At Yamral Africa, we are passionately involved with our affiliate NGOs. We make a point to visit them regularly and have an active involvement in assisting them achieve their objectives. One of our affiliate NGOs is Brave Hearts Ethiopia.
This wonderful ministry in Ethiopia takes in orphaned and vulnerable children from all backgrounds and religions, proving education and assistance in areas of physical and mental health, schooling, business, family life and so much more. In line with their holistic care model that focuses on the upbringing of the children and the environment they grow up in, the foundation offers financial assistance and microfinancing to students and their guardians, covering various personal and education related expenses, in view of their current and future financial well-being. Additionally, they build community sanitation facilities in and around the areas the children live in.
More importantly, the children attend regular Saturday sessions with life skills and public speaking training. They are also assisted in developing their creative skills and self-expression with multiple extracurricular activities such as art, dance, drawing, computer literacy, and language lessons. The foundation has already graduated 13 young adults who have finished their mandatory schooling, gone on to tertiary or vocational training and are now supporting themselves.
On our recent visit to Brave Hearts foundation, we met some of the current students aged 8 to 24. We were warmly welcomed by the friendly staff members, Tigist Abate and Zebenay GebreSilassie as well as the children who affectionately coordinated a welcoming arrangement. There was a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony and traditional bread served, after which the children performed some traditional dancing and singing for us.
Their stories and the appreciations expressed in their speeches for the foundation and their fellow children, whom they refer to as brothers and sisters, were inspiring. One of the students who is currently a second-year accounting undergrad expressed how, in addition to the financial and academic help provided to her, it is the Saturday sessions that were vital to her by helping her to mentally cope and develop in the outside world where there are many challenges both mentally and physically. It can be easily observed that the children understand and appreciate the kind of unique opportunity that is being provided to them through Brave Hearts Ethiopia, and that they are committed to work hard in order to make the best of this opportunity.
The staff love the work they do and feel motherly towards the children. One of them expressed her work as “one requiring self-sacrifice but extremely rewarding”. Everyone, including staff members and the children in the foundation feel a part of one big family. And once we set foot to the premises, the feeling was contagious. We left the foundation exhilarated and looking forward to our next visit, and as one of the children stressed, the biggest appreciation comes from the people who set the time to go and visit them and spend some time together. Its indeed true that a little candle throws its beams so far away, a small gesture of kindness in your time and money nurtures a community . You can keep in touch with Brave Hearts and donate to the organization.