Gift of gratitude
Ethiopian communities thank our donors for their support
By Mark Lukowski
CEO and child sponsor
In January, I landed in Ethiopia with a heavy heart, days after the terrorist attack in Burkina Faso — another Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) country of operation. Today, I’m writing with renewed hope, having returned home from Ethiopia, gratified we are helping people create positive change for themselves.
I was overwhelmed by the gratitude I was greeted with in Ethiopia. “We don’t have a lot of money, but what we have, we will share with you,” one community member told me. I was so happy to talk to our gracious hosts, who welcomed us with fanfare despite a drought in the area. Approximately 200 community members gathered as we cut the ribbon at a new school and the donors who accompanied us were greeted with signs, gifts of traditional clothing and special ceremonies.
I was happy to see positive change. Ambulances are providing much-needed transportation to women in labour; nearly 260 km of pipeline is improving access to clean water; the distribution of beehives, goats and more is creating income for parents; self-help groups are empowering women; and youth clubs are encouraging teens to solve problems.
It is clear our work — achieved through the generosity of donors and sponsors — is appreciated by communities, our staff, our partners and the Ethiopian government. I was encouraged by the words of a gentleman working at one of our health centres. “I just want to thank you,” he told me. “What CCFC is doing here may seem simple, but it’s very complex. Thank you for helping my people.”
To find our how you can help, visit ccfcanada.ca.
Photo by Philip Maher