Our affiliated project, the Rainbow ‘Erdata’ Center, or simply the Rainbow Center, operates from a small office in the Bole area of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.  The Center’s administrators, including our volunteer coordinator, Wini, work with children from slums in and around the city. Today, we hear from our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, about how sponsorship support has helped kids who attend the Rainbow Center during their school years — and into adulthood.

Today, we hear from our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, about how sponsorship support has helped kids who attend the Rainbow Center during their school years — and into adulthood.

“This small community center is run by the government and provides children from impoverished neighborhoods with resources — including those provided by the Children Incorporated sponsorship program,” explained Luis.

“Support from sponsors ensures that children have funds for tuition at local schools, as well as to purchase books and school supplies. At times, food bags are also distributed, depending on the requested needs of the sponsored children’s parents.”

Without this support, many of the children would turn to the streets and become beggars or day to day workers earning meager wages. Because they are able to stay in school, thanks to their sponsors, many children in our program have graduated and gone into higher education,” said Luis.

An association of graduates

Wini’s assistant, Fatima, goes over paperwork with Luis during a visit to the Rainbow Center in Ethiopia.

“Some of the students that have graduated went on to form a small association of graduates, now that they all have permanent jobs in established companies, thanks to some technical training or university education.”

“There are accountants, graphic designers, engineers, and nurses in the group, among other professions.  Although they do not make as much money in these professions as they would in similar jobs in the United States, because of the country’s structure, they do live now much favorably than before and are able to take care of themselves and their families,” said Luis.

Learning the value of giving back

“Furthermore, the support provided to them from their sponsors has also instilled in them the desire to help others.”

“Each member of the graduate groups sets aside a bit of their salary to help elderly members of the community,” said Luis.

“On my last trip to Ethiopia, I had a chance to meet some of the group members, and they expressed their thanks for the sponsorship support they received. They stated that without the support, they would not be able to study, graduate, and get a profession. They all look happy and reflected on the years of support with gratitude for the opportunity to change their lives.”

“One of them, an engineer working for an IT company, does also provide IT support to some of the children now participating in our sponsorship program at the Rainbow Center. Others help organize meetings, coordinate the distribution of food and school supplies, and help identify children in the local neighborhoods to enroll in our program. Wini informed me that her work is better and more efficient now, with the help of these graduates.”

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How do I sponsor a child in Ethiopia?

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

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