Climb for Hope


Between October 6-12, Marianne Hirsche will endeavor to “Climb for Hope” to increase awareness of Hope Arising and its efforts to improve the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children in Ethiopia.  As she ascends Africa’s tallest peak, she invites you to participate in her challenge by donating to Hope Arising.


 

The Goal

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!

The Cause

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.

The Mountain

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.

The Climber

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.

Giving Thanks for Sight

In October, Dr Chet Jenkins made his annual fall trek to Ethiopia. Along with dental services, he introduced Dera to Drs Jon Wilson and Scott Kowallis, optometrists and his childhood friends. In turn, Dr Wilson brought his son, Turner, and Kowallis brought his wife, Sue, to be assistants to their first-of-many-to-come eye clinics. As with any pioneering adventure, their experiences were both unexpected and rewarding. Two grueling days spent by our country director, Betty, in negotiations with customs over equipment and medication added a little stress but could not thwart the determination of these fine folks from offering their services. The response to the much-needed eye services was overwhelming. Word travels fast in rural communities about the opportunity to see a doctor and people came in droves. Our garden expert, Bob Johnson, when not planting, spent his time managing the crowd and keeping order. Problems concerning the eyes are prevalent in this area due to several contributing factors; malnourishment, contaminated water, poor ventilation with cooking fires, and disease.

Drs Wilson and Kowallis knew they would be faced with surprises on their adventure to Ethiopia, however they were unprepared for the shocking occurrence of an eye disease called “trachoma”. Never heard of it? Because it was eradicated in the industrialized world by the 1950’s. Trachoma is an infectious disease, resulting in blindness if neglected. Ironically, it can easily be treated with antibiotics or simple surgery. Ethiopia has one of the highest occurrences of trachoma in the developing world, with women being three times more likely to be affected. A few of the root causes of trachoma are poor hygiene, poverty and inadequate sanitation; all of which exist in Dera. It is no mystery why villagers were clamoring to get in to see the eye doctors. Along with assessing sight and giving out prescription glasses, Wilson and Kowallis treated trachoma patients with antibiotics. You cannot put a price tag on the gift of sight. It is “clear to see” that Wilson and Kowallis have already made a huge difference in Dera. And this is only the beginning.

Eagles Soar into Action in Dera

 

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.

 

Dallin Short and his varsity scout team assemble hygeine kits to send to 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. 

Declan Carr presents soccer uniforms to the director of HIV education.

 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
Andrew Dennis secures school supplies as part of his Eagle Project.

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.

Computers for Dera High School

When students in Alberta, Canada heard about the needs of Dera High School they decided to take action.  Securing pledges from throughout the community, students and teachers joined in a 3 day famine.  Their goal: no food for 1 day and no technology for the other 2 days. Students in k-12 gave up their computers and teachers turned off their smartboards.  After learning more about a day in the life of a student in Dera, Ethiopia these studentst raised enough money for 10 computers and computer desks for the High School.  In Ethiopia, every child has a conviction of the power of education and they know that for their future success in the world, they need to learn how to use technology. Thanks to students in Alberta, the students in Dera will have that opportunity!

2nd phase of water pipes arrive in Dera

Dabi, Mayor Musa with new pipes

Clean water has begun flowing to local water points on the upper half of the pipeline.  Individuals and families express how this clean water has changed their lives.  They no longer have to wait days or hours in line and the health of their animalsand flocks have visibly improved. They are so grateful and happy to have reliable water flow.

2nd phase of pipes delivered to Dera

With increased drought pressing this year in Ethiopia, the World Food Program has been forced to cut rations to additional Ethiopians.  This waterline will prove an invaluable lifeline in the hot, dusty desert of Dera.

Thank you to our generous supporters who are making such a dramatic impact in this region of the world!

where there are no orphanages

Most orphans do not live in orphanages.

With nearly 6 million children orphaned in Ethiopia, the solution lies in strengthening families and communities to care for these children within the local households. Often a grandmother, aunt, neighbor or older sibling struggle to care for young children. Food is often scarce and school fees difficult to come by.

Family capacity is increased through participation in our Thrive Together program. Struggling households work in peer groups to set goals that will increase healthy habits, literacy and school enrollment and ultimately have an income generating activity. Over time, with knowledge and support, these households progress from a state of crisis to stability and hope in the care of their families.

my friend marta

One of the great things about returning to Dera, Ethiopia for the 3rd time in one year is the friendships. We’re all beginning to be familiar with one another.

I love it, love it, love it.

Last March I met a woman that has forever changed my life.

This picture was taken at our first meeting… the day after her toddler son had died.

Her blind husband was off to bury the child. She couldn’t go, she is too sick… she is HIV positive. You can see my grief in this picture (I try so hard to conceal my emotions but I had lost control)… but not nearly as great as hers.

This is her 7 year old son, Abi. He has tuberculosis.

But a smile to capture any heart.

We were able to provide her and her family with food and some money each month. (about $20)

Needless to say, she was one of the first people I wanted to see when we arrived a few weeks ago. I was so anxious to see her, not knowing what to expect or how I would find her.

Imagine my JOY when my dear friend wrapped her tiny arms around me- healthy, happy, and FULL of LIFE. What’s more, imagine hearing her words (though foreign and through a translator) telling me that we had saved her life.

She said that the day we met her she had laid down to die, having told God that if she was to live she needed an angel.

We arrived about an hour later.

She knows that her life was spared.

She and her husband passionately presented a business plan to me, soliciting a small loan in the amount of $350 to start a hay business. They believe this is the beginning of better days for them.

Would you like to help support Marta?

You can make a donation of any amount to Hope Arising. When I exceed this goal, we’ll apply your donation to another friend of mine.

I have many.

Here’s a picture of Abi now: (Please note the shape of his head and the light in his eyes. It’s amazing what food and medicine can do! And note that I am clearly the happiest in Ethiopia.)

Jennifer Brinkerhoff
July 2010 

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