10 Dec 2009

Up until now, Mediterranea have not been involved in any.........

Up until now, Mediterranea have not been involved in any individual fostering initiatives but the precarious situation of some of the families with children attending our schools and the invaluable help being offered by Ana, one of our members, has made our involvement a necessity,(bearing in mind that we are an organisation totally dependent on volunteers).

Our battlefront is one of poverty. A battle, to prevent situations of such extreme poverty, that sons, daughters, nieces, nephews and grandchildren are wrenched from the arms of families and friends, and condemned them to a life of  abandonment and - for the over fives, a life fighting for survival on the streets.

We want these children to continue living with their biological or adoptive  families wherever possible. Where their entire families have died, we want them to be fostered, to continue to live in the same neighbourhood, to attend the same school, to enjoy the company of their own friends, and to grow up in their own culture. We want them to have a chance in life.

In Addis alone, there are 90,000 children living on the streets. There are only two possibilities for these unfortunate children, and we do not want them to end up in an orphanage or on the streets. Our fostering program has taken off now with the first 8 applications received by Mediterranea. We thank directly from this page our first 8 pioneers in this new humanitarian venture. We need 13 more sponsors for pupils who attend our school in Abugida and more willing sponsors

to help pupils in the Birhan school. Every case has been chosen by the Edir and by the school itself. In both schools it is the Edir ( the neighbourhood association which controls the schools and with whom we have a signed contract, in this case with Akaki and in Yeka) who choose the children and families because, evidently, they see and work with them daily, know them personally and are completely up-to-date with their plight.

All of the children selected in Abugida as part of this program attend or were attending our schools last year. Those pupils who are no longer able to attend our centres now go to public school but come daily to have breakfast and lunch in Abugida. Not all of the children who come to eat take part in the fostering project since we have only been able to accommodate the most desperate cases. All of the children to be chosen are currently attending the Birhan centre. They are all orphans or almost orphans being looked after by single mothers, biological or adoptive grandparents, adoptive mothers, sisters, aunts, or in one of the cases in Abugida, by a foster family - because all of the child's family is dead. All of these families have little or no income. Some of the children are HIV positive. Almost all of them have a terrible story to tell, of tremendous difficulties and misery but they all help each other. We watch them, under these extreme circumstances, attending school, trying to  live a normal, routine life and we hope that they can continue to do so for a long time to come.

During our last trip too we met the families selected by the Edir and the school in Abugida. We witnessed their lives first hand.

The Mediterranea charity would like to make it very clear that we are not involved in the selection of the children. We feel that by "sitting on the fence" in the selection process that we are seen to be totally neutral and cannot be accused, at any time of favouritism or manipulation. We endeavour to  be transparent in all of our work, to be guides and not judges.

We only become directly involved in cases of extreme health problems and in the arrangement, if necessary, of paying for treatment in Ethiopia or organising trips to Spain in cases of dire medical need.

Our prime concerns are food, health care and education. We have over 400 children in our 2 schools and we have 46 employees working in these centres paid by Mediterranea. The children who attend our schools all have access to health care provided and paid for by our charity.

All of those members who come forward to sponsor a child will be put in contact with the children, can visit them if they so wish, and will be able to receive photos and communications from the children. The foster families have given permission for all sponsors to have access to the entire history and information about the background and experiences of the children they are sponsoring.

To sponsor a child, please contact apadrinamediterranea@gmail.com, and/or linda.a.spratt@gmail.com

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