Sunday, July 17, 2011

Update on Grace

Hi friends, I thought you would be interested in reading the update we sent out to our Australian Grace supporters this month. Toward the end of the update, we share an inspiring story of a special young girl and her family. If you are not on the mailing list and would like to be, let us know!

Dear Friends and Family,
We hope this letter finds you all well. 
Grace Centre and all the staff, children and Volunteers send you their warmest greetings and thanks for your support of all that is being done here in Bahir Dar through the Grace Centre.
We would like to take a moment to give you a brief report of the services and work that is being achieved through your support.
Between feeding the sponsored children, day care kids, and malnourished people, Grace provides more than 700 meals a day. 
In the three month period January 2011 to March 2011 Grace was privileged to serve people in the following ways:

·         The Clinic treated  668 people in addition to the daily checks undertaken by the nursing staff of each child in day care,
·         the day care (excluding school aged children) served 69 children;
·         The feeding program had 50 people;
·         transitional care (for abandoned children) had 7;
·         Educational sponsorship assisted 126 children and young people of these 66 were also involved in  after school tutoring;
·         temporary care served 11 children in the past quarter;
·         pre-school had 11 children.  These children should commence school in September,
·         daytime tutoring for children who have never been in school has 9.  It is hoped that these children will also commence school in September;,
·         the basket-weaving co-op assisted 13 women,
·         jewellery making program assisted 7 women,
·         our adult literacy program  taught more than 30 women how to read and write; and
·         the water, house building and other services we have given to the Negede Village has served about 300 people living in the village. 

The total number of people being served by Grace Center on a quarterly basis is 1301.  We have also indirectly served more than 3378 people in the local community including our fantastic staff and local businesses. 

Let us share just one of the many amazing stories of our mothers, children and families that we are privileged to serve here at Grace.
Her name is Tagegne.  Tagegne is about 14 (birthdays are generally not recorded so exact ages are usually a mystery).  Tagegne first came to Grace 2 years ago with her elderly grandmother, as an orphan.  Shortly after she joined our Afterschool Care program, Tagegne’s grandmother left town without notice. She came to live in temporary care with Grace. Her grandmother returned but because of certain circumstances, Tagegne continued to stay at Grace.
Tagegne stayed with Grace for about a year and a half during which time she was able to become a student at one of the private schools nearby.  One day, in the hopes of a future reunification with her grandmother, Tagegne and one of our staff members visited the house of Tagegne’s grandmother.  Upon their arrival at the house they were greeted by a lady who, at the sight of Tagegne, burst into tears.  This lady was Tagegne’s mother who had come from the country to visit her mother.  Just as Tagegne had been told of her mother’s death, Tagegne’s mother had been told of Tagegne’s long term absence from home – what a bitter sweet reunion.  So much time lost but family members thought to be deceased found to be living.  Not only did Tagegne have a mother but also brothers and sisters – they are beautiful sight to see in and around Grace each day.
Thanks to some generous donations Grace has been able to build a house for Tagegne’s family and they are able to live together and rebuild their family (see photo below).  Tagegne continues to attend After School Care and Grace’s continued support allows her to continue her education but now she has two families – her Grace family who still love her dearly and her very own mother, brothers and sisters.
Thanks for sharing the journey and making a difference in the lives of people like Tagegne.  Many of the families served by Grace exist because Grace exists, without the support they find here mothers would have relinquished children not through want but necessity.
We want to encourage you, that when giving to Grace, whether through sponsorship, regular or one off donations, aid, or other, you are making a lasting difference in the life of an individual or many.
With deep sincere appreciation, we want to thank you for your commitment and generosity.

Love Andrew and Dee Knife, Marcie Erickson and the Grace team!

Grace Centre for Children and Families
Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

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