Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Partnership to Empower Young Girls

Desta [adj.] = joyous, happy

We're so happy to announce a new partnership between 4others and Desta Girl at the Spring of Hope CarePoint! Desta Girl is an inspiring non-profit that aims to empower and equip women and girls throughout Ethiopia. They do this by delivering washable, reusable feminine hygiene products to teen students, while training girls and their mothers in proper menstrual hygiene and understanding.

Meet the leaders of Desta Girl: Cheri and Bob Rogers
In July 2010, Bob and Cheri Rogers were in Ethiopia to adopt their daughter. During their visit to the country, their eyes were opened to the vast needs of Ethiopian girls who struggle to stay in school after starting menstruation. God planted a seed in their hearts to do what they could for these girls. 

After returning home to the states, they connected with Children's HopeChest. The relational, holistic approach of the CHC model in child development resonated with the Rogers. Soon they were launching their first Desta Girl program at one of the CHC CarePoints in Ethiopia. 

Their vision: To expand the Desta Girl program until we have kits in the hands of every teen girl and woman in the Children's Hopechest CarePoints throughout Ethiopia!

Desta Girl comes to the Spring of Hope CarePoint this October!
Cheri Rogers is joining the Spring of Hope mission team in October to visit the children and families of Spring of Hope! While there, Cheri will host private training sessions with the oldest 28 girls of the CarePoint program.

"Part of the training is addressing and correcting the folklore surrounding menstruation," Cheri explains. "Sadly, a common perception in the culture is that menstruation is a curse. And when a woman's monthly bleeding stops with pregnancy, it's because she is blessed."

When Cheri trains the girls in the Desta Girl program, she educates the girls and their mothers on their bodies' biology, emphasizing the significant purpose of menstruation. It is not shameful. It is life-affirming! It's their bodies' way of preparing for the gift of life. 

The Desta Girl training encourages the girls to reject the culture of shame surrounding their natural development. They learn how to prepare for and manage their menstrual hygiene. 

At the end of their session, they're given beautiful menstrual hygiene kits. These kits are hand-sewn by volunteers across the USA and include: 

  • 1 cloth drawstring bag for transporting her kit to school 
  • ​4 bars of soap for laundering and self care
  • 2 pair of underwear
  • 2 moisture barrier shields to prevent leaking
  • 8 absorbent tri-fold pads for extra coverage, ease of washing and fast drying
  • 1 compact mirror to see that she is beautiful
  • 2 gallon sized ziploc bags to aid in laundering with little water
  • 1 visual instruction sheet

Needless to say, these girls will walk away feeling equipped and empowered to live with dignity! The training and supplies they'll receive will help the girls stay in school when menstruation starts. With the new private girls latrines and washroom at the Gosu Kora Primary School (funded by the Spring of Hope WASH Project), these girls will be fully equipped to stay strong, healthy, and confident as they study in school!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Hope Flows

Thanks to the generous contributions from so many friends and supporters, the Spring of Hope WASH Project is nearing its completion in Ambo, Ethiopia! When we first proposed the plan to bring clean water to the Spring of Hope community, it was a great step of faith — faith that God would somehow provide the funds we needed to make this possible. And He did just that! Within just 14 days of officially launching the fundraising campaign, the water project was fully funded! In fact, the overflow of generosity was so great it allowed us to immediately move on to the final phase of the Ambo community development project: Safe Sanitation. Thus, the Water Project transitioned into a comprehensive WASH Project (water, sanitation, & hygiene). Within two months, we raised the remaining funds to build new Boys & Girls LATRINES at the Gosu Kora Primary School! Now this school will soon have clean water and safe sanitation. Thank you for helping make this possible!

Clean water now flows at the Gosu Kora Primary School! And as of February 1st, the 500 students and staff at Gosu Kora now have clean water to quench their thirst during the school day. No more jumping over the school fence during break to search for a drink. No more eating their snacks with dirty hands. With the upcoming addition of new Boys and Girls Latrines at the school, the health of the students and the quality of their learning environment are sure to see dramatic improvement!

Hope Flows at Gosu Kora
THE WAIT IS OVER! As of yesterday, clean water now flows at the Gosu Kora Primary School in Ambo, Ethiopia! Where students used to jump the school fence during break to search for something to drink (often not returning in time to continue their classes), these 500 students and staff now have a reliable, safe way to quench their thirst right where they are! With new latrines also soon to come, the health of the students and the quality of their learning environment are sure to see dramatic improvement! #HopeFlows #WASHTHANK YOU to everyone who supported this project! YOU made this possible. And special thanks to our implementing partners, Stand for Vulnerable Organization - SVO and Water to Thrive, for their major roles in making this dream a reality. Now it's on to Phase Two: Bringing clean water to the surrounding rural community!
Posted by 4others on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A second water point for the surrounding rural community is currently being constructed, with trenching to the site almost completed. Soon the rest of the Ambo community will have access to clean water for the first time in their history! Praise be to God!

