In this edition, we want to bring you up-to -date on our associations in Kenya. We begin with an update on Tresi’s story. If you remember, last October, we re-connected with Samuel and Susan Okumu near Kisumu, Kenya on the shores of Lake Victoria. Samuel and Susan run a school in a village that began with 35 students and has grown to nearly 200. East African Village Outreach (EAVO) began working with Samuel and Susan a decade ago, but had not had much contact in recent years.
When we visited in October, Susan introduced us to Tresi, a young student whose leg bones, because of severe malnutrition, had developed abnormally. She was unable to walk due to the distortion of the bones--a form of rickets called “wind-blown knees.” Susan asked EAVO for help. Tresi could have surgery to correct the condition, but the surgery was costly; she needed some pre-op care to ensure her body was sound (requiring some nutritional supplements over time) and post-op care. Samuel and Susan cared for her until she was strong enough for the surgery at which time Susan, Tresi, and Tresi’s grandmother, Penina, traveled 600 miles to a Samaritan’s Purse hospital near Nairobi.
Trip Report – Ethiopia and Kenya
Jim Reese, co-founder and board member and Seifu Ibssa, also co-founder and Executive Director travelled to Ethiopia and Kenya to make site visits, open two new preschools and reestablish our partnership with two nonprofits with whom we worked together a few years ago. The following is their trip report supported with pictures. We hope you will enjoy reading. EAVO Board Members
Lana Reese Preschool Dedicated!
Adere, Ethiopia: Jim cut the ribbon opening the Lana Reese Preschool, a school named after one of the co-founders of EAVO. After various speeches by government dignitaries, Jim spoke passionately about investing heavily in the education of their children. Citing Ethiopia as "the emerging hub of Africa", he said that it is vital for the "next generation" to make Ethiopia even stronger. This includes educating the girls much more than has been done in the traditional past. He challenged the community to consider this seriously.
He then asked Worknesh (far right - in picture) to join him as he told "her story". Briefly, she was in our first class of students when we began our education program in 2006. At the end of our first meeting with invited prospective students, uninvited Worknesh with tears in her eyes asked Hailu if she could get educated. She only wanted to be able to support herself. Basically an orphan, she had returned to Acheber relying on others for support. Having a physical disability, she had little hope for the support that marriage might provide. She is now our head teacher. The school has four large classrooms an office and a pre-enrollment of 120 children. Walls need to be plastered and a quality latrine constructed. Water is on site thanks to Rotary Club of Sacramento.Although totally unplanned, the dedication came exactly two years since Lana's passing.
“One life really CAN impact so many others for good. Lana was tireless in sharing her heart for Ethiopia and Kenya with her friends here in the U. S. To God be the Glory!”
- Mary Staples, co-founder and Board Member in her recent email message to EAVO Board members.
A Joyful Celebration
By Adele Ohs
On May 16, 2015, East African Village Outreach celebrated its tenth anniversary with a banquet and program at Bethel Evangelical Church at 7276 French Road in Sacramento.
The party was well attended by many EAVO friends and donors—some folks we have known for many years and some new to our community. Many dear friends traveled a great distance to be with us for this event. We were especially honored to have Hailu Ibssa join us from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Mary Staples from Tucson, AZ. And there were surprises, too. Hailu’s daughter, Tsehai, came from Southern California as did longtime supporter, Mrs. Pat Fay.
It has been 10 years since we began reaching out to the people of Ethiopia (and Kenya to a lesser degree). Come and celebrate with us. Let’s give praise to God together.
May 16, 2015, 4 PM until 6 PM
Bethel Evangelical Church
7276 French Road, Sacramento, CA 95828
Delicious Ethiopian Food
Music by Johanna Band (A Christian Band)
(All Free – not a fundraising event)
Will you come?
Ten Years Later
Despair Turned to Hope
This year marks the 10th anniversary of East African Village Outreach’s efforts to help a few villages in Ethiopia, followed by Kisumu, Kenya. I was in Ethiopia this past Fall, and I couldn’t help but marvel at how much has changed in the last ten years. I will never forget the gloomy image trapped in my mind of the young boy in Acheber fetching unclean water for his family. In Roben Jirecha, the villagers were drinking river water contaminated by the city industry waste from upstream which caused a host of health issues, including death, for many in the region. The only school in that area stopped at the 4th grade level. In Acheber, eighth grade students didn’t have a high school to continue their education, and teachers sent by the government didn’t stay too long for lack of sleeping quarters. The only church building for the community was washed off by heavy rain and wind, and the only clinic for the community was in poor condition and poorly staffed. Nothing other than hopeless suffering could describe the situation surrounding Acheber and Roben Jirecha in 2005. The villagers were trapped in a cycle of poverty, desperate for an intervention.
Class of 2014!
We are pleased to report that 4 Acheber college students, whom we have been supporting since high school, graduated from four-year College in June. Their names and areas of studies are as follows:
We praise God for their achievement. We thank you for making this possible!
Dear friends: We have been quiet the last few months, but not rested from making efforts to help the communities in which we are engaged. So much to report, so little space. Here are a few items.
Lana Reese Preschool Construction
Many of you know that Lana Reese, who recently went to the Lord, was a co-founder of EAVO. She was also behind most of the projects that we have undertaken in Ethiopia and Kenya. After getting an approval from her husband, Mr. Jim Reese, also another co-founder, we decided to name the preschool in Aderay village in Lana’s memory. The school is currently under construction and, when completed, it will have four classrooms and an office. We hope to complete the school before the next school year begins in September 2014.