In 2013, our friend Dr. Talargie asked Pastor Bo and Teresa Sosa to help begin a kindergarten in Kechene Ethiopia at Bright Future. Talargie had already established a wonderful school in this area and we were going to be a small part of bringing in a new class of Kindergarteners into Bright Future.
As we entered Bright Future, this child was begging with her blind grandmother at the gate. Her grandmother was hitting her with the stick and calling her a dog. This child's mother and father had died of AIDs and she lived at the gate begging. We asked if we could allow her to be a new student at Bright Future and brought her into the school to meet the other children and teachers.
We brought 33 students into Bright Future Academy in Kechene. They were enrolled into the new Kindergarten class. Kechene is a very poor community on the outskirts of the capital of Addis Ababa.
We brought Lecilous into the school yard and gave her some new clothing. This was the first smile we got from this precious orphan. She is now a student at Bright Future and is turning into a beautiful young lady!
We then cooked a Christmas dinner for the community of Kechene and invited every family to come and enjoy a free meal. Christmas in Addis Ababa is celebrated on January 7th.
Talargie then took us on a 2 1/2 hour journey north out of the capital city of Addis Ababa to show us a forgotten community in the countryside of Ethiopia. We met some of the people along the way and was invited into a few homes. Little did we know that this would be the beginning of a beautiful relationship with a community and hundreds of children.
We saw small children who spent day and night in the fields harvesting the crops by hand. Other little children act as shepherds in the fields with many sheep or oxen. We asked the children if they go to school but they said they could not pay to go to school. The children spend day and night in the fields with no hope of education or future dreams.
As we entered the remote community of Debre Birhan, Dr Talargie challenged us to consider opening an elementary school here for the children who were not receiving an education. Our concern was that we were just two individuals with limited resources, but how could we look away now that we had personally seen the need?
After a year of prayer and planning, the school building was under construction and the community officials were identifying the poorest of the poor to come to Thrive Academy to receive an education. As we walked through the gate, this was our first encounter with the kids and their Caretakers. This is the moment that the Dream began!
The new students were assigned numbers and given a gift that all children love, candy! This young man is still in the school and has been identified as having special needs. We look forward to his contagious smile and outgoing personality each time we visit.
We were told by the government officials that 70 children were identified as the poorest of the poor and were in desperate need of an education and nutrition. After all the children were registered that day, we were now going to educate and enroll over 137 students.
This is beautiful Mebratie. She has such an empty look on her face but has incredible sponsors who pray for her and have faithfully supported her for over 4 years. She has grown into a smart and happy young lady.
After registering the kids, Talargie took us into the classrooms to tell us the plan for the kids classrooms. Since we have enrolled double the amount of kids, we are needing permission to put twice as many students in each class. We can't turn away one of these beautiful children. They desperately want to come to Thrive Academy.
At the end of the day, we said our goodbyes to our new friends and the beautiful 137 students that were going to be part of Thrive Academy in just a few short months.
The children received their uniforms and were anxiously awaiting our arrival in December of 2014. Words can not express the joy of seeing these forgotten children celebrating our arrival to Thrive Academy for the first time since school started.
As we entered the class for the first time, the children all began to sing a song for us. They are already excited to learn even though they are tightly crammed into this small classroom.
The kids wanted to sing to us in English. They are so smart and full of smiles!
Tsion is teaching the class all the body parts in English. This young lady has had such a difficult start in life and it thrills our hearts to see her Thriving in her new school. She is going to be a World Changer.