From the Tamara Lackey Blog:
We are so grateful to have completed renovating the orphanage bathrooms in Ethiopia – the children living there now have clean, safe bathrooms with new toilets, lovely sinks, updated plumbing, and (my favorite) hand sanitizers! These newly renovated bathrooms have made a big improvement in the orphanage. We are also currently finishing up our last project, Safeguarding The Orphanage, which we’ve heard is already cutting down on every day injuries and finally keeping the children safely inside a much-improved play area. (We hope to be completely done with that project in less than a couple of weeks!)
And, of course, we are all thrilled with their new Portrait Gallery, or The Best Gallery Opening Ever.
The next big project we have researched and worked with the orphanage to plan out is this: to light up their small, dimly-lit on-site classrooms and bring their education center back into existence.
Please check out exactly what I mean when I say these classrooms are so dark – and why an existing education center can’t help these kids if nothing in it works:
We hope you can help us help these children. They are already growing up in an orphanage, waiting for families (although, statistically – and heartbreakingly – this will not happen for many of them). Even more than for most children, education is the way to a better life for them, especially for all those who will age out of this orphanage with even more challenges to face.
These kids are bright and talented and affectionate and hold so much promise with their lives. If you’re interested in helping us help them receive a better education, please visit the donation page for more information.
If you’re not a video-watching kind of person, here’s the deal: The good news is that there are three small classrooms that have been built onsite at the orphanage to help the children with early education. The bad news is that the classrooms are all very dimly-lit, as in it’s tough to even see the chalkboards when you are inside. Between the lack of adequate natural light, the extremely intermittent electricity, and the high cost of utilities in Addis Ababa (which coincides pretty rottenly with the lack of resources for the orphanage), it’s tough for the kids to even have the opportunity to learn in these classrooms, as it’s simply very difficult to see when you are in the classroom.
We’re looking to raise $6,500 to light up the classrooms by installing a 1,000-watt solar panel that would feed light into all three classrooms. In addition, we’d like to help bring in natural sunlight by installing shatterproof glass windows, which will help keep the kids safe, as well. These improvements will not only light these rooms, but they’ll also help the orphanage save dramatically on their electric bills with the ongoing use of a sustainable energy source.
The goal for this project is to give the children a brighter, cleaner, more inspiring learning environment.
Please consider either donating or sharing this post with others who might be interested in helping these kids!
The other part of this project will be addressing the major issue in their once-donated Education Center: not one of the computers that were donated years ago currently work. This Education Center was a great idea – the older children at the orphanage have received educational CDs and DVDs that they want to use, to help them study and further their education. And they have a lot of motivation to learn. Truly, education is the key to a significantly brighter future for them. But there is not much opportunity for them to study when none of the outdated computers work. Our plan is to team up with a local repair shop to fix the computers that can be fixed and then replace the ones that are beyond repair with new, basic computers. They do not have internet in the orphanage and are not currently able to take on that expense, but they will be using this education center for significant ongoing study.
We’d also love to add some protected tablets that can be attached to the walls in the Education Center, if we raise enough funds. And, of course, we plan to stay in touch with an IT specialist ongoing to keep this education center in good working shape long-term.
These education and lighting improvements will truly make a huge difference for the children as they grow and learn, and we’d love for you to be a part of it in any way that you can. If you’re interested in donating, please visit the donation page for more information. If you’re not in a position to donate at this time, please help spread the word. There are sharing buttons above and below this post!
Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times,
if one only remembers to turn on the light.
~ Albus Dumbledore