Monday, 12 November 2012


At the event Saturday, I turned to say something to my friend who had just arrived to help set up. And I had such a shock!
Unknown to either my husband or me, our special friend who works with orphans in Ethiopia had come all the way to be part of our celebration! I was overwhelmed!
Karin used to live with us when she was getting more experience in nursing administration. We seldom see one another, but when we do, we just pick up again where we left off.

So, any plans I had for sewing have gladly been tossed for the week. Karin has come to our house for a few days. She is getting some much needed rest as well. She has some meetings and business to take care of next week, but for now we are wandering around charity shops looking for children's DVDs for her to take back, popping in Boots the Chemist for medicine for triplets they are caring for and devices to extract poison from scorpion stings, and sitting and chatting about young man still at home and her 60 children of varying ages - from a few who have just gone to uni to the premmie triplets who inspite of a difficult start are doing well at 6months.

My friend Karin. Below is some of her story.

Karin is a nurse from the Netherlands. While she was with us in the UK, she became drawn to work in Ethiopia...initially thinking she would help re-establish a hospital in the North of the country where there was so much damage following the war with Eritrea.

But after she got there, one by one she found or was directed to children who were orphaned, abandoned, or living on the streets. She also developed programmes to get young teenage women off the street and back in school or in a business where they could earn money. Eventually after moving to larger and larger premises and with the blessing of the local government, she was able to get land and start a whole village! They have around 60 children now. But they also have a school which children from the community come to. They include special needs children in the school and have several who are doing very well. They have programmes to help children in the community who are orphans but have some extended family member who they can live with.

Another lady (Ruth, from Scotland, who we also know) has 'retired' from working in a hospital where ground breaking surgery was being done for fistula paitents in a hospital in the capital city, Addis Ababa. Now she works with Karin. Most of the fistula patients were able to go back to their villages after successful surgeries, no longer outcasts. But for some, the surgery could only do so much because of the damage. But these young women now have more hope because they have become the mothers for the children in the Village near Shire, Tigray where Karin is!

There is also a school in the village where children from the surrounding area come. They have been able to accept disabled children as well. One of the older blind girls from the village was recently chosen by the local government to run in the area youth Paralympics. She had not done running before, but they chose her because she was blind. So, you know how well those Ethiopians run? Well, she won the regional competition! So, then they began to train her more and she was taken to compete in the Nationals. Maybe we will see her in the future Paralympics...2020?

If you want to know more about Grace Village and what they are doing there, you can go to this website. Abraham's Oasis The background stories can be found on the side links.

As you might guess, I might not be on here to post for a few days.

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