This might be one of the most exciting posts I’ve ever written here. I’ve started and stopped it so many times because I want it to be just right, and yet the words aren’t stringing them together quite the way I want.
But you all are great, so I’m just going to plow on through already and get on with it. Ready?
There’s a village in small-town Ethiopia with our name on it. And by that, I mean WE, as a community of people who read and write the Simple Living blogs, have the chance to specifically and extraordinarily bless another community of mamas and babies who need a bit of our help.
Seriously. It’s amazing and humbling and everything in between.
We are officially partnering with Compassion International to sponsor a Child Survival Program in Woliso, Ethiopia, which is not too far outside Addis Ababa. And we can all play a part in a seriously cool way.
What’s a CSP?
A Child Survival Program (CSP) is how Compassion helps mamas and their babies when their little ones are younger than the age to be individually sponsored.
When I was in the Philippines with Compassion, one of my favorite days was when we visited a CSP and witnessed how it works in action.
The mamas learn things in weekly community groups like how to keep a clean and safe home, the importance of nutrition, and how to interact with and educate their children at the time of infancy. They often also have the opportunity to learn crucial income generating skills in order to support their family.
I remember sitting in a rickety chair in the corner, watching moms learn how to clean their water so that they can bathe and feed their babies without worry that they might not live.
I loved helping bag up some produce for each of them to take home. And each of them had a chance to show their babies to a pediatrician.
Honestly? I remember thinking that these CSP meetings were like MOPS on steroids. Moms get time with other moms, but they also learn how to keep their children alive and healthy. Major stuff.
The Fitche Evangelical Mekane Yesus CSP
In Ethiopia, thousands of girls in poverty are growing up without good role models. As these girls grow up and have babies, they lack the basic skills and knowledge needed to raise a healthy baby.
Poverty is holding mothers back from the resources they need to be the parents they long to be.
This is where Compassion’s CSP steps in. They’re coming alongside mothers to help them deliver and raise healthy babies.
Mothers in this CSP are trained how to:
- Provide a healthy and safe environment for their child.
- Improve on their self-esteem so that they can in turn create trust between their baby, allowing for a healthy attachment.
- Create activities for their baby which will promote closeness, growth and a loving environment.
As for the physical needs of the baby, the CSP, steps in and provides:
- Monthly supplies of food.
- Training on nutritional planning.
- Training on hygiene habits for the parents and for the baby.
- Activities that will allow the baby to develop his/her motor skills.
- Medical checkups to babies and their mothers, and pregnant mothers.
- These are the needed critical steps for breaking the cycle of poverty.
How we get to be involved
Our CSP outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia needs $25,000 annually to operate. This blog network gets over a million unique visitors monthly. If everyone who read gave a dollar? Well, you can do the math.
We are partnering with Pure Charity, and I’m going to tell you more about that on Friday. But for now, know that when you sign up for a free account with them, part of the proceeds of your everyday purchases from thousands of stores (you might have heard of some of them—places like Target and Home Depot) will go to your Pure Charity giving account.
You can then choose to give that money to whatever project you like—like the mamas and babies in our CSP in Ethiopia.
It really is the coolest idea ever, and if we all signed up, this village would have its needed funds in a heartbeat.
More on that in a few days.
When you support this center, you’re not just sustaining the life of an infant, you’re providing a chance for mothers and babies to thrive.
Meet Birtukan and Bethlehem
As a child, Birtukan never knew her real parents. She grew up in a poverty-stricken neighborhood, and in her twenties she left and soon became pregnant by a man who eventually abandoned her and their new baby girl, Bethlehem.
Without any income and little knowledge as to how to be a mom, life seemed hopeless.
That changed when Birtukan joined this CSP. Her and her baby’s physical needs were met, such as food and vitamins, along with their spiritual, emotional, and social needs.
Birtukan was asked how the social activities with other moms in the CSP helps her as a mother. She replied, “The activities that we do help me develop good communication skills, we get to share and hear our life experiences, and I learn friendship, love, and tolerance. We drink coffee together in cultural way, prepare nutritious food for our children, and I get joy and happiness.”
So… what do you all think, friends? Wanna help me bless these fellow mothers? Should we make sure all the Birtukans in this village have a fighting chance?
We all have so much. Let’s walk alongside these women and help them give life to their little ones.
I’ll go in to more detail about Pure Charity on Friday, but for now… Do you have any questions about Compassion? About Child Survival Programs? About our CSP in Ethiopia?