In 2021, the AJ team has continued to encourage, educate, and empower our girls at the AJ home. God has been at work at the AJ Home and in the lives of the six girls we get the privilege of serving. We can’t thank our AJ donors and champions enough for coming alongside us as we empower our AJ Girls in the areas of education, economic empowerment, discipleship, and social support.
Together with you, we have accomplished much in 2021, including:
- Ensured all our AJ girls attended school and received support to adapt to changes in the school schedule that occurred as a result of COVID-19. The rotating schedule was difficult, but not nearly as difficult as when school shut down for many, many months in 2020. Our girls rose to the occasion with support and encouragement from our staff.
- In addition to their independent study, AJ girls received three-times a week tutoring sessions from our Education Director, Asrat. Extra support was given to the girls through Asrat who helped them adjust to the fast-paced teaching geared towards compensating what was lost due to school closure in 2020.
- One of our girls took her 12th grade national exam and achieved a result that allowed her to join a private college in Addis Ababa. She is now pursuing a degree in Business and Marketing Management. This same girl also worked hard to take the class for and receive her driver’s license, which is a big feat! We are so proud of her!
- In the first semester of 2021, one of our girls stood third in a class of thirty-two students. All of our five girls started their second-semester classes in April strong. We are proud of what they achieved in the semester!
- Because of the disruption caused by Covid-19 and the short period left in the school year, it was not possible for the girls to take a semester break. We are proud of all the hard work the girls put in this adjustment. Now they are on the long-awaited summer vacation!
- All AJ girls received monthly allowances and saved 20 percent in their bank account.
- Beginning from January, financial literacy training has been given to all six of our girls. Training is being given by the AJ home Coordinator. They are learning how to balance income and expenses using budgeting skills. The girls are also learning the value of money through a practical engagement in household shopping activities with our AJ Home cook.
- As part of life skills training and a way of making some extra income, our girls participated in a keychain and Macramé making project. The items they made were sold on AJ Marketplace, which enabled our girls to put the fair wages made towards their personal savings.
- In February, the girls had the chance to visit a monastery called Debre Libanos, located 25 miles north of Addis Ababa. This visit is part of the girls’ active engagement in and exploration of their surroundings. Hiking was part of the exciting experience the girls had during the day.
- AJ girls continued attending Bible study every Tuesday, which is being run by our discipleship leader, Tsiege.
- All girls received annual health check-ups and any needed treatment prescribed by a physician.
- Family celebrations are part of the AJ home culture! During the first half of 2021, our girls celebrated Ethiopian Christmas (January 7) and Easter together, as well as each other’s birthdays.
We are so grateful for our AJ community! Much has been accomplished in 2021 during this challenging pandemic. It was all made possible first and foremost by God, and because He has blessed us with generous donors and supporters like you! We are truly better together!