Our kids taking their supplies to the dorm (September 2011)
Tuition is based on grade level. Starting at grade 5 (over 80% of our students are grade 5 and above), tuition is $755. Sponsorship is currently $750. So from the start we are at least $5 in the hole per child, for grades 9 and above we are over $20 in the hole before we even pay tuition. For each child though we also provide transportation to and from the school twice a year, monthly hygiene items, necessary school supplies and books, everyday clothing, a school uniform, bedding, and medical care. For some kids of course there are no medical expenses, but other children need glasses which are $100, and others need anything from antibiotics, to surgery, to 6 months of treatment for TB. TB treatment is actually free, but the food they are required to eat while on the medicine adds up, along with lots of other little things throughout the year. All of the money for these items comes through additional fundraising, but each time we take on a new child we go further in the hole for the children we currently have. And so until we can cover the needs of our current children, we cannot take on more.
Summer Camp 2011
As the summer approaches, we will be so excited to have many visitors here for summer camp! Please know in advance we are not taking new sponsors. You will meet kids, you will fall in love with them, you will ask me over and over again why you cannot help them, but I will have to tell you, we cannot. I have given in too many times now, but we as an organization cannot make exceptions to this rule. I have to think first for the children God has given me already, I have to do them well before I bring in more. But we still can’t wait for you to get here!
Your presence here will be huge encouragement for the children currently in our program, and for all of us here as well. You will bring Light and Hope with you. You will be a reminder once again to these children that they are not forgotten that they are extremely important to you and to God. To borrow a line from a favorite book of mine, YOU will make the invisible God visible.
How Can I Help?
Many people come to Ethiopia and visit Project 61. They often ask how they can help and when I explain that I currently do not need any sponsors, but would love for them to give their sponsorship money to buy blankets, soap, or medical care for our current children; they lose interest. I know that helping purchase basic necessities for our children seems a little boring compared to sponsoring a child, but I have to think of the kids that God entrusted to me and they all need these basic necessities. Then there are all the necessities that come along with running a sponsorship program, like paper and ink to copy school certificates, fuel for our car to drive kids to the hospital, stamps to mail you pictures and updates. I hear the words “How can we help?” often, but when I offer these “housekeeping” type items that are essential to our program, their interest fades.
Yes, we still need help in all of these areas. If you would like to contribute in some small or big way, you can donate here. If your church would like to get involved with helping us fundraise, please email email@example.com.
Thanks for letting me share some of the details of our program. Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you the most important thing we’re doing here!