrak did not allow me to join the program I might be lost or dead”.
After he stayed with Retrak for four months, Biruk decided that he wanted to reintegrate with his grandmother. When Biruk arrived home, his grandmother welcomed him with many tears and gave glory to God. She said that her daughter (Biruk’s mother) has risen from death because Biruk is still alive. Retrak staff talked with his grandmother and his uncle about parenting skills and how to earn money and keep savings, and then Retrak provided an income-generating grant. With the grant, Biruk's grandmother decided to buy two goats and shoe shining materials with which she and Biruk could work. She thanks Retrak for protecting her grandson and the family.
Thank you so much for your support of Retrak, which enables us to help children like Biruk. To give your holiday gift through GlobalGiving, just go to the project page and select “Gift or In Honor Of” under the large orange donate button.
Have a wonderful holiday season!
I recently returned from a trip to Ethiopia and Uganda where I visited the Retrak projects and was able to see our work in action. Driving through the streets of Addis Ababa at night, I saw countless children huddled in corners or under benches, trying to sleep in the cold rain. During the day these children could be seen begging or scavenging for food. At the Retrak drop-in center, children were laughing, playing, eating and learning, and later I visited children who were settling in for the night at Retrak's night shelter.
Retrak makes a real difference in the lives of street kids. Here's the story of a set of brothers who recently came to Retrak:
Abebe and Kbede are brothers who were born in the southern part of Ethiopia called Acheber. Abebe is 13 and Kebede is 7 years old. Before they came to street they lived with their parents. Their father was a farmer and their mother was a house wife.
The boys' parents never sent their children to school because of economic hardship. When the hardship becamestrong they sent out their first child to their uncle’s house. Abebe used to look after the sheep and received a small amount of money. The youngest boy, Kebede, remained with his parents. Suddenly the father’s behavior changed badly. He began hitting his wife. The neighbors usually tried to intervene when there was a quarrel but he didn’t change his behavior and instead he started to fight with the neighbors. When the problem became severe the mother left the house
Abebe was always thinking about his family and how to improve their economic situation, and he started saving the money that he got from the job. Abebe bought sheep and brought them to his family. When Abebe came to see the family he couldn’t find his mother. He only saw his brother and father. When their father saw the sheep he asked Abebe to sell the sheep and to go to Addis Ababa. Abebe consented and they sold the sheep and came to Addis Ababa. When they reached to the bus station of Addis Ababa their father told them to stay at the bus station. They waited but their father didn’t show up. The children became terrified and started to cry. They didn’t eat anything for a day because they didn’t know where to get food. The community around the bus station keptthem for the night.
In the morning, Retrak's outreach team found Abebe while he was crying on the street. When they asked why he was crying he said that he was hungry. the outreach team invited Abebe and Kebede to the Retrak drop-in center.They are now getting Retrak’s services including education, medical services, food, shelter and counseling. Abebe and Kebede are now very happy. Eventually Retrak social workers hope to place the brothers, together, with a foster family.
Retrak was able to help Abebe and Kebede thanks the the generous contributions of our donors. Thank you for continuing to support our important work.
Many people across the country will be celebrating Mothers Day this weekend. But there are thousands of children across Ethiopia who don't have a loving mother to care for them or a place to call home. Robel was one of those children, until Retrak social workers found him and brought him to the Retrak Drop-In Center, where Robel has been working to overcome his past and have hope for a brighter future.
Robel is fourteen years old. He was born in the Ethiopian town of Dire Dawa. Before he came to the street, he lived happily with his parents and two sisters. But his mother left home, and his father remarried. His stepmother was abusive, both physically and psychologically. So Robel left his home and lived on the streets of Dire Dawa. While living on the streets, Robel was sexually abused by a stranger and hospitalized for his injuries. When he was released from the hospital, Robel decided to leave Dire Dawa and come to Addis Ababa. . He survived by doingcar washing, carrying luggage and getting leftover food from hotels. After staying two months on the street, Robel was again sexually abused. He went to the police again but no one helped him.
The Retrak outreach team found Robel on street when they were doing their street visit program. Robel was sitting on the bus station fence looking confused. When the outreach team tried to talk with him he started to cry and it was difficult for him to express his feelings through his tears. The team invited him to the Drop-In Center and Robel decided to come.
When he first came to the Retrak Drop-In Center, he told his whole story to the social worker during the counselingsession. Robel was very suspicious and angry and was often fighting with the other boys and often cried. While staying in the center, he participated in all the activities, including counseling, food, medical services, life skills, and catch-up lessons. He also got voluntary HIV counseling and testing and fortunately his result was free from HIV. He was sure that he would die because of HIV, and when he heard that he is disease-free, he said that “now I can be a big man and live my own life”.
Robel didn’t want to reintegrate back with his family because of the neglect and abuse from his family in the past. His plan for the future is to take business training and become independent. One day he wants to go back to Dire Dawa in order to live his own life by doing his small business.
Robel is now getting regular play therapy counseling which is helping him express his anger and grief and which will in time help him to come to terms with his past abuse and sufferings. He is now improving and is in a much bettersituation than before.
Thank you for your support of Retrak, which has allowed Robel, and hundreds of boys like him, to overcome the abuse and trauma of his past. Please consider making a donation to Retrak for Mothers Day so that more boys can feel loved and valued.
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US Country Director