When Luis Bourdet and I traveled to Africa earlier this summer, we found ourselves, as always, deeply impressed by the programs and centers we visited and the hard-working people who run them.  


The beginning of gardening work at Kids Hope.

A five-acre compound that schools, houses, and nurtures the disadvantaged children of rural Ethiopia is supported by the child sponsorship organization, Canadian Humanitarian. In the area outside of Shashamane, life is both easier and tougher for Ethiopian children.

While they don’t suffer from the closely-packed life of the slums, with its crime, disease, and scarcity caused by overcrowding, they also live a life of isolation. It’s harder to get from one place to the other in the country, especially when roads aren’t maintained and distances between home and school are vast. The land is ripe for cultivating crops, but the people are so poor that even the basic farming supplies (even seeds!) aren’t available to them.

Skills for a lifetime

Bisrat Sime, Kids Hope’s Director, had high hopes for some of this land. The five acres on which the compound sits wasn’t being used effectively, he said, and it was perfect for a hands-on gardening program. Such an experience wouldn’t just help feed the community, it would give children the agricultural skills that would last their whole lives—perhaps even pass down to future generations.

Luis and I were struck by that idea, that the only thing separating this community from several lifetimes of positive change was simple supplies. The willingness to educate was there. The willingness to be educated was there. The environment was right. A nation was ready to feed itself.

The willingness to educate was there. The willingness to be educated was there.

Upon our return, Luis set about putting a bug in donors’ ears, and in a short time, he was able to send funds to Bisrat.

Weeks passed, and then in August, Luis received the update he’d been hoping for: the combined efforts of a tractor and oxen plow (bought with the money they’d received) had cleared the land, and training had begun.

A month later, and the project was in full swing. Bisrat sent photos of children learning how to plant a fruitful vegetable garden, with emphasis put on reaping the most benefit from the land without exhausting both natural and donated resources. Like the land, the children will bear their own fruit—a healthier life fed by nutritious food and a brighter future made possible by skills-based education.

A donation to Children Incorporated goes a lot further than just a packet of seeds or even a plow. It grows into something that can be harvested over and over, making real change in the lives of not just today’s children, but tomorrow’s as well.



You can sponsor a child in Ethiopia in one of three ways – call our office and speak with one of our sponsorship specialists at 1-800-538-5381, email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org, or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and search for a child in Ethiopia that is available for sponsorship.