Caitlin Edwards has worked with our Ethiopia program for almost 5 years. She recently moved to Ethiopia in March of this year to participate in more hands-on work with the children and staff. Below is one of many posts to come chronicling her experiences.
We have such a wonderful base of clients and are thankful for each and every donation given towards the children of Ethiopia. Recently, I walked over to the Transition Home to find nannies outside wearing baby-wearers. I was blown away as I had just added these to the donation list the week prior. These are not just any gifts; they promote brain development, sensory stimulation, trust, security, and attachment for the babies–gifts that keep on giving! After living life alongside the kids, I am even more grateful for such generous clients. There's nothing like seeing the smiles on these kids when an unexpected treat comes.
On the note of giving, it truly warmed my heart to see our staff give up time with their families to go visit one of the more poorly funded orphanages on Easter Sunday. As noted in a previous blog post, Easter is no small holiday here in Ethiopia. Everyone packs up & travels home to their families on Good Friday and stays until the following Tuesday. The weekend is filled with celebratory anticipation and purchasing of all types of animals for a Sunday Feast– including but not limited to my minibus neighbor holding a rooster (which I only learned about after looking down upon hearing “cock-a-doodle-doo!” an inch away), a chicken surprisingly showing up on my porch Saturday morning, and lambs in almost every yard. Needless to say, my Easter was more organic than Whole Foods.
But meat on Easter, after a long period of fasting, is very important for Ethiopians. Families, even those with very small pay, do everything they can to provide this to some extent for their family. Unfortunately, orphanages are often forgotten about on holidays as everyone leaves home, much like our Christmas. With this said, it really blessed me and encouraged me to see our staff purchase a cow for this poorer orphanage, one where most children never get the chance to be matched with a family.
We visited them on Sunday, but the children had already eaten and were on to drinking their orange soda. We sat in a circle and laughed as they taught me Ethiopian dancing and I taught a Texas line dance or two. It was so fun to bless them and made me happy to know I work for an organization who gives outside of themselves, to those who can't give back.
This week has made me think a lot about giving. When someone donates to me, it gives me the giving bug. What are your gifts? How can you share those with others?
Last are some photos of cake given to all of our nannies this week from Brian, our CEO. Nannies have such a tough job and we felt it was important to bless them for their invaluable work after a long period of Easter fasting. Their place of work does not have holiday closings!
How can you bless someone today with the gift of time, money, or donation? My encouragement to you is to Make Giving a Chain Reaction.
– Caitlin Edwards, Ethiopia Assistant Director