Our education success is based on our family approach:
Of more than 160 children DRE has sponsored to date, close to one third have already completed tertiary or vocational studies. HFCOE graduates number in the hundreds. The children are positive and enthusiastic, despite their circumstances, and are actively seeking education. Those completing university education have qualifications in medicine, human resources and water management, among others.
Within the low or no income areas of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia’s capital), there is currently little expectation children will finish school. We support completion of school, and encourage completion of trade education or university where possible. The children attend local government and private schools, making friends and finding support structures within their local community.
Over 48 DRE Donors and Sponsors have visited our HFCOE office in Addis Ababa over the past 10 years. Long term sponsors and children are often overcome when they finally get to meet. Jenny Fairweather had been sponsoring and assisting Seadu for many years when they met each other this year.
Every six months DRE volunteers visit Addis to check on the sponsored students. Every child is interviewed and photographed and once a year the sponsor is sent a report. During those interviews we check on every aspect of the child's life and attempt to solve any issues that may be preventing the child attending school. These could include medical problems of child or caregiver; legal issues; food shortages; transport issues; housing problems; lack of bedding; or lack of sanitary items. We also track their academic progress and provide and career counselling.
We also provide every child that is interviewed with a near new donated outfit and set of shoes and other items such as toothbrushes, sewing kits and school reference books, bags and stationary if needed.
Toys for the first time
What DRE Kids Need If You’re Thinking of Sending Presents
Good shoes – sport shoes are very practical and not heavy to transport
Warm clothes – polar eece tops are ideal, they are light, warm, easy to launder and long lasting Quality school or computer bags
Laptops – are very expensive in Ethiopia, a second hand, basic 4yo Toshiba laptop costs US$800 in Ethiopia. They are literally life changing for the recipient.
Smart phones & Tablets are always gratefully received. A donation of a laptop and phone on DRE’s last visit supported two DRE graduates in furthering their small businesses
Sports equipment - soccer balls, shoes and strips, netballs and bibs and table tennis ball and racquets Art equipment - acrylic paints and brushes Underwear –The mother of a sponsored child has a small business supplying underwear. DRE prefer to support her endeavor and purchase underwear from her. You can make a donation to assist with this purchase for your sponsored child if you wish.
Light in a dark world
Someone Faraway Cares
Clothes Maketh the Man
A new set of clothes for DRE sponsored children has a huge impact, not just in providing warmth or as a fashion item. Without the clothing we fund, send or take to Addis Ababa, the children would be dressed in ill-fitting, very old, worn clothing that doesn’t keep them warm.
Shoes in particular take a beating in the cobbled streets of Addis. Children often wear shoes that are cheaply made of plastic and full of holes or tied together with string. Poorly dressed children are generally looked down upon and labeled as “those kids from the HIV place”.
Being well presented at school and in the community, allows our children to walk with greater pride. They are shown respect and treated better. DRE/HFCOE strongly encourage the children’s care-givers or mothers to take care with their charges/ children’s appearance. Two HFCOE community monitors and the HFCOE sponsorship officer check on this regularly.
The photos you see of beautiful well- dressed children, is a result of a concerted effort from DRE donors, DRE volunteer travellers, HFCOE staff and the extra effort of caregivers. The children say things like “I feel like a new person with these clothes. It makes me so happy to have received them”.