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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Monday, August 29, 2011

We finally have our Youth center

On august 1st 2011, the doors of the Youth Release youth center were finally opened. It was a long road but finally after lots of hard work and determination we got there, and now our dream of providing much needed services to the children who need it most, is being realized.

We have taken over an old leprosy clinic that is located in Gende Tesfa community or in English the village of hope. This building is in great condition and has huge potential. There are six big rooms that will be used for classrooms, an office, play areas, and places for the children to relax, and lots of space outside for the children to be able to run around and have some fun.

All the money that has been raised will be used for the running of the programs at the center. These include, skilled training, tutorial class support, health awareness groups, circus groups, a library as well as life skills training, psychosocial counseling and recreational activities. In addition to this we will be offering a child sponsorship program at the centre to the most disadvantaged youth as well as an Orphaned or Vulnerable Children (OVC) training program for street kids who have not afforded the luxury of full-time education. The amount of kids that can be sponsored is dependent on the amount of donors. The cost will be 230 euro per annum.

The area we are working in has the highest ratio of Orphaned or Vulnerable Children in Dire Dawa. There are just under 4,000 registered OVC's, that doesn't include the number of street children, or migrating children. There is likely to be a greater influx of children coming from neighboring Somalia as well as rural areas where the food crisis is prevalent. Needless to say, the children certainly need our support, and we are finally able to get somewhere with what we set out to do.We are starting small with the number of children being supported at 200 but we hope to expand our services and programs in the coming year and also help more children.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported this project from day one and for supporting us to keep believing it would happen. To be honest I think we are all still a bit in shock that it’s real :)

We still have a long way to go, and there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, but for now we have our building, children are benefiting from our programs, I think we’ve done what we’ve set out to do, from here on in, it can only get better, thank you all for making it possible!

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