Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pilot Project Helps Ethiopian Orphans Avoid Overseas Adoption

That's the headline for this Voice of America piece:
The Ethiopian government and a faith-based U.S. charity are teaming up on an experimental project to help orphans thrive in their home countries rather than be put up for adoption overseas. From the town of Bantu, our correspondent reports that the U.S. government is studying the project as Ethiopia becomes the nation of choice for American families seeking international adoptions.

Hundreds of Bantu's tiniest children stand in a muddy field at the Bright Hope Education Center, singing a welcome song to a team of foreign visitors led by U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

Three years ago, Bantu was little more than a collection of huts connected to the outside world by a footpath. Its population was decimated by drought and disease. Countless orphans were left to fend for themselves.

Today, many of these orphans attend classes and receive two meals a day at the newly built Bright Hope Education Center. The center is a joint project of the Ethiopian government and the Buckner Foundation, a Texas-based charity dedicated to helping children, and Ethiopia's Bright Hope Church.

Senator Landrieu has come to Bantu to look at how the project can be used as a model for reaching orphans and impoverished children worldwide.

* * *

Senator Landrieu says the overwhelming numbers [of orphans] dictate caring for orphans near their birthplace, while international adoption should be a last resort.
Nice to see that last quote from a Senator who is sponsoring the Families for Orphans Act.


Anonymous said...

While I agree with the senator, from a cozy American home, the unfortunate truth is that in many countries where there are orphans, they are orphans due to miserable circumstances which can and often do get more miserable with time rather then better.

It's a bit too idealistic really if you look at it in a fair and realistic manner.

Personally, I am always concerned when Christain organizations are operating on the ground (as nominal NGOs of sorts) inside poor impoverished nations. Many are there for truly compassionate reaons, but some are not and have agendas that in the 20th century were considered imperialistic. Which means they are even more so in this century in my opinion.

Bukimom said...

I think it is important to note that the church involved is Ethiopia's Bright Hope Church. That means these are not Christians coming in from some foreign land with an agenda but indigenous Christians from within the country.

Anonymous said...

While that sounds good on the surface Bukimom.....

The government funds the education

Bright Hope Church is providing core support on top of eduction.

However, Bright Hope Church depends on foreign Christian organizations for much of the fund raising support.

And with that comes honest potential for imperial style strings or manipulations (in the name of Christian charity of course), so to speak. It always has, and it likely always will.

Anonymous said...

Aren't indigenous Christians in Ethiopia Copts?