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Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children

by Brave Hearts
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Quality Education for Orphan & Vulnerable Children
Maraki at home during social worker's visit
Maraki at home during social worker's visit

BHE continues to support orphaned and vulnerable children and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has caused significant impact on health, economy and daily operations in almost every country. After the first case in Ethiopia was identified on March 13, the government had been taking steps to fight the spread of the Coronavirus in line with international action. 

Nationally, schools have been closed since March 16 and a State of Emergency was declared on April 8 to last for five months. In accordance with government actions and regulations, BHE has suspended its regular services such as tutorials and group counseling sessions at the drop in center. These also include daily after school meals and guardian meetings. Yet, we are  finding new ways of continuing to support our families during this time until regular services and schools can be resumed.

Raising Awareness, Basic Needs and Hygiene Support

The key messages in the prevention of COVID-19 have been to wash hands regularly, wear face masks while in public and keep social distancing. Despite difficulties in accessing adequate sanitation, BHE has been helping families ensure they can protect themselves. As the virus affects those with medical conditions and low immunity the most, we believe it is key for vulnerable families to know how to protect themselves.

BHE has provided the families with additional food support and financial support to mitigate rising food prices and disruptions in their livelihoods caused by restrictions on transportation. It is important to ensure children continue to receive daily meals at home that they don't have in school. BHE has also been providing extra hygiene materials including hand sanitizers and soap.

Children, youth and guardians who have medical conditions are encouraged to follow up their health. Government health care centers are providing telephone follow ups for those who had in person follow up appointments to decrease their exposure. So far, all our beneficiaries needing care are taking their medications regularly and are in good health.

Studying At Home, Library Support, Counseling and Follow Up

As students have to stay home and follow their education remotely, BHE is working to ensure they continue to have basic needs and follow up. We are routinely assessing the vulnerability and risks each family is faced with during this time. Children and youth are following their studies from home through TV and radio education. 

This year BHE has 5 students under its program who will take the 8th grade national exam and 3 students taking the 12th grade national exam. As the exams are planned to take place in a few months, BHE is providing the students with model exams and material to help them study from home.

We also regularly encourage the children and youth to follow their studies by reading and following educational programs. They are able to borrow books from the BHE library that they can read at home. Lemma, a special needs student in 12th grade is provided with materials through the mobile app 'Telegram' by his school.

BHE’s Social Worker has been making regular calls and home visits to each household to follow their well-being, find out their needs and ensure each child follows their education. Children or youth in need of counseling and guidance are also able to discuss any issues they have during the calls and visits.

Some guardians have lost customers and their work due to lack of supply, rising prices and transportation restrictions. Others who earn their living by washing clothes in the community have not been able to work. However, most of our guardians are staying resilient with some continuing their trade and others finding different work while taking precautions.

While BHE's services have had to temporarily adapt to overcome this difficult time, we are strengthened by our ability to continue to provide essential and holistic support during this difficult time including food, hygiene, health, shelter, awareness and counseling support.

"I deeply thank our donors, staff and volunteers for continuing to support our work during this difficult time. I urge everyone to stay safe and well, my prayers go out to those affected by COVID-19." - Koni Yimer, Managing Director, BHE

Leul in his new home following education on TV
Leul in his new home following education on TV
Lemma and his dad being safe at home
Lemma and his dad being safe at home
Lemma following his education using his computer
Lemma following his education using his computer
Maraki showing hand washing prevention of COVID-19
Maraki showing hand washing prevention of COVID-19
Sofia's family receiving emergency food, pad, soap
Sofia's family receiving emergency food, pad, soap
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Simon, Yonas and Leul score excellent grades
Simon, Yonas and Leul score excellent grades

The first three months of 2020 have been bright for BHE students. They concluded their first academic semester with three of our students earning outstanding achievements. BHE currently has 19 children in primary school, 9 in secondary school, 2 in vocational education and 6 youth in higher education.

At the start of the year, BHE joyously celebrated Ethiopian Christmas and Epiphany with the children and guardians. We provided each family with a chicken and ten eggs for each occasion so the children and their families do not miss out on the festivities. During the recent school break the children enjoyed their time at the drop in center doing various educational and fun activities. 

With three of our youth graduating from university last year, we now have a total of eight youth completing their transition period in the program and graduating from BHE this year as self-reliant adults. We are proud that these youth have come a long way from their hardships and now have the education and skills to support themselves and their future.  

