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LAL – Assistance to destitute children in Lalibela

Posted by Bert Michels on Feb 26 2012

Lalibela Project

Lalibela is a remote town known for its ancient rock hewn churches and every year more than 55,000 people make a religious pilgrimage to Lalibela because of its spiritual significance in Ethiopia. The landscape surrounding Lalibela is rugged and mountainous and is one of the regions affected by the devastating droughts of the past decades. The town has many homeless children and elderly people who are living on the street without food or shelter. 

WFA has assisted a group of street children with a home, meals, uniforms, food, clothing and medical care since 2008 through local partners in Lalibela.  Our partner in Lalibela since 2014 is Save Your Holy Land (SYHLA), a holist organisation involved in assisting children, youth and women.

Since 2008 there have been a total of 24 children housed and educated.  Although up until about a year ago, all the boys lived together at the house and the girls were either living with elderly extended families or others who allowed them to board, changes to the national government approach to unaccompanied children (children not living with families) means that now most of the kids are now in foster care, with some of the oldest ones renting rooms and only a few boys share the house. This was a difficult change for them to make as they are a big family and support each other well, but they continue to meet together every week and are mostly adjusting well.

Currently the project is supporting 16 children. 8 of our children have transitioned onto university and college in larger towns and cities, after they were supported in this project to complete their high schooling.  This is a fabulous outcome for children who had started off living and begging on the streets.  Another child who was dying from advanced heart disease was assisted to go to Israel and receive lifesaving heart surgery and is now fostered in the city of Addis Ababa.  Each of these children continue to consider the home ‘their home’ and the other children ‘their siblings’ so visit and communicate regularly.  As children leave to go to university, college, become employed or for other reasons go to live elsewhere, new children who were sleeping rough were able to join the project and start school.

I am seeking interested people to commit $70 per annual quarter to helping these children or donations of any amount - large or small to enable us to change the world for more street children in Lalibela through providing them with a bed, food and education. 

Last changed: Dec 22 2014 at 11:48 PM



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