Why the Race?

100% of the profit earned from the Test of Humanity race is used to support Canadian Humanitarian and their projects in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is a country that UNICEF has reported to be home to 6 million orphans, which is 33% more than the entire population of BC. In addition, nearly 60% of the 84 million people in Ethiopia are illiterate. Ethiopia is a country that has been ravaged by war, drought, dysentery, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, and one of the consequences of this is a country now plagued by poverty. Canadian Humanitarian believes that by providing individuals with literacy and vocational skills it will also provide them with the tools to break the cycle of poverty, and by doing so they will be able to shape their own lives in a positive way. By riding in the Test of Humanity and supporting these programs you will become an integral part of helping these children build their lives.

Below is a short summary of each project that Canadian Humanitarian is presently funding in Ethiopia. For more information regarding the Canadian Humanitarian organization please visit their website at www.canadianhumanitarian.com.

In addition to international support, the organizers of the Test of Humanity race also believe it is important to support local community charitable initiatives such as the Food Bank. At present in the South Okanagan there are 9000 people requiring the food assistance program which requires 700 to 900 food hampers distributed on a monthly basis. In order to help support this worthy cause the Test of Humanity race will be asking each registering participant to bring with them one small bag of non-perishable food items. Please see the Registration + Pledging page for more details on suggested food items to bring.

Click on the following links or scroll down to read more about Canadian Humanitarian’s projects in Ethiopia:

  1. Kids Hope
  2. Kality School
  3. BEKA Kirkose
  4. SSCM
  5. BEKA Gindo

Kids Hope Projects

Project Name – Kids Hope

Location: Gullele and Alemgena District of Addis Ababa Ethiopia

Local NGO Partner: Yenega Tesfa Hitsanate Mahiber (YTH)

The Kids Hope projects were established in Gullele in 2005 and in Alemgena in 2007. Both Gullele and Alemgena are located just outside of Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa. Both districts are characterized by extreme poverty with a high incidence of orphaned children. These children have lost family members from abandonment, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. As a result many of these children miss out on education and are forced to live and work on the streets for survival. The Kid’s Hope Program aim is to take the children out of an environment with no opportunities and provide them with a level of hope in their lives. Canadian Humanitarian and local NGO partner Yenega Tesfa Hitsanate Mahibir (YTH) have teamed up to help support these children and hopefully break the cycle of poverty in their lives.

Each year the Kebele (local level of government) together with YTH identify and enrol orphaned and vulnerable children in the community that will benefit most from the Kids Hope program. Once the children are enrolled, the first goal is to ensure that they have a suitable foster home where they can live in a nurturing family setting. Next, the children are enrolled in public school. Tuition is paid, books are purchased, and uniforms are provided. After their regular day of school, the children assemble at the Kids Hope Centre where teachers provide help with school work, life skills training, health workshops, and personal hygiene. The center provides them with access to a library; shower facilities and the ability to join democratically run student clubs. Kids Hope Center clubs include gymnastics, art, public speaking and music. While foster families are not compensated monetarily by the program they are provided with much needed items such as cooking utensils, blankets, hygiene items, grain or rice and oil. In addition free workshops are also offered to foster parents of the children – ranging from child care to public health and infectious disease awareness.

Program Successes – Many of the initial children enrolled in the Kid’s Hope Program are now finishing high school. The majority of them have done well enough in school to be eligible for further education such as vocational training schools and university. As these children move on to their post secondary schools, spaces are opened enabling new children and foster families from the community to join the program.

Kality School Project

Project Name – Kality

Location – Akaki Kality (District within Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

The Kality School project was established in 2005 and is located in a semi rural area just outside the capital city of Addis Ababa. This project became a necessity when families living in Addis Ababa were evicted from their homes in order to make way for new construction. Small homes were built in the country side, about 10km outside of the city to accommodate those evicted. As this location is a semi rural area there is little infrastructure and very few jobs. Public Transport is almost non existent and cost prohibitive. Access to water and electricity is also limited. The origin of the project stemmed from the hard work of a concerned group of individuals made up of journalists, artists, teachers and musicians that were among the displaced people. This group of individuals banded together and built a small school for the children.

When Canadian Humanitarian first visited the Kality School, the children were crammed under a blue tarp held by sticks and used rows of other sticks tied together for desks. In 2006, Canadian Humanitarian helped fund a three room school to replace the tarp and stick version. The community helped crush rock for the foundations as well as assisted with other parts of the construction. The school recently expanded to include 250 children and now has three compounds where teaching takes place.

Program Success – Kality School has had many successes. The children enrolled are going onto primary school and being successful. Mothers and care givers who are often the only bread winners in their families have been able to return to work because their children are in school.

