11 Jan New Year, New Opportunities – January 2021 Updates
Adera desires to bring help and true hope, one child, one family at a time. Covid has brought challenges to the Adera community. To “shelter safe at home” is an oxymoron when you live in a 10 x 10 shelter made of corrugated metal and no plumbing or water source. When all work is denied due to not being able to enter homes to clean or wash clothes, and when the day laborer is cut off due to the shut-down or minimizing of public transportation, there are no real options. Truly nothing is “safe” at home.
But opportunities to go deeper into the Adera community have risen to the forefront, and we stepped into the invitation. We are excited about the deep dive into each of our families, students, and staff. The “pause” in 2020 allowed Adera to implement new trainings and initiatives that could never have been possible without the lull created by covid.
One of the opportunities presented is due to the incredible involvement Adera has at the local primary school, Hiber. Adera is identified by the school’s administration for our nutritious food and the consistency and care that goes behind its delivery to each student. The Hiber director approached Adera to ask if we would strategically focus on the incoming first graders for the current school year. He said that the new students, ranging in age from six to seventeen-year-olds, come in with a deficiency of learning and an even greater deficit in their diets. They desperately need the nutrients that Adera provides in their daily menu choices, as well as their beginning of basic education. Adera’s approach is “A full stomach is a necessary prerequisite to an educated mind.” Adera will feed approximately 365 students this school year. Due to the covid pandemic, we will have half of the students three days of the week and half the next three days, including Saturdays. Our staff is happy to work an extra day. They personally benefitted by Adera’s ongoing support to them by being paid regardless of not being able to work during the closing of the school and are eagerly ready to get back to their mission as a part of the Adera staff.
The concentration on the first graders will allow us to have impact on this important time of entering their education and encouraging them no matter if they are six or sixteen. Why would a first-grade student be sixteen? Many families move to Addis Ababa to find relief from the countryside. They have struggled with drought, famine, family strife and are looking for new opportunities, including education for their children. The countryside often has no prospects for education and the child entering Hiber has to start in grade one. The new student sits next to a child who is six, and it is so humbling that the older child is often tempted to give up and head to the streets. Adera gets the chance to plant seeds of education and self-worth, as well as meeting the physical needs of all students, no matter their age.
Adera has been extended an invitation to enter the classroom. The director asked us to begin teaching character development. Adera is partnering with Character Strong, a creative tool used in many public and private schools in the USA. Ethiopia will be the first African country in which to implement the character development program. The opportunity was really made possible due to covid. Character Strong had to go virtual, which allows Adera to implement the program without the cumbersome securing of materials. It is all online and is easily adapted and translated for the classrooms at Hiber! The students will gain knowledge and personal responsibilities in ten key character qualities and then be asked to “teach” others. The teaching will be to younger students by creative games and plays. Elisabeth Elliot says, “you have not really learned anything until you teach another.”
Adera exists to bring help and true hope. We begin by inviting people to the table, but that is only the introduction for their personal development.
Adera’s goal is for long term development, one child, one family, one community at a time. The student is hungry, both physically and emotionally. Adera partners with Ethiopians and westerners to begin the process of full restoration. Adera Foundation shares the gospel in both word and deed, transforming the lives of the poor with help and true hope.