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Today's Reality Check - Guest Post by Andrea Gaines

Here’s what Andrea had to say after her recent visit to Hope for Korah…

"Today's reality check, just in case you need a little perspective. We went to one of my favorite places today, Korah. It's a leper colony that a holds close to 130,000 people. It's one of my favorite places because some of my favorite people reside there.

We started at the Hope for Korah Berta Breakfast feeding program. They feed roughly 375 children and mothers every morning. This morning a scene stuck out to me. A little boy of maybe 6 yrs old came in with his little brother who was maybe 3 yrs old. He led him to the Berta (very nutritious pancake like disc) and handed little brother 2 of them. Then he grabbed 2 glasses of hot tea. When they got to the bench, he carefully placed the tea and then picked up little brother and situated him to eat. More responsibility at the age of 6 than most adults.

We also stopped at the Elders compound. This houses several elderly men with various stages of lep…
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International Day to End Obstetric Fistula - Emiwedet's Story

The United Nations has designated today as an International Day to End Obstetric Fistula Day.

"Obstetric Fistula is one of the most serious and tragic injuries that can occur during childbirth. It is a hole between the birth canal and the bladder or rectum caused by prolonged, obstructed labour without treatment.

The condition typically leaves women incontinent, and as a result they are often shunned by their communities. Sufferers often endure depression, social isolation and deepening poverty. Many women live with the condition for years – or even decades – because they cannot afford to obtain treatment.
An estimated 2 million women in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab region, and Latin America and the Caribbean are living with this injury, and some 50,000 to 100,000 new cases develop each year. Yet fistula is almost entirely preventable. Its persistence is a sign that health systems are failing to meet women’s essential needs.
Obstetric fistula symptoms generally manifest in the…

GTS Cyprus Team in Action - Giving their ALL & getting their Hands Dirty!

Update from Jake Boner, HFK N.A. Liaison/Missionary in Korah

This past week our HFK staff and I had the joy of hosting a large group of 48 people from Gateways International Training School in Cyprus, Greece. The team consisted of many individuals representing over nine different countries. It was a diverse group who brought much happiness to everyone they interacted with. The team was divided into two groups, both visiting on separate days. The first half arrived early in the morning ready to serve at both of our Berta feeding programs. Before we had time for an introduction the entire team jumped into action serving tea and Berta pancakes while interacting with the children. I could tell immediately by all the smiles that they were well received by our youth.
The day proceeded on with many work projects including the painting of our new Elder’s Home compound, as well as our youth library. Fresh paint started to brighten the walls as the team began their work. Everyone joined in on t…

Bring Intentionality: One Brother Sister Friend letter at a time.

Guest post by Karissa Schat 
"I’ll send you a text." In an era of quick & convenient communication tools, letter-writing is long forgotten. A quick text or email does the trick most of the time, and if it’s longer than three sentences, we keep it in our inbox as ‘unread’.
Forever.
But have we lost the JOY, the intentionality of writing to those we care about? Is the art of letter-writing long forgotten? In the rare case that I receive one myself, I practically SQUEAL with delight. Out loud. They took the time to write me this, I think to myself as I eagerly scour the contents. And THAT is something worth reading.

In Korah this past June, I was able to see that joy & anticipation first-hand. I was in a room with hundreds of exuberant, energized children who were waiting for their mail from their Brother Sister Friend. Most were there because they knew what it was all about: but many were just curious... they wanted in on this, too.



Perhaps it’s an inherent need to be R…

Measuring Vulnerable Kids in the Fight Against Malnutrition

A child's capacity to learn is significantly altered by malnutrition and therefore HFK's Berta Breakfast program not only matters today, but also impacts the future of every child we feed. Working with public schools to target their most vulnerable students whose lack of nutrition has a direct effect on their ability to learn, is an important and exciting step we are taking by expanding Berta Breakfast  to 100 children at Abune Basilios Government School near the trash dump in Addis Ababa.  
In February, when we met these children for the first time, it was evident that they live in dire conditions.   Many arrived to our intake assessment with uniforms that were tattered and in shreds. Some holes were larger or equal to the remaining worn-out cloth which was threadbare, stitched, pinned and barely held together.  The children's skin tone, hair and slight frames were evidence of how very undernourished they are. Our HFK nurses and staff were on hand measuring each child aga…

Congratulations Jacqueline- Masters of Social Work, Research & Thesis on Korah

Congratulations to Jacqueline Strating RSW MSW, HFK's Sponsorship & Programs Manager for presenting her Masters of Social Work thesis at U.F.V. today! Jacqueline's research study which took place in Korah, was on: "Understanding the Context of Poverty and Investigating Culturally Relevant Strategies and Resources to Promote Health and Mental Health for Women Experiencing Poverty in Korah, Ethiopia." Jacqueline's hard work and dedication to investigating a much neglected and unexplored area of study is so very relevant and important to our work in Korah. Jacqueline's findings and resulting implications for policy, practice and future research will have a direct impact on our families as we strive to better understand and serve our women in this critical area.
All of us at HFK are very grateful and blessed to have Jacqueline on our team, both here in Canada and in Ethiopia. Her commitment to excellence, compassion and ability to reach out to others with dig…