Our Family Empowerment Program (FEP) and the FEP Center are beacons of hope for the families we serve. The center is where children and families come together, share their lives, and receive services that will help them thrive in every area of life.
Throughout the year, we have shared stories of impact in our four primary focus areas: Education, Economic Empowerment, Discipleship, and Social Support. Here are some important highlights from 2022:
- FEP mothers from our first cycle of families received training on Income Generating Activities (IGA) and grants that paved the way for them to start businesses with a clear plan.
- The number of children who attended tutoring has increased since we began covering transportation costs to the FEP Center. This was made possible by purchasing a van, which is also used for general program purposes.
- Our social workers provided life skills training for girls on building healthy social relationships and ways to protect themselves from abuse and harm.
- We provided adolescent and teenage boys with health training. Based on the appropriate behavior of the children and the guidance they need at this age, the training focused on self-esteem, relationships with the opposite sex, honesty, and positive attitudes.
- Children came to the FEP Center for tutoring and to enjoy quality time with their peers. Our two social workers spent time with the children to explore new interests through mathematics, art, and communications clubs.
- In March 2022, we hosted a staff retreat at a nearby resort in Nazareth, Ethiopia. The staff had a wonderful time together and returned home rested and encouraged to continue the important work they are doing.
- Approximately 25 children participated in cleaning the FEP Center and its surroundings every month. This activity allows our children to experience community participation and benefit from a clean environment.
- In April, we hired a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, which allowed us to conduct a final evaluation of the first FEP group we served from January 2019 to June 2022.
- In May, we hired a new Country Director, who is responsible for providing leadership for the overall operation of all programming in Ethiopia. The director plays a vital role in the overall management and implementation of programs that serve orphans, vulnerable children, and their families.
- Also, in May, our education coordinator contacted the children’s teachers at their respective schools to check up on any behavior and academic challenges that we could help address through our program. An action plan was implemented for the children who needed support in these areas.
- We also hired an English tutor and a driver that will help to strengthen our program.
- We conducted an evaluation on our first FEP group, which was done in partnership with external data collectors. Our Monitoring and Evaluation Officer led the process, and the results showed significant progress over the past three years. Families are on the path to self-sufficiency and living in improved conditions, and children are being equipped for success in the classroom. And many family members are experiencing significantly improved health conditions.
- In June, our original 50 families officially graduated from the Family Empowerment Program!
In July 2022, we brought in 50 NEW families in our second cycle Family Empowerment Program. Here are some stats on what’s occurred in their short time with us, and we can’t wait to see what God will do in the coming years!
- In the summer, we enrolled a second round of 50 families in FEP. The intake process for the new families took place in collaboration with the local government. The summer was a transition period from the closing of the first cycle of FEP to the second cycle, which extends into 2025.
- We have increased the number of beneficiaries who receive vitamins every month. A total of 33 children received age-appropriate vitamins that helped them continue to grow and maintain their physical health.
- Fifteen vulnerable mothers received vitamins and protein powder, six are HIV positive. This is essential in helping them boost their immunity and maintain their physical health.
- Seventeen families have received counseling services so far at the FEP Center. Counseling is a critical component of the program as we guide families facing challenges in everyday life and their family relationships.
- An average of twenty families each month have utilized the hygiene facilities at the FEP Center. The center includes hygiene facilities to allow families to wash clothes and shower without worrying about safety or a shortage of water.
- Our 2022 summer camp took place for seven weeks. The camp had different activities such as computer training, reading books, art and craft, and a separate camp for children in preschool.
- By the start of the 2022/2023 school year, 87 children were given school supplies, book bags, and shoes.
- Each new mother in the program has begun depositing 25 percent of the monthly stipends they receive in saving accounts.
- We provided literacy training for 43 new FEP mothers. Our team identified each mother’s writing and reading level and placed them in advanced, intermediate, and beginner groups.
- Adolescent girls were trained in hygiene and self-care. By the end of the training, girls were given reusable pads, deodorant, soap, small towels, and toothpaste, along with a demonstration of how to use these supplies.
All FEP mothers received time management training to help them accomplish everyday life tasks efficiently. The training allows mothers to take their attention off unnecessary tasks and give focus on what is most important.