That is what happened to my husband Dave, a few months ago while casually watching an ABC News Documentary "Be the Change: Save a Life." In this program they spoke of 'Plumpy Dose' a product used to feed malnourished children in third world countries. As Dave was reflecting on this, he thought how awesome it would be to get such a product into Korah as most children there are underweight and their families malnourished. It is common for these children to faint in school because they have not eaten and participating in class with empty bellies is too much for their fragile bodies. Most families in Korah eat once a day and the quality of food is extremely poor, often scavenged from the city garbage dump. With this in mind and after a little research, Dave was pretty surprised to find out that there was actually a factory producing Plumpy Dose right in Addis Ababa. Coincidence? I don't think so! God had a plan!!
During our recent trip to Ethiopia, Dave and Sammy Liben the Director of Great Hope Ministries in Korah, were able to meet with the owners of two companies that make 'Plumpy Dose' and 'Berta' another similar product. And to make a long story short - Great Hope Ministries/Hope for Korah has just launched the first Breakfast Program in Korah!
As of this Monday there are 50 children, sixteen years and under who are getting breakfast for the very first time! For some of them it is the biggest meal they will be getting that day. All of these children belong to some of the neediest families in Korah. On my recent visit,
Great Hope Ministries brought me to numbers of their neediest families, so that I would able to assess them, with the goal of finding sponsors and including them in both the Great Hope Ministries/Hope for Korah Family Sponsorship Program as well as the Berta Breakfast Program. All of these 50 children belong to those families.
Just yesterday, I have received the first photos below, from Berhanu Tenker, Great Hope Ministries Health and Family Director. He and all the men at Great Hope Ministry have been busy putting the last minute details together for this program. I can't tell you how much it meant for me to see these children below eating breakfast, knowing only a few weeks ago they had nothing. Berta is a type of porridge, specifically made for those who are malnourished. The ingredients include cereals, legumes, soybeans, skimmed milk powder, sugar salt, Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, Folic Acid, Iron, Calcium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Zinc Selenium and Iodine. We are hoping that this is only the beginning for these children and that in the weeks to come, as we are able to share more details on the Family Sponsorship program that we will be able to offer much more to these hurting families. We are also hoping to grow the Berta Breakfast program to include many other Korah children, who will not be a part of the Family Sponsorship Program. Sammy's vision is for all the children in Korah to have breakfast!!
While in Addis, Great Hope Ministries, Dave and myself met with Tibebu Bekele the Ethiopia International Director of HOPE International Development Agency. Today we received an email from Tibebu and this is what he has to say about the Berta program: "The breakfast program is a wonderful intervention that is badly needed. It really gives these children a future. Because education is the way out for most and you can't do that with an empty stomach. Keep it up."
So we need your help! We are looking for Berta sponsors; both individuals and businesses, who are willing to make a regular monthly donation to purchase a 100 Kg. bag of Berta for the Breakfast Program. Each bag costs $150. As we are in the initial weeks, we will be tracking how long 100 Kg. will last and right now we are estimating that one bag will feed 50 children for 3 - 4 weeks. The more bags of Berta, the more children we can feed!! We will also have to purchase firewood for the cooking of this product. If you would like to become a monthly supporter of the Berta Breakfast Program please contact us for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org