The Vision Academy, Addis Ababa
Jesus’ command to help the poor, help children, powers this urban slum school
Please join us in obeying Jesus and empowering these incredible children
Vision School is a low budget school nestled in the urban slums of Addis Ababa. It is operated by Christ-centered Ethiopians for children who are the poorest of the poor. The school provides education and moral teachings, with a breakfast/lunch program that may be the only food the children receive during a day.
Vision School is Gigi and Scott’s growing priority for empowering children and the poor. We believe it is here that we can best serve the most children in a cost-effective manner.
This non-profit school provides free education for 267 students from the poorest of the poor in grades pre-school through Grade 4. In charitable schools, it is federal policy that local government chooses those who are most in need, including orphans, some with HIV. A majority are raised by single parents, or by other family members. All live in the adjacent urban slums and struggle for money to survive, usually making items for sale. There is no “welfare” system in Ethiopia—people get by the best they can.
The school is operated by sincere Christians who believe in serving the poor. Mrs. Ferihiwot Gugessa is the ‘mother’ of almost 300 children in her “Raa’iy” (Vision) Academy, which she started and has been running for the past ten years. She runs the school with her husband, Mengesha Gebere-yesus. (For an in-depth interview with this couple, please see http://egreenlife.org/en/maheberawi/personality )
They are a very prayerful couple and self-sacrificial. In fact, they once operated a highly successful for-profit school and initially funded Vision School from that school’s profit. As Vision School grew, they felt God calling them to sell the for-profit school and put all their efforts in the free school for the poor.
The school has 24 employees (teachers, cooks, guards) and they rely on the Lord to provide funding.
If God is tweaking your heart to help these children, please send donations marked:
ETHIOPIA VISION SCHOOL
And send to:
New Missions Systems International, 2701 Cleveland Ave, Suite 200, Fort Myers, FL.
How you can help:
1. Help sponsor the school’s food program. This may be the only food the students eat daily, so it is critically important. After school, many go to sleep—often on the floor in a corner of a room--without dinner. These are slum kids in one of the fastest growing urban areas in the world. Our goal is supplementing the food program with $1,000 each month—approximately half the food budget, which is a little more than 30-cents per day per child!
2, A water-filtering system so the students are drinking clean water. This is a critical need in a slum area where water is not safe to drink from any tap or well.
3, Equip the kitchen. Right now, with their current equipment, it is a struggle to make food for so many students. Items on a wish list include such things as a refrigerator, upgraded stove and other cooking appliances.
A minimum of $20,000 this year is required to bring clean water to the students, and upgrade the kitchen so the feeding program is more effective and safe.
Growing the School
1, Improving tin-constructed classrooms into more permanent classrooms. The large dining is simply walled with tin sheets.
2. Increasing the number of classrooms as the school expands. It has land to expand to Grade 8 and an architectural plan to do so. This school currently ends in Grade 4. Grade 5 will start in September as a new pre-school group joins the school. The school plans to add one grade per year, increasing the number of students served.
3. Building a library, media center
There are so many heartbreaking and heartwarming stories occurring daily at Vision School. Let us share one from school master Mrs. Ferihiwot Gugessa:
“I remember there was a boy about three years of age, who was abandoned by his father and living with his ill mother. One day his mother got critically sick and wanted him to call for help from the neighbors. The boy was only three and he had been through a lot of trauma with his sick mother. When his mother asked him to open the door and call for help the boy remained helpless and he could not open the door. Apparently, his mother died before his eyes… This boy shared this story when his teacher asked him to open the door for her. This boy is now 2nd grade student and in a better condition, though there is nothing we can do about his guilt of losing his mother.”
Each student could probably share such a story.
Please join us in empowering such students through this school that we believe truly serves in obedience the will of the Father.