Bringing clean water to the Gosu Kora Primary School and to the rural community required 2.4 km of trenching and excavation… all done by hand. Daily laborers used pickaxes and chisels to break through the hard earth. One day, because the pipeline needed a straight path to the new water points, they had to trench right through the middle of this man’s home! When our water partner came to thank him for his selfless act, they found him smiling as he began building his family a new home. “Why are you smiling about this?” they asked. Without hesitating, he replied, “It is more important for the children to have water.”

Creating mud to fill the walls of his family’s new home.
"Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well." Philippians 2:3-4

Sunday, September 27, 2015

One of Life's Bare Necessities

Guest Blog: A Word from a Spring of Hope Sponsor

Hi friends! I'd like to ask your help with something very dear and important to me. Many of you know that I have a sweet little sponsor child in Ambo Town, Ethiopia. Her name is Ayantu and she'll turn seven next month. She has the best smile you've ever seen. She loves math and cows are her favorite animal.
She also has no access to clean water in her community. None. Her family's only water source is the river, which is over an hour's walk away. It is used by animals as well as by people for washing, bathing, and drawing water to drink; as such, the residents of their rural community are often ill from waterborne illnesses.
We in California have had water on our minds an awful lot lately, what with the severe drought and fires. Water. Ubiquitous, but when threatened, suddenly recognized as so, so precious. Can you imagine walking over an hour each way to collect water for your family's needs? Can you imagine giving water to your children, knowing that it will likely make all of you sick? Can you imagine having no other option?
We knew that the water situation in Ambo was dire, but we did not fully grasp until recently how pervasive the problem is in people's lives. When I was a child in school, I went to a drinking fountain when I was thirsty. By contrast, Ayantu and her classmates must wait for their midday break to venture out into the community to search for water. There is none to be had at their school. Sometimes they'll get lucky and a neighbor will sacrifice a little of his/her own water (painstakingly carried by hand from the river) for the thirsty children. If not, the kids must get to the river as fast as they can to get a drink and try to make it back to class on time (or face discipline if they do not).
My heart breaks to think of my sweet little girl, not yet seven years old, searching for water to quench her thirst. If the water problem itself were not enough, she and her friends are vulnerable to kidnapping and exploitation when they are out on their own. Something has to change.
We are fundraising to extend a pipeline to the village school to provide a clean, safe water source not only to the children, but also to the community at large. Every $8.00 we raise will cover the cost of one foot of pipeline and the labor to install it. If you love children … if you have turned on a tap at your home today without thinking twice … if you are in a position to spare $8.00 … please consider helping. Through the end of October, a generous donor will match your contribution twice over, turning one foot of pipeline into three! Thank you for helping us to provide one of life's bare necessities to this community.
Written by Spring of Hope sponsor, McKenzie Ross.

If you would like to support this water project today, just click the image below!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Here we go!!

Spring of Hope Mission Trip
Our team of sponsors will be visiting the Spring of Hope CarePoint this August 17-24!
Here's a quick look at the trip activities:
Meeting the children's guardians and parents: Learning more about their families' stories and future plans.
Pants Shopping: Each day, a local clothing vendor will visit the CarePoint and the children will shop for a brand new pair of trousers! With the new shirts from their sponsors' Care Packages, they'll have a whole new outfit!
Clothing Repairs: Families are invited to bring tattered clothing to the CarePoint office, and we've hired a local seamstress who is thrilled for the large work order!
Home Visits: We look forward to the warm hospitality of these beautiful families as we fellowship with several of the children's families in their own homes. 
Bible Lesson: God made every child at the CarePoint so unique and special. We'll encourage the children to consider how they can use their talents and abilities to live for God and help others!
Writing Activity: The children will send special notes to their sponsors and friends in America, sharing special facts about themselves.
Care Packages: We'll sit with each child and read aloud your loving letters of encouragement. Then each child will open their bundle of gifts from you! There will be giggles, enormous smiles, and maybe even happy tears -- all because you cared enough to send them special gifts of hope. :)
Staff Field Trip: The CarePoint staff and volunteers are daily pouring their hearts into these children and families. Our team wants to spend some quality time with these wonderful, hard-working individuals, getting to know them better and also treating them to a fun day at the beautiful Guder River Falls.  
Sunday Worship: On Sunday morning, August 23rd, we'll attend a worship service at the CarePoint's partner church, Gosu Mekane Yesus Church. The children's choir might also perform songs!
Celebration Feast: The children successfully completed their second year of school, so we're gonna celebrate! The children will feast on lamb meat prepared with spices and veggies, injera, and even soda pop. Yummy!

