Tremara Community Center is looking after 82 children every day in the morning (NFS class) and 22 children in the slum tuition classes every day. We are providing mixed fruits, eggs and milk for our NFS Children. We provide Centre tuition classes for 56 children from our community area. Vocational classes around 60 children’s are coming to our center regularly.
Seven years ago, Fantaye left her husband—a man who had abducted and married her when she was only 15. Taking her youngest son with her, the mother of seven left her small Ethiopian village with nothing.
Tearfully, Fantaye recalls, “I had no choice but to leave. My husband was a drunkard who wasted all the money on his addiction. I had no means of providing for my children. We were hungry all the time and they didn’t have clothing. I wanted all my kids to have a better future, but I could take only one with me.”
Fantaye made her way to the city of Debre Zeit and moved in with her mother and siblings. Within a couple of months, Fantaye’s children all joined her, coming one by one, running away from their father.
A Ray of Hope Vanishes
Soon the lack of space and resources at her mother’s house became a source of conflict between Fantaye and her siblings. Finally, Fantaye’s mother told her daughter to move out. Fantaye was heartbroken and destitute.
But then there was a ray of hope. Fantaye met a man who promised to take care of her and her children. After they married, life started to improve. Fantaye enrolled all her children in school, and with the help of her new husband, she began looking forward to a better life.
Sadly, the ray of hope didn’t last long. Fantaye’s husband started coming home drunk and beating her. “I was pregnant with my eighth child. When things started to spiral out of control, I decided to leave.”
Now separated from her second husband, Fantaye had to settle for renting a room located next to a sewage plant. Because the room was too small to accommodate the family of eight—and one on the way—two of Fantaye’s girls spent the night at neighbors’ houses and her eldest son slept at the nearby church.
Discovering Real Hope
A year after the birth of her eighth child, Merdikios, a true ray of hope came to Fantaye and her family. “My eldest son, who spent the night at the church, came and told me about a program he heard about from the church staff,” she recalls. “He told me that if we registered, the program would support Merdekios and me. We went to the church immediately to learn more.”
“I have seen many mothers who passed through difficult times in my eight years of service with Compassion, but I have never seen a family like Fantaye’s,” recalls staff member Mrs. Zenash, who wasted no time registering Fantaye and Merdekios into the program. “The house she lived in was a health hazard. It was no place to raise kids. Her baby had no space to move around, and the smell of the sewage plant was unbearable. The family shared one hay mattress and there was a shortage of food.”
Immediately, Mrs. Zenash went to work, and in addition to regular program benefits for Fantaye, she arranged for her to receive additional assistance from Compassion’s Highly Vulnerable Child Fund. This extra help enabled Fantayte to rent a two-room house and buy kitchen utensils, mattresses, bed sheets and food.
Fantaye says, “The support I got was a confirmation that God hears the cry of the poor. For the first time in my life, I was able to cook for my kids. We were able to sleep comfortably. We have enough space and a safe environment where my kids can fully focus on their education. Most important, all my kids are living with me.”
Looking Forward to a Brighter Future
Today, Fantaye has a small business of making and selling biscuits at the local market. Impressed by Fantaye’s resourcefulness, Mrs. Zenash says, “She is earning enough money to pay the rent. She is also saving money. She needed a little push and she seized the opportunity to turn her life around. I admire her determination and courage. There are a lot of women in the program like Fantaye who only need a little support to make a better future for themselves as well as their children.”
Of all the changes in her life, Fantaye considers accepting Jesus as her Savior the greatest. She shares, “I know God hears prayers. I see a bright future because of Compassion. I see a bright future for all my children.”
Since mid-2014, the people of Iraq have been caught up in a resurgence of violence. The conflict has exacerbated the already dire humanitarian situation stemming from Syria’s five-year civil conflict.
Here’s what you should know about the humanitarian needs of people affected by the conflict in Iraq and the battle to retake Mosul.
Iraq conflict, Mosul fast facts:
- 3.3 million people displaced within the country
- 10 million people in need out of a population of 36 million
- 20,000 people have fled the battle for Mosul since October 17
- Up to 1 million more people expected to need humanitarian assistance in the coming months as a result of increasing conflict in and around Mosul. Affected families may be experiencing their greatest needs as winter approaches.
- About one quarter of a million Syrian refugees are in the Kurdish Region of Iraq, creating additional strain among host communities struggling with limited resources
- Key areas of anticipated need: clean water, sanitation, food, shelter, essential items to help face winter, healthcare, education, and emotional support
What happened in Iraq?
Two years of fighting displaced 3.3 million people within the country. About half of them have settled in camps for internally displaced people, within host communities, or in churches in the Kurdish Region of Iraq.
Read how Hada’s family escaped on foot through mined fields and about their life in a camp for displaced people.
Since October, the Iraqi military and other forces have moved to retake Mosul from insurgents that have held the city for two years. Civilians fleeing the area are in dire need of aid.
Right now, about 10 million Iraqis need some kind of assistance.
How has the Iraqi conflict affected children?
Children fleeing Mosul are arriving at camps petrified, struggling to express themselves, and in some cases too terrified to speak, say World Vision staff based just outside of the city.
Their physical and mental health have been badly affected by two years living under a brutal occupation and then facing landmines, snipers, and fighters when they fled.
Many children are forced to flee with only the clothes on their backs. They are out of school and vulnerable to violence and health issues due to unstable and unhygienic living conditions. Cold winter weather will threaten their health if they don’t have adequate clothing or ample heating in their shelter.
Three years on from Typhoon Haiyan, Tearfund is nearing the end of our response programme. In the first two years we have served more than 365,000 people with livelihoods support, constructed typhoon-resistant homes and trained carpenters in appropriate techniques, provided 21 day-care centres where children play and learn safely, and trained communities on how they can plan ahead and be ready for future disasters.When a mango tree uprooted and fell through the bamboo roof of their kitchen, it nearly killed 48-year-old mother of three Lilibeth Miguello. As scrap collectors, her family already lived hand to mouth before Haiyan destroyed their home, so when Tearfund offered them a new typhoon-resistant house, they broke down in tears of joy, thanking God.
‘Our father is much happier because he dreamt of giving us a house,’ Lilibeth’s youngest son explains. ‘Now, this dream is a reality… when strong typhoons come again, we will never be disturbed.’
Planning for the future
The Miguellos are just one of hundreds of families who Tearfund has helped to get back on their feet after the typhoon in both Roxas and Cadiz Cities. But now, in the final year of our response programme, our attention has increasingly turned to supporting the local government to build the long-term resilience of the communities they serve. We are working with them to prepare for future disasters so the impact on communities is reduced.
In Cadiz, the local government are in the process of developing a five-year plan which sets out how they will manage future disasters. This will ensure that disaster risk reduction activities are taken seriously, prioritised, and funded in the local government budget. In addition, a local elementary school – used as an evacuation centre during Typhoon Haiyan – has been identified as an appropriate site for a new, typhoon-resistant evacuation shelter. The new centre will double up as extra classroom space and will serve as a venue for disaster risk reduction training.
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