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Christian Ministry to Operate Orphanage, School in Ethiopia

A U.S.-based Christian ministry has accepted the Ethiopian president’s offer to operate and fund an orphanage and school in the northwestern region of Ethiopia.

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By Michelle A. Vu, Christian Post Reporter
November 3, 2005|5:14 pm

A U.S.-based Christian children ministry will begin operating an orphanage and school in the northwestern region of Ethiopia starting next month.

Blessing the Children International will officially begin managing “Kamashi Orphanage and School” in Ethiopia’s Benishangul-Gumuz region on Dec. 1 upon accepting the request of President Yaregal Aysheshim for assistance with the newly constructed facilities.

“I want to do everything I can for my people,” said President Aysheshim in a statement released by Blessing the Children International, “especially for the children.”

On July 11, Blessing the Children International signed an agreement with the government of the region to operate and fund the orphanage and school in the town of Kamashi. The Ethiopian government agreed to provide the facilities free of charge for 20-year lease if the ministry would contribute the operational funding. The facilities include a 500-bed compound on 100 acres of land, which was completed in 2003.

Benishangul-Gumuz is considered one of the least developed areas in Ethiopia and the world. According to Dr. Charles E. Blair of the Denver-based Blair Foundation, the region is 2,000 years behind the world and 1,000 years behind other parts of Ethiopia in areas ranging from education to healthcare to agriculture. The people of this region often do not wear clothes and fish and hunt to survive.

Blessing the Children International is not new to the Benishangul-Gumuz region, having worked with the Blair Foundation in Ethiopia for the past four years in a project also initiated by President Aysheshim to find sponsors to plant 1,000 new churches in the region. The Blair Foundation announced on Aug. 31 the campaign’s successful attainment of the goal to find sponsors needed to plant 1,000 churches.

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“The project of educating and caring for 500 children is much bigger than we are,” says Keith Strawn of Blessing the Children International in a statement released by the ministry. “But as God provided sponsorships for the 1,000 churches, He too can provide for the needs of these children. It is not going to be easy, but if God’s people will respond with His compassion, the need will be met.”

Ethiopia is a nation that has not been able to recover after the fall of communism in 1990, with many people still living in extreme poverty. The average income per person is less than $100 per year. Blessing of the Children also reported that one out of ten children in Ethiopia die before reaching their first birthday and one out of six die before age five.

Moreover, Ethiopia is one of the countries hit hardest by the AIDS epidemic, with over four million orphans in Ethiopia (20 percent as a result of AIDS), a problem the government says is “tearing apart the social fabric” of the country, reported Blessing the Children International. According to UNICEF, Ethiopia is one of the two poorest countries in Africa.

As a Christian children ministry in Kawkawlin, Mich., Blessing the Children International is reaching out to children worldwide through outreach programs such as community outreach, city dump feeding programs, city dump schooling, children’s homes, community churches development and Christian schools. The ministry partners with other existing or pending organizations in the areas as to maximize the productivity of funds.

The Kamashi Orphanage and School is currently seeking monthly sponsors for 500 orphans, improvement funding and startup expenses.

For further information on Blessing the Children International visit
www.blessingthechildren.org.

 

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