Joining in Prayer
The team really appreciates your prayers of blessings for this visit! We hope God will give each team member the power to demonstrate the love of God and of all the sponsors to the children every day! 
Celebration of Hope is a special night for current Spring of Hope sponsors and friends to hear the inspiring stories and exciting updates from the CarePoint! We hope you can be a part of this special evening on Friday, September 11th, at 7:00-9:00 pm

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Wonderful News!

It was our 5th annual Food4others MobilePack and what an amazing success it was! From the beginning, packing shifts were full just days after they opened to the public for signups! A total of 1300 volunteers came together in the name of Jesus Christ to end hunger for children around the world! In just three days, we hand-packed 272,160 life-saving meals! That number equals the amount necessary to feed 745 children for one year! Not only that, but each meal has been fully funded. Amazing!

But that's not all... This year was so special to everyone involved (especially those that have been with our 4others organization from the beginning) because this was our year to pass the Millionth Meal Mark!! We are so thankful to all our partners that have dedicated their time and resources to making this year's MobilePack a huge success and for helping us bring food to the hungry. What a wonderful mission to be doing in the name of Jesus!

Some more great news!!! ... 

At the MobilePack, we were able to spread the word to many people about all our other campaigns and our Spring of Hope CarePoint! We were even able to sell some more beautiful necklaces and bracelets made by the talented Guardians at the CarePoint! We got to inform the community about our upcoming Ambo Water Project that will take place this next year. Fantastic! But the most wonderful news of all... two precious children were sponsored at the MobilePack, Ife Niguse and Meti Lema! Thank you to those two families that have accepted these children into your hearts!  
Ife (left) & Meti (right)
God's love continues to overflow! In the days following the MobilePack, joyful Aster Jabesa also received a sponsorAster aspires to be a worship leader like her mother when she grows up. And as an answer to her mother's prayer, Aster was sponsored on Mother's Day! And just a week later, beautiful Meti Bekele also received a sponsor! This bright, affectionate young lady now has a new special friend in her life who will support and encourage her as she pursues her dream of becoming a teacher! Thank you to all the sponsors at Spring of Hope for instilling love, hope, and encouragement into the hearts of these young spirits! 
Aster (left) & Meti (right)

There are now 68 children who still need sponsors! Our hope is that a majority of these children will receive a sponsor before we visit them again in August! Will you help us? Tell your friends about Spring of Hope and the children there who long for a special friend to support and encourage them and their family. It takes $38 a month to change the life of a child in Ethiopia. Refer them to our website: Thank you!

Psst! Don't forget...

Pictures of the MobilePack event are on our website now! Keep yourself up-to-date on some of the most exciting events coming soon (like our Ambo Water Project) by following us on Facebook and Twitter. Check out our website for more ways to volunteer and connect with others! Subscribe to this blog for more updates, news, and inspiring stories, too!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Joy in the Simple Things

I love to laugh! Don't you? It's such an uplifting feeling to share a laugh with friends and family! I think that's why so many people enjoy April Fools Day. What a great excuse to play a joke on a friend and share a laugh (although the prankster usually does the most laughing...)!

I remember so many of the children's laughter at Spring of Hope. I can see them squirming in their seats and softly giggling to themselves when we entered the room each afternoon. I can imagine their bright faces crowding around my camera, and then squealing with delight when I showed them the picture of themselves. I can hear a hundred different laughs in a joyful chorus as we played a game of charades and their Sunday School teachers acted out "Monkey!"  

One thing I learned during the mission trip last year-- these kids love to laugh! They find joy in the simple things.

6-year-old Lemi loves to tell jokes!
10-year-old Chala loves to write poems.
11-year-old Firehiwot loves to dance!
10-year-old Aster loves to sing! She wants to be a worship leader.
10-year-olds Kuma and Argitu love performing in their Sunday School drama team!

Kuma, Kena, and Shibiru LOVE to laugh at jokes!
What a gift it is to laugh! To play! To express joy through singing and dancing and writing! To find joy in learning new skills and trying new things. And--as they continue to learn more about Jesus--to find deep, constant joy in knowing the One who knows them completely and loves them deeply.