For International Women’s Day held March 8, we celebrated our female university graduates who are exemplary for the younger students especially girls in our program. Despite losing both parents and facing several hardships, five of our female graduates worked their way to success and self-reliance. Please read about their journey on our blog here

The global spread of COVID-19 has become an increasing concern for everyone. With the first case of the Coronavirus confirmed in Ethiopia on March 13, the government has since taken action to close schools temporarily to slow the spread. In line with this, BHE has suspended tutorials and other sessions at the drop in center after giving awareness sessions on the virus and protection methods. 

BHE has also put in place measures to help families cope during this time including providing them with grocery essentials. We did this so that children continue to get their daily meals while some goods may become overpriced or out of the market due to the impact of COVID-19. 

We are greatly concerned how the virus will affect the most vulnerable in our society and in our program as we have a number of children and guardians with pre-existing conditions. Thus we are trying our best to raise awareness on protection and safety for all. Everyone is in our thoughts and prayers as we try to navigate and find the best way to support the children and families in these difficult times. We will keep you updated on our work.

Please join us in spreading awareness about COVID-19 to help reduce the spread and exposure to vulnerable people. Wash hands with soap, stay home or away from public gatherings as much as possible, cover your nose and mouth if you cough or sneeze and follow reliable protection advice. As always, thank you for your kind support to our program and please stay safe!

BHE awareness message on COVID-19
BHE awareness message on COVID-19

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Alemu after his surgery recovering at home
Alemu after his surgery recovering at home

BHE currently supports 47 children and youth along with 39 guardians. Of the children we support 19 of them are in primary school, 9 of them are in secondary school, 2 are attending vocational and technical training and 6 are following their higher education studies. This year 3 of our youth graduated from university earning degrees in Water Engineering, Nutrition and Food Science as well as in Accounting and Finance.

It fills all of us at Brave Hearts Ethiopia with immense joy to share with you a moving story about Alemu, a resilient boy in the BHE program who underwent surgery a few days ago. We immeasurably thankful to Cure Hospital who took care of him.

Alemu is a young boy who has endured a lot of hardship. His parents unable to take care of him, so Alemu lived with his grandmother in the countryside. Unfortunately, he had an accident while playing soccer and broke his left arm. 

Although he was hospitalized, he was unable to gain effective treatment and his arm suffered from infection, muscle loss and deformation. 

Alemu's arm was deeply damaged by the infection he contracted because the local hospital carried out traditional practices that lacked medical merit. When he went to visit Cure Hospital, the doctors were afraid that his arm was beyond repair and would have to be amputated. 

The doctors decided to undergo a surgery that was predicted to last 45 minutes, however, it lasted almost 3 hours long. Alemu's pain was almost unbearable. His damaged tissues in his arm made it particularly difficult, yet the medical team was able to complete the surgery successfully. 

We are very proud of Alemu who was extremely brave and strong throughout this ordeal! After much deserved sleep and rest at the hospital, he is now home with his guardian and recovering. He will rest for the next 6 weeks until he goes back to Cure Hospital for a week long physiotherapy program. 

BHE is supporting Alemu through its holistic care program including educational, health and counseling support. Despite all that Alemu went through we are delighted his surgery has ended successfully and he is now making recovery. He is now able to go to school and continue his education.

"Thanks to Daniela Berger, Dr. Rick and Cure Hospital staff for their support and ensuring that Alemu received the medical attention he required" ~ Koni Yimer, Managing Director, BHE

Alemu sleeping after his surgery at Cure Hospital
Alemu sleeping after his surgery at Cure Hospital
Alemu in his home drinking milk and resting
Alemu in his home drinking milk and resting
Alemu up and about near his home
Alemu up and about near his home

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Bogalech as she graduated this summer
Bogalech as she graduated this summer

As we concluded the previous academic year and welcomed the new, we were proud to see three of our bright and hardworking youth graduated from university this year! Bogalech, Abiba and Dawit have had a long and challenging journey from losing both their parents at an early age but are now achieving their dreams.

BHE has supported them in ensuring they have access to quality education, basic needs, health and counseling support. Their success fulfills BHE’s mission of empowering orphaned and vulnerable children and youth through education and holistic support so they become confident, happy, self-reliant adults.

