The Meklit Centre has been established to support Children and mothers that are living in poverty in the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. The project was born after the founders encountered a tearful and heart-rending experience of a two year-old girl. This little child used to live in poverty with her poor parents and three siblings in a small unhygienic room in a very central neighbourhood of the city, Megenagna. The prevalent malnutrition the household experienced for prolonged periods revealed the depth of poverty this family faced. That was also the reason behind the little girl’s deteriorating health condition.
During one of the founders visit, this little child was sleeping sick with the flu and seeing the severity of her condition, she was immediately taken to a nearby hospital. However, because her immune system was dangerously affected by malnutrition she was unable to recover. She finally passed away after just three days of medical care, leaving this world and her unseen future behind her at such a young age. The loss of her life awakened the witnesses to the vastness and depth of poverty in the city. This little child’s name was Meklit and yet her story is not singular.
There are still many children in Addis Ababa who are deprived from proper care and provision of basic necessities including food, clothing, shelter, health care services, education and in some cases, love and affection. According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs 150,000 children are living on the streets in different parts of the country, approximately 60,000 of whom are found in Addis Ababa. Within Ethiopia, 5.5 million children are categorised as orphans or vulnerable children. The need for such projects in the city and overall in the country is prevalent. It is for this reason that Meklit Children and Women Development Association exists.
Since its inception in 2013, the Meklit Centre has structured and expanded its services to assist 16 children between the ages of 3 to 14 and 13 mothers. The children receive holistic care including nutritional, educational, medical support and above all abundant love. The centre also provides training programs to empower the mothers.
Programs provided at the Meklit Centre
- Nutritional meals three times a day between Monday to Saturday
- 70%-100% of medical expenses covered
- Shower room for hygiene
- New clothes on quarterly basis
- All children sent to a local private school to receive better education.
- All educational fees covered (School fee, educational material, uniforms…)
- An after school tutoring program during the school year
- Summer camp programs including recreational sports activities
- Educational and technology training
- Regular training for mothers (behavioural, parenting, financial and vocational)
The Meklit Centre exists to be a vessel for all those who enter our door. Our ultimate goal is to empower each and every one of the young children and mothers by providing the resources needed to maintain a sustainable lifestyle.