A Letter From the Directors
This has been another big year for Betasab starting with a special anniversary! In May and July of 2012 we welcomed our Origins Homes children. What a difference 5 years has made. Our youngest, Blen was just a toddler when she arrived – now she’s a proud 1st grader with grown up teeth. She might be 8 now, but her brilliant smile and the twinkle in her eyes that radiate her cleverness haven’t changed! And at the other end of the spectrum, our oldest boy, Tesfa passed his national exams – a major milestone for Ethiopian school children – and entered 9th grade this year. We are very proud of his hard work! And Kaleab, back from Ghana where he had his surgery, has found his baritone voice and sports a mustache! The other children have had equally dramatic changes, and it’s wonderful to see them thriving thanks to your support.
As we noted, we welcomed 10 new Learning Lion children. I (Claudia) was in Addis Ababa in August, and had the chance to visit most of the homes in this new group. Selam and I spent the day walking through the streets of Nifas-Silk Lafto area with our government representative (almost 5 miles when we were through), meeting the mothers and children, seeing their living situations, talking about their needs. All of them had applied to the sub-city for assistance, and these home visits were the first step in assessing their needs. As the government representative noted, “these women are the most vulnerable.” And still, like all mothers, they want the best for their children; helping these eager Learning Lions scholars stay in school makes a huge difference, and Betasab is proud to engage in that work.
Things have been a bit tricky in Ethiopia this past year with the state of emergency imposed last October. When it was lifted in August, I was glad to be able to pay a visit. It helps the children, I think, to know they are looked after locally, and globally.
There are still pockets of unrest, but we want to applaud the efforts of our staff as they have kept the programs and children on a steady course toward success in school and life. We would also like to thank our volunteers and interns from this past year, Leyla Abdella, Layla Al, Monica Melendez, Shalev Netanel, and Jenny Vibert. Thank you so much for your efforts on the part of these great children and women! We would also like to welcome our new crew: Eva Bod, Divya Gudur, and Avani Laroia. We’re excited to put you to work!
Finally, and most importantly, we want to thank you, our supporters and donors for your on-going belief in the work we do. I wish you could all come to visit us in Ethiopia – of course, the invitation is open, and the children ALWAYS ask when you’re coming – just to see how much difference this work makes in the lives of these 70 children. Problems of poverty, illness, neglect and challenging circumstances are large, and we won’t solve them all, but for these children and families, we are changing their lives. We are offering the possibility of a stronger, better future, the chance for success and self-fulfillment. Fall kicks off school, and it also kicks off the major fundraising season of the year. Be on the lookout for upcoming events and our fundraising drive emails. During a time when it can feel like the world is “on fire,” and major catastrophes are on every side of us, it can be easy to lose sight of small programs and on-going needs. That is why we’re so profoundly grateful that you stick with us—with these children—and understand how much your support means. THANK YOU!