Bogalech has come a long way. After she lost her parents when she was 3 months old, she was left with the care of her elderly aunt who struggled to provide for her. Bogalech is now a confident young woman who earned a degree in Finance and Accounting. She also recently started her first job after her graduation.

Abiba lost both her parents at the age of five and their grandmother took in her and her sister. Abiba now takes care of her grandmother. She recently undertook an internship at the Ethiopian Public Health Institute. Abiba is an outstanding young woman who completed her degree in Nutrition and Food Science this year.

Dawit who also lost both his parents worked hard to change his hardships into success. Dawit worked hard and entered university to earn a degree in Water Engineering. Dawit is an active volunteer at BHE and is a mentor to the younger children.

BHE is very proud of these youth for their success and their role in inspiring the younger children still following their schooling. BHE has 19 children in primary, 14 in secondary and 6 youth in higher education beginning the new school year. BHE provides each student with new bags, clothes, uniforms, exercise books and materials at the beginning of every year. Our counseling and group sessions also support the children’s academic performance by encouraging them to work out their problems at home or school and build their communication skills.

BHE also supports the children with daily after school tutorials after school. We make sure they have their energizing and healthy snacks at our drop-in center after school. Our daily tutorials provided by teachers in key subjects help them stay ahead in their schooling.

Thank you for supporting BHE in its work of ensuring vulnerable youth have the quality education they deserve so they may succeed and inspire other youth!

Children excited to receive their new school bags
Children excited to receive their new school bags
Abiba who also graduated this summer
Abiba who also graduated this summer
Dawit who also graduated this summer
Dawit who also graduated this summer

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Daily tutorial sessions at the BHE drop in center
Daily tutorial sessions at the BHE drop in center

This quarter brought the end of the academic year for 40 of 48 children and youth under our program, with 22 of them in primary, 9 of them in secondary school and 9 of them in higher education. The children and youth had several milestones this year as 11 students took the Ethiopian National Exams. Out of these, 6 took the 8th grade national exams, 4 took the 10th grade national exams and 1 took the 12th grade national high school exit exam. In higher education, 5 completed their first years while 4 of them are completing their degree programs.

BHE provides daily tutorial sessions for primary and secondary students after school. This supports them in their studies in key subjects that they may need additional support in. Students also receive healthy after school snacks before tutorials so they are energized for their studies. Tutors provide extra support to children who are taking the national exams so they succeed.

Berta is one of the youth who took the 12th grade national exams. He is a brilliant young man who has excelled in his studies despite all the challenges he faced in his young life. Having lost both parents, Berta was raised by his grandmother. After joining the program, Berta was able to overcome his challenges with counseling and guidance provided by BHE. His performance was high and he was able to explore his innovation and artistic talents. Many of his beautiful paintings hang in BHE’s drop in center.

Biruh completed his first year of university in the field of Good Governance this year. Biruh is a wonderful special needs youth who has visual impairment. He also is a double orphan and nearly ended up on the street because he had no support. After joining BHE, Biruh received holistic support including educational, health, nutrition, counseling and guidance. BHE supported him in entering a school for the visually impaired with support for his special needs. He successfully completed his high school education and entered university making BHE proud. Biruh, like Berta, is a shining example for the younger children in our program.

Bogalech and Dawit are two youth who have successfully completed their degree programs and will graduate from university. Both double orphans, they have come a long way since joining BHE. Bogalech will graduate with a B.A. in Accounting and Dawit will graduate with a B.Sc in Water Engineering and Irrigation. Both are exemplary of achieving potential given the access to opportunities and make BHE very proud.

From primary school to higher education, BHE works hard to ensure orphan and vulnerable children receive the holistic support they need and achieve their dreams to live the lives they deserve. Thank you for supporting our program and helping these bright children and youth thrive!

Special needs youth, Biruh (middle) with peers
Special needs youth, Biruh (middle) with peers
Youth accessing BHE's library with  >13,000 books
Youth accessing BHE's library with >13,000 books

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Organization Information

Brave Hearts

Location: Addis Ababa - Ethiopia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @braveheartset
Project Leader:
Brave Hearts Ethiopia
Addis Ababa, Addis Ababa Ethiopia
$7,072 raised of $24,500 goal
 
140 donations
$17,428 to go
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