BEKA Kirkose

Project Name – Bright for Every Kid association (BEKA)

Location – Kirkose (District within Addis Ababa Ethiopia)

Local NGO Partner – BEKA

Prior to 2012 the local NGO for this project was called PATH.  However, this year Canadian Humanitarian replaced PATH with BEKA (which is the same NGO working with Canadian Humanitarian in Gindo Town).  This program directly benefits 50 children, their families or guardians. Similar to the Kids Hope project, the children participating in the program are selected by BEKA in conjunction with the Kebele (local level of government) on the basis of poverty and lack of opportunities. The children are now provided the chance to attend school. The parents and guardians are provided with quarterly disbursements of food and clothing.

The Center has education resources, classrooms and teachers that help increase literacy and computer skills, and in addition students can also gain vocational training skills. BEKA has a library/resources room accessible to the entire community. In the coming years, BEKA will offer additional training in other areas such as construction, hospitality and electrical. In addition guardians of the enrolled children in BEKA are involved at the center through micro enterprises that allow them to make a product that can be sold to help bring income to their families.

Project Successes – Some of the students at the BEKA Center have now finished their high school education and now are about to complete their training at SSCM’s Vocational Training Center (see next project for more details on SSCM). They will graduate with the skills to get a job and provide for their families.

SSCM

SSCM Woodworking Project Name – Support Street Children and Mothers (SSCM)

Location – Kirkose (District of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

Local NGO Partner – Support Street Children and Mothers (SSCM)

SSCM was first established in 2007 and provides 76 disadvantaged young men and women with training each year in one of three different vocations: wood working, metal working, and hair dressing. Students attend the SSCM Center during the week for nine months of classroom training and end with one month of practicum training at a job site, outside of the Center. Each successful student earns a certificate of trade approved by the Ethiopian Government. The project incorporates small business training to help improve the quality of education offered to the students.

Project Successes – SSCM has close to 100% placement for its students once they graduate with their certificate. Many young men and women have lined up jobs before they are even finished school. Canadian Humanitarian recently hired the welders at SSCM to build a metal shower frame and wash basin stand for the Kid’s Hope Gullele program. Linkages continue to be made between our project partners.

BEKA Gindo Town

Project Name – Bright for Every Kid Association (BEKA)

Location – Gindo Town, Oromo Province, Ethiopia

Local Partner – BEKA (Bright for Every Kid Association)

In 2009, BEKA and Canadian Humanitarian together were instrumental in helping the local Kebele (local government) of Gindo Town rectify a serious problem in the water distribution for the town by installing a pump that services the 30,000 residents. Also in 2009, Canadian Humanitarian medical professionals worked side by side with local Gindo Town medical clinic staff to offer free medical clinics to the public in Gindo Town. In addition to medical support in the spring of 2009 Canadian Humanitarian also enlisted the support of the students from the Okanagan College Business Department to administer a needs assessment for the Amayaa region of Ethiopia. Several of the ideas BEKA has implemented in their program are a direct result of the Needs Assessment Plan done by the students of Okanagan College.

In February, 2010 BEKA and Canadian Humanitarian established another community based foster care program similar to those of Kids Hope and BEKA Kirkose. As with Kids Hope and BEKA Kirkose the Kebele provided BEKA with the names of 20 of the most vulnerable children in Gindo Town (As of 2013 enrollment has increased to 50).  Recent fund raising efforts in Canada from events such as the Test of Humanity have enabled Canadian Humanitarian to build a new school in Gindo which in 2012 became fully operational.

Through the BEKA program, the orphaned and vulnerable children and their foster families receive physical, social, and emotional support. These children are now provided the necessary materials (shoes, uniform, books, etc) so they can be enrolled in school. In addition for after school activities the BEKA center was created to provide the children with a safe adult supervised place to socialize and become involved in extra curricular activities such as art, music and sports. In addition the BEKA centre also provides access to remedial education for those requiring extra assistance with learning.

The Kebele has recognized the efforts of BEKA and Canadian Humanitarian and in 2010 offered a plot of land, free of charge to BEKA on which to establish a garden project for the BEKA program. Community members and Canadian Humanitarian volunteers provided the labour to construct a fence around the donated land, which has now become a flourishing garden.  Produce from the garden is used to supplement the nutrition of the children attending the Center as well as their families. Techniques and skills for growing food have been taught to the children enrolled in the Center as well as their guardians. The gardens are supplying skill building opportunities as well as nutrition to the children’s guardians and families. It is also planned to incorporate chicken-raising at the Center and in the homes of the children.