Middlebury

A network of microphilanthropy that supports Middlebury students.

We will help homeless and impoverished children by providing them with a stable family environment including a home, food, school supplies and education.

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Dollars Raised: 118%

Funding Details

Deadline: Jan 30, 2012
Total needed: $2,000

People


Evelyn Rotich '13, Pschology, Eldoret, Kenya

Biructait (Brook) Mengesha '13, Economics, Dessie, Ethiopia

Media

     

Millions of Children in many African countries are forced to live in the streets as a result of poverty, abuse, torture, rape and abandonment. Some are orphaned by HIV Aids at a young age and yet others are born to already homeless juvenile children. These children lack security, decent clothing, food and shelter.

The problem of street children remains ignored despite its devastating impact on the society. It has become sidelined by the government and muted by key players in the community. Eldoret, Kenya and Dessie, Ethiopia are among the African cities with numerous street children. Brook and I grew up in these cities and have seen as the number of street children increases with time yet nobody takes any measures to make life a little better for the children you see roaming the streets day and night.

It is impossible not to notice them as they are dressed in ragged and dirty clothes stopping cars and people to beg and selling sundry articles of unknown origin; others run to wash windscreens of cars stopped at traffic lights for money. They are mostly dismissed as mini criminals by the community and at best considered a nuisance. A closer look at them and you will notice the sadness in their faces and deep strain in their eyes, most of them ill and malnutrition. All of them are physically emaciated with a mildly hidden cry for empathy and a little help from the rest of the community.

Brook and I have tried to do something to help these children in the past but our screams have never been loud enough. Now in the summer of 2011, we worked on campus, saved some money and established a home for a few of the children in Dessie. We got them a house, food, clothing, school supplies and got them going to school with their age mates starting 9/6/11. We also hired a house help and got help from 2 other responsible adults to provide the parent figure. Our summer savings could only sustain 7 children, so we started there.  Our budget requires that we spend $385.00 each month on the children, something we are trying to reach out to the rest of the community to help with.

Our plan is to do the same thing at the beginning of 2012 in Eldoret, Kenya. Hopefully with our efforts, the respective governments and the community will view this as a tragedy worth addressing.


  • eve Rotich

    to keep up with Renewed Hope Children’s Home, now Aman Children’s Home & Development Program, visit
    http://www.amanchildren.com/index.html

  • MariAnn

    recent article by Joe Flaherty, Middlebury Campus

    …So far the program serves seven kids in Ethiopia and one in Kenya.
    “They are doing great. We went to Ethiopia and Kenya in December to see how the program is and how realistic it is going to be as well as to see the challenges and try to figure them out.” said Rotich.

    Last Friday, Mengesha and Rotich, in concert with Umoja, the Middlebury African Students Organization, held a fundraising dinner in Atwater Dining Hall. The proceeds went towards the Aman Children’s Home.

    “It was fantastic,” said Rotich. “We made $600, which is good, but even better than the money that came in was the response. The community, even outside of Middlebury, seemed very receptive, supportive and helpful about it, which was great.”

    Mengesha and Rotich have made a lifetime commitment to the kids in the program. They are currently working to set the program up as a Vermont-based nonprofit. Their current fundraising goal is to raise $13,000 in order to build a permanent house.

    “Once we build the house we won’t need the money for rent anymore,” said Rotich. They also cite opportunities to raise livestock and grow crops as motivation to purchase the house in order to cut costs for the program.

    Mengesha said that while getting funding was initially easy, finding sustained sources of money to support a larger project has been a challenge.
    “In the beginning it was pretty supportive for one-time gifts, such as a grant for travel,” said Mengesha, “but after we came back, our project had changed to being a long-term project, so that became a challenge to get funding for.” The two have received grants from MiddSTART and the Center for Social Entrepreneurship.

    When asked if the program is something the two will work on in the future, Rotich said, “It’s something Brook and I both want to do indefinitely. So far we’ve had a bunch of challenges and it gets frustrating and overwhelming at times, but the good thing about the two of us is we can always help each other out. I don’t see how this is going to fail.”

  • chepchirchir mariam

    hi Biructait and evelyn got to know abou the project through a friend ima interested in knowing more abou it i.e where are you in Eldy would like to visit
    may God give you more to give back to the less fortunate in the society

    • eve

      Hey Marriam,
      Thanks for your note and sorry we did not get back to you early enough. I will however be in Eldoret again in a few months if you wanna get together and talk. Maybe together we can generate more ideas to better the program

  • Ache

    worthy cause!

  • Brook

    106% WOW !! thank you so much everyone. we are so grateful for believing in us !

  • Biructait

    Thank you so much everyone !! And we are so greatful for believing in us !

  • Goma Mabika

    This project will make a difference. I am with you !!!

  • Dot

    Great job girls…mummy is super proud of you..lol

  • Catherine Kaptuiya

    This is really impressive of you guys.Keep it up..You have my backing.
    God bless.

  • Bob Post

    Hi Biructait and Evelyn,
    I am Midd ’87 and am currently living and working in Addis Ababa. I’d love to hear more about your project – have you formed an NGO or are you doing this on your own? Let me know who is managing the house in Dessie and if I hear of organizations that could help, I will try to bring them together.
    Regards,
    Bob

  • Robert Buxbaum

    Hi Brook and Evelyn:
    I am Midd Class of ’73 and recived the College email about your and other projects. I am very touched and impressed by your personal connection and commitment to helping street children to have what all children deserve. I’d like to be supportive and I want to ask you a few questions about your plans. Any chance you could email me so we could make that happen? Thanks. Robert B.

  • Eve

    Thanks Chiri, Collo, Kevin Shish, Urvashi and Shaz. The support is just humbling.
    Only $950 to go!!!!
    Guys ~ we are doing this!
    Thank you all very much for keeping up with our project and giving!!!! The seven children in the Home in Desse now are in school and liking the new family they have!! They have lived a well-fed, educated, and completely protected childhood for four months now and their progress shows that we should all do everything we can to keep this going and give more children in the streets the same as the ones we are housing are getting.

  • shaz olby

    this is an awesome project guys, u got my full support

  • Urvashi

    Wow, great work girls!

  • Kevin Rono

    Great thinking, I hope everyone that reads this article gets to support it and pass it to other friends too. Thanks so much Evelyn, not only for the idea but also for the needy children that are out there in the streets with no one to turn to. Thanks for taking heart to carry their burdens of loneliness, hunger, clothe and even entertainment. Thanks also for standing out among the millions of people that just see but do not take a step to make the change. We all support you and most importantly we support the program.

  • Sheilah Koskey

    That’s a great idea!!!

  • collo

    I am proud of both of you. I am in it to the end.

  • Nelly Rotich

    Bestest idea… u got heart

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