Seven high school aged girls traveled to Dera and on the International Day of the Girl Child met with similarly aged Ethiopian girls. These teenagers discussed the blessings and challenges of womanhood and taught one another how to live true to their potential.
The American girls then broke the taboo subject of feminine hygiene and proper health care before distributing hygiene kits.
Thank you to Big Ocean Women for preparing and sharing the kits; they are changing lives by enabling girls to attend school without fear of embarrassment.
Numbers often convey to humans a story, but a story relying solely on numbers often fails to convey the human impact.
Hope Arising was founded by 3 women nearly 10 years ago.
Our water project installed 19 miles of pipe and now serves approximately 60,000 people.
Over 9 years, 20 dental team have traveled to Dera and have served an estimated 4,000 patients.
Our eye doctors have delivered more than 500 pairs of glasses and, by treating patients for trachoma, have saved the vision of hundreds more.
Our educational support efforts have paid registration fees more than 400 students to attend multiple years of school, has built 1 school, and built hygienic bathrooms that allow hundreds of young women to remain in class.
Our micro loans have assisted more than 50 women and provided basic business training as they raised these families toward self reliance.
The numbers convey the incredible impact of our volunteers and friends, but the numbers don’t really tell our story. The real story can only be understood by knowing the individual.
Tiruworek’s husband died several years ago – we don’t know exactly when. But time and years pass differently in rural Ethiopia. People worry for today. Yesterday is past and tomorrow’s arrival is uncertain.
Five years ago Tiruworek and her two daughters lives were defined by uncertainty. How will I eat today? Where will my child sleep tonight? When she could find work, cleaning homes in the village, she earned $2.65 month. One daughter left to live with Catholic missionaries. Tiruworek and her daughter ate less than one small meal each day.
About this time she learned of Hope Arising’s new microloan program. Each in a small group of women would receive funds and training to start a personal business. Tiruworek created a plan and asked to be part of our first group of recipients.
After securing a $100 microloan, she established a business weaving baskets, making injera (bread), and selling her wares at the local market. Her life immediately improved. She and her daughter began to eat regularly; her daughter returned to school. Within two years, Tiruworek repaid her loan, saved $242, and relocated her family to a safer home.
Today Tiruworek’s life continues to improve. This past month she invited Hope Arising’s cofounder, Chantal Carr, to her home. Tiruworek new, royal blue dress and head scarf paled only in comparison to the bright, hopeful smile adorning her face.
Several children and women accompanied her; most had benefitted from her generosity. As they toured her small, clean home, Chantal noted the almost complete injera basket -Tiruworek’s latest craft -almost ready for market – sitting on a small plastic table and asked if she could buy it.
“No, it is my gift to you. But first I must finish it,” came the generous reply.
Chantal resisted the Ethiopian hospitality. The basket represented more than Tiruworek’ success. It told a story broader than one woman’s journey to hope; it represented more than the market’s price for basket.
The unfinished basket, the creation of Tiruworek’s nimble fingers, told a story. Not a story of numbers; a number of real people. Just like the basket, an unfinished story.
Editor’s note: Tiruworek’s story is an update to the story we originally shared in a 2013 video. Her story is just one example of how microloans improve not only the recipient’s life, but also the many lives of the recipient’s family and neighbors.
If you would like to help other women like Tiruworek, please consider donating today.
Help Marianne raise $15,000. All proceeds will directly benefit Hope Arising’s efforts to build a school that will benefit more than 200 children and enable them to enroll in school. Donations of every amount will help!
Disease, general living conditions, war, and HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia threaten to destroy the traditional family structure. Young children often forego education and lose hope for a better future in order to provide immediate care for younger siblings. Those children cared for by extended family members strain limited resources and often end up in servitude to the family hosting them. Children whose parents die from HIV/AIDS are stigmatized and too often ostracized because of simple ignorance and fear.
Hope Arising strengthens families to support and care for children orphaned or made vulnerable by disease, war, natural disaster and extreme poverty.
Mount Kilimanjaro, “the Roof of Africa”, stands at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) and is Africa’s highest peak and the world’s tallest free standing mountain. Kilimanjaro is also one of earth’s largest volcanos. The mount is found in northern Tanzania and overlooks Kenya.
Kilimanjaro promises to be both beautiful and challenging, as hikers venture through four climates in as few as four days. “Climb for Hope” will use the Alternative Lemosho Route, and climb with the trekking company Climb Mount Kilimanjaro. This route boasts to be quieter, longer, and more challenging than some other routes to the summit. It is a seven day adventure that covers approximately 80 kilometers. More information on Kilimanjaro and this trek can be found at climbmountkilimanjaro.com.
Marianne Hirsche fell in love with the people of Dera, Ethiopia on her first visit, and has returned several times. Marianne is from Stirling, Alberta and works for a Toronto-based exploration company on a project in northern British Columbia, near the Alaska border.
Marianne set a goal several years ago to climb one of the seven summits, and her love for Africa made Kilimanjaro the perfect choice of mountain. She has two boys, loves to travel, and enjoys an active lifestyle that includes running, hockey, and wake-boarding.
Outside the small Dera Health Clinic, volunteers led by Jaskson Sellers handed out toothbrushes and taught basic hygiene, including the importance of washing your hands. Jackson Sellers (17) of Crew 9645 in Gilbert, Arizona, led the volunteers using supplies he gathered and assembled during his Eagle Scout project. In October during fall break from school, Jackson traveled to Ethiopia, where he delivered the kits, taught the people methods to improve their health, and came to love the people of Ethiopia.
Inside the clinic, dentists distributed an additional 150 hygiene kits donated by Dallin Short (14) of Varsity Team 6398. Dallin’s efforts to collect donations, assemble the kits, and donate them to Hope Arising, allowed the dentists to teach the patients proper hygiene and prevent the maladies that led them to the clinic in the first place.
Elsewhere, Declan Carr (12) of Troop 465, visited the Tesfa Hiwot HIV/AIDS after school club, where he personally delivered over 120 soccer uniforms and organized a soccer game among the youth club members. The uniforms will allow the after school club to organize additional activities and then educate youth regarding HIV prevention. Declan’s Eagle Project attracted soccer players from throughout the village, but more importantly the game created an opportunity to educate the youth and teach them health practices that will save their lives.
Andrew Dennis of Troop 381 spent hours organizing a school supply drive and preparing back packs to donate to Dera schools. Because the ability to secure school supplies like notebooks and pencils is an enrollment requirement, Dallin’s Eagle Project effort literally enabled hundreds of children to enroll in and attend school.
Hope Arising, on behalf of the people of Dera, thanks these four boy scouts and congratulates them on completing their Eagle Projects by blessing the lives of so many.
Having the culture of this beautiful country warp itself around me was something I’ll never forget. The kindness, grit, humility, and strength of Ethiopia have taught me a valuable lesson. That no matter what we are given in life, the most important thing is being around those we love. Rather we have a house full of running water or a small mud/grass hut, what matters most is hard work and the love of a family. If we can feel that, we will never be left wanting. Our work towards a ready supply of water is underway. The joy and happiness that this water pipeline will bring the people of Dera cannot compare to what they have given us.