Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia is a volunteer-led and volunteer driven organization based in Ontario, Canada under Devxchange International that supports women and children in Ethiopia.
We believe that educating girls and empowering women is one of the best investments we can make in developing countries like Ethiopia. We see an incredible amount of potential in the children of Ethiopia – boys and girls alike.
That’s why we support projects like a Group Home, and Busajo, an organization dedicated to helping children living on the street. We want to educate and provide for the youth of Ethiopia to encourage future leaders.
With projects like Prolapsed Uterus Surgeries, we’re helping to restore health and dignity to women, many of whom have lived without for many years. These surgeries enable them to better their lives and their families.
Shelley Green, Leah Sadler and Paula Rogers launched the charity in 2011. Each of the three adoptive mothers wanted to respond to the poverty they saw when in Ethiopia to bring their children home.
Five years after the formation of the organization, Shelley and more than 100 volunteers and donors have found a recipe for success. Our flagship fundraising event draws more than 500 people and raises tens of thousands of dollars each year.
As of 2016, Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia has donated more than a quarter of a million dollars to help raise women and children out of poverty by funding effective, sustainable and culturally appropriate development projects. And we’re very particular about where that money goes – the roster of projects has evolved as valuable and successful initiatives have become known to Mothers With a Heart for Ethiopia.
- One of the first initiatives for Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia was the group home in Addis Ababa, capital city of Ethiopia. Run by Kingdom Vision International, an Ethiopian organization, the group home provides shelter, food, private education and – most importantly – a sense of family for the boys and group home mother living in the home. Each of the boys and young men who live in the group home, ranging in age from nine to 20, are sponsored by a donor through Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia. The boys are close knit, and all four declared that the best part of the group home is “living like a family.”
- Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia is proud to support Busajo, a homegrown organization that seeks to harness the power of the next generation in Ethiopia. Children living on the street are screened for the program, and a select group of kids who prove dedicated to their studies and eager to transition into a different lifestyle are invited to live in a Busajo home and go to school. The program provides these children with a home, education, clothes, food, school supplies, psychological support and medical attention as they work towards their educational goals – and all the while Busajo is working towards family reunification. The organization seeks to help struggling families get back on their feet, whether through an income generation technique (perhaps raising an animal) or support in repairing their shelter, in order to reunite children who have been living on the streets with their family where possible.
Prolapsed Uterus Surgeries
- For a mere $350 (approximately $270 USD), Ethiopian women are able to have surgery to correct prolapsed uteruses. Uterine prolapse occurs when pelvic floor muscles and ligaments stretch and weaken, often as a result of childbirth, providing inadequate support for the uterus. The uterus then slips down into or protrudes out of the vagina. Uterine prolapse can happen to women of any age, but it often affects postmenopausal women who’ve had one or more vaginal deliveries. This can lead to ulcers, cancer and an unpleasant body odour that often causes a woman to be ostracized from her community.
- It is estimated that more than 10,000 women in the Wolaita region of Ethiopia are living with prolapsed uterus, despite the physical and emotional ramifications. Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia provides the funds for Dr. Mark Karnes and his team at Soddo Christian Hospital to perform this procedure. As of the summer of 2016, our organization has funded more than 75 surgeries. The surgery allows these women relief from the pain of a prolapsed uterus, as well as an opportunity to restore their dignity and comfort as they return to their everyday lives. One particularly grateful recipient told Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia that the surgery would allow her to be reintegrated into her rural community, where residents shunned her because of an odour arising from her prolapsed uterus.
- The WRAPS initiative is a win-win for Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia, because it allows young women to stay in school and it provides jobs for Ethiopian women. WRAPS stands for washable, reusable, absorbent pads. This product provides a simple, hygienic, and affordable way for Ethiopian girls and women to deal with their periods, and ensures that young women don’t have to miss school because of biology.
- We know that educated girls marry later, have children later, and have fewer, healthier children. The benefits of education also include improved health and enhanced status in the community. Countries economies grow as more girls are educated. Removing barriers from attending school will help girls have a greater chance of completing their education.
- For just $15 per WRAPS kit, donors are providing both work and dignity for females in Ethiopia.
Girls Gotta Run
- Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia is sponsoring young women in Soddo, Ethiopia to take part in a life-changing athletic scholarship through the Girls Gotta Run Foundation. This program uses running to teach girls in Grades 5 to 7 life skills, leadership qualities, and financial literacy. The young ladies selected for the program are provided scholarships, and their families are supported via business training and entrepreneurial workshops. The program encourages young women to lace up their shoes and empowers both the girls and their families to become leaders in their own community.