The country of Ethiopia has proactively protected itself through mandatory quarantine of people coming into the country and restricting intercountry travel. Only essential businesses remain open and people are encouraged to remain in their homes. These measures have effectively slowed large-scale escalation of the Covid virus, but recently there have been alarming increases among people not connected to travelers. There is one section of Addis Ababa that is completely quarantined with nobody able to leave or enter and some outlying cities are also seeing spikes in Covid cases.
It is the economic trickle-down effect of this pandemic that causes the most direct hardship on people. Jobs are lost, food becomes scarce and destitution looms with no social services in place to help. In the town of Shashemene where we have a care center for abandoned children, parents are asking our organization to feed and care for their children. We do not have the facility or resources to meet this need and it is with heavy hearts we must decline in order to concentrate on what we can do for the 15-20 babies/toddlers in our care who have no one to care for them.
In this climate of scarcity, this is not an easy task. Without help, we will be stretched to our limit. We have 6 very fragile babies, 3 who are 1-month-old and 3 who are 2-months-old, and 5 others between 6 and 10-months. The children over 12 months are transitioned to cow’s milk.
Finding formula to meet the demands of these growing little ones has been a herculean effort undertaken by our orphanage director. He has managed thus far to purchase formula through a pharmacy but at high cost. Our orphanage budget has increased by $2,500 a month… reflecting the economic realities of “powdered gold”, as our nannies call it.
We rejoice at all the recent adoptions of children from Mana Gammachuu, but as one leaves, another takes his/her place. It is a high privilege to be the safety net for abandoned children; each one a treasure, each one tenderly loved by our Father and endowed with a unique purpose. Our orphanage nurtures these babies until an adoptive family can take over their care.
Would you consider giving extra help during this season of uncertainty to sustain these vulnerable babies? Your gift of any amount will be gratefully received!