Sponsors, you have given these precious children the chance to experience true joy in the Lord, and to discover joy in the simple things like reading, writing, singing, dancing, making friends, and reading letters of encouragement.

Before joining the Spring of Hope CarePoint, the heavy burdens of poverty prevented these kids from knowing such joy. But through your support, prayers, and friendship, HOPE has begun to spring up in their lives, and JOY is blossoming in the most precious ways!


P.S. Want to meet your sponsor child and find out what makes them laugh? Join us on our next mission trip on August 15-25, 2015! Just email our Trip Coordinator to find out more (

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Child Correspondence FAQ

Well, our Easter letters are off to Ambo! With prayer, they'll get there just in-time for their Easter service celebration. However, speaking of these letters, let's talk some FAQ!
How often should I send a letter? We hope you can write to your sponsored child on a regular basis, up to once a month! The children at Spring of Hope love to receive letters from their sponsors! In fact, our partners at Children's HopeChest say the question they get most often from the kids when they visit the CarePoint (twice a month) is, "Do you have a letter for me?"

What should I write about? Writing letters is the best way to build a special friendship with your sponsored child. In every letter, you can share something about yourself, your family, a recent event in your life, things you are learning, or even prayer requests. Through your letters, your sponsored child can gradually get to know you better and will no doubt look forward to hearing from you. 

How often will my sponsored child write back? Most of our Spring of Hope children have just begun school and may not know how to write yet. So you may only receive up to 2 letters every year from them because it will take extra time from the CarePoint leaders to help them write to you. Also, some of our children have lived through very difficult times and have lost many loved ones. It might take some time before they develop a strong sense of trust and familiarity with you before they feel comfortable enough to establish their own correspondence with you. But please don't get discouraged! Your sponsored child is definitely receiving your letters even though they may not reply to them. You can trust that as you continue to share about yourself and regularly express love and encouragement in your letters, you are building a true and special friendship with them that they value and will come to cherish more and more!

Can I ask them a question? In order to encourage your sponsored child to write back to you, you can offer a simple question in your letter that they can feel confident in answering without feeling intimidated about trying to figure out what to say. This is also a great opportunity for you to learn something about your child so that you can form a better understanding of who they are. If you're stumped about what to ask your sponsored child in a letter, here are few suggestions:
  • Ask a question about their family/ friends:
    • What family traditions do you have? 
    • What is your best friend's name?
    • Can you draw me a picture of your family?
  • Ask a question about their school:
    • What is your favorite subject?
      • How many kids are in your class?
      • How can I pray for your schooling?
    • Ask about their community:
      • How are birthdays celebrated?
        • Do you go to church with your family?
        • What kinds of responsibilities or jobs do kids have?

      Is there a specific letter template or stationary that I should use for sending my letters? Since these letters are so special to the kids, 4others does provide letter templates for anyone to download and use for letter correspondence with the children at Spring of Hope. There are several themes for both boys and girls of different ages, with more coming soon! These templates also provide space for the translation of your letter. (If you use your own stationary, please provide the translator an extra sheet of paper for the translation of your letter.) Click here to download fun themed letter templates today!

      Can my child at home write to our sponsored child at SOH? Absolutely! In fact, if they need some help thinking of what to write, download our kid-version templates here that provide different prompts so your child can feel confident in writing to their sponsored friend. 

      Can I send a letter online? Of course! You can easily type up a letter on our Spring of Hope page here, with the option of including a digital photo that can be attached to your letter. The children love pictures! On this page, you also have the option of sending yourself a copy of the letter you wrote as well. (Although this option is available, we hope you can take the time to write a handwritten letter every now and then, too. The children love having something handwritten from you because it makes you seem real to them and shows you took the time to write it, too.)

      Can I send a small gift with my letter? Yes, however, the gift must be small and flat. If the letter is too large or bulging, it may be considered 'suspicious' and will be stopped at customs. In this case, your sponsored child will NOT receive your letter. The kids love surprises with their letters! You can send pictures of your family and places, drawings, construction paper that they can use, bookmarks, coloring pages, or even sheets of fun stickers! Larger gifts can be sent once a year in a Care Package when our missions team can personally deliver it on your behalf.

      Where do I send my letter? To our Children's Hope Chest U.S. office address below:

      Attn: Child's Name, ID #
      Children's HopeChest 
      P.O. Box 63842 
      Colorado Springs, CO 80962-3842

      If you have any additional questions about writing your sponsored child, contact me! Or contact our sponsorship coordinator, Courtney Hunt, at 

      Don't forget to write to your sponsored child next month!