Students at our Kirkos Center have been the recipients of many visitors in the first half of 2014. We had twenty (20) volunteers in February and five (5) in May. Each group brought special life skills, they spent time playing, visiting student homes, and getting to know these students better.
Several nurses took time to discuss and teach about infectious diseases, how they spread, and the role of immunization to prevent infection. The kids were very interested in hearing the story of the first vaccine developed by Mr. Louis Pasteur for Rabies, and about immunization programs that now exist to help prevent more diseases.
The students are so welcoming! Culturally, a welcome in Ethiopia means being invited to dance, sing, and have a cup of coffee. The volunteers had lots of time to participate in these activities!
Kirkos Center has a very enthusiastic Dance Club troupe. They have been performing and competing in dance recitals all over the city of Addis. In January, they won the Addis Ababa City Wide Competition, 1st Place Gold Cup. As you can imagine, the whole center is very proud of this dance group.
The May group helped the students to make special gift flowers out of tissue paper, to give to someone in their life who is a Mother-figure to them. The students loved this special activity.For many, a staff member of their education center was their Mother figure. The children also wrote a small note to their mother and made little 3 dimensional pictures to finish their gift. The students loved this activity!
Each expedition group takes some time to visit the student’s families. This honors them, and acknowledges their important role in supporting the student in their efforts to attend school fulltime, and to attend the Education Center after school. So far this year, we have had several opportunities to visit with the families of some of the students from the Kirkos Center.
Many students who used to attend the KIRKOS Education Center programs are now in college, university, or technical schools. In February we had the opportunity to gather volunteers and students together to spend an evening visiting, eating, and swimming.
Two former Kirkos Center students received a special grant and award, the MANJI/BURGHARDT Scholarship, for achieving a GPA over 3.8 for the full academic year. This award included a laptop for each student, and $1000 BIRR ($50 USD) grant. These items were presented to them in July, by the Global Youth Expedition team members. The students were surprised and excited to receive it.
It was a great evening to meet together as guests of the Hilton Addis Ababa.
All of our volunteers comment on how much they grow to love the students in our programs. It is amazing that in such a short amount of time that a bond of friendship and trust can be forged so strongly. This has been true for our volunteers in 2014. Kids love to play, have their picture taken, and give out hugs! Many of their games are reminiscent of old time outdoor games we recognize from home. Games like “Red Rover”, “Duck Duck Goose”, “What time is it Mr Wolf?”, each with their own Ethiopian flavor, are loved by everyone!
If you would like to sponsor a child, contact Rachel.
See this update as a newsletter.