We believe in the value of education. Statistics show, if you educate a girl, she will change the world! According to the Education for All Global Monitoring Report, educated girls prevent child marriage, narrow pay gap between men and women, and help women support their families. We fight to get the children in our programs, some who have been out of the classroom for years, back in school. We give them the tools they need, such as weekly tutoring sessions and resources to attend school, such as uniforms, school supplies, and textbooks, to encourage their academic success and get them the education they deserve.
Discipleship is vital at AJ. We believe that in order to empower the children and families we serve, it starts here. We understand the value in allowing each of our beneficiaries to understand that they are important, that they were created with purpose and in God’s image, and that they have much to offer their community and the world.
Our AJ girls and AJ staff participate in a weekly Bible Study. They study regularly from a book in the Bible, which is taught by our discipleship leader. Our FEP beneficiaries will be offered many discipleship opportunities and our AJ staff and AJ mission teams will build relationships with the families, sharing with them the love of Jesus in a real, intentional and relational way.
Scriptures says that no matter one’s religion, studying God’s word will never come back void. (Isaiah 55:11.) We point the children and the families we serve to the One who loves them more than anyone, to the One who will never leave them or forsake them, Jesus Christ Our Lord, as He gives eternal life in Heaven.
Financial literacy curriculum, based on Biblical principles and specifically created for Addis Jemari, is taught both in the AJ Home and to the FEP families. The AJ Girls receive monthly allowances, a percentage of which they are required to save in a personal savings account. We teach our girls to budget for “wants versus needs.” We instill the importance of saving more than spending, so our girls will be self-sufficient in the future. The same will be done to our FEP families. They receive a monthly stipend, as well as extensive training on budget, finances and most importantly values and goal setting as it pertains to striving for a sustainable future.
Teaching life skills will help our beneficiaries succeed in all aspects of their life. We teach our AJ Girls how to cook traditional Ethiopian food and prepare coffee in a cultural way. They also learn about their health, hygiene, time management, and other important life skills that will help them be self-sufficient when they graduate from our program. Our FEP families will also learn life skills to help them improve their home and family life. A major focus on life skills with our FEP beneficiaries is on learning about and training for income generation opportunities that will make our FEP families self-sustainable in the future.
From volunteering in a local feeding center, to delivering supplies to widowed and women with HIV, we feel it is imperative for our AJ girls to serve others. While serving those in need, our girls not only impact the lives of others, but develop as leaders in their community. As our Family Empowerment Families graduate from our program, we will plug them in to their local community, engaging them with other FEP families as a way to serve and to impart the knowledge they learned through their life skills and financial literacy training.