Getting to Know Brave Hearts Ethiopia (BHE)
Brave Hearts Ethiopia, or BHE, is an NGO that captures and warms the hearts of those who know it well. BHEworks to improve the living conditions of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), enabling access to basic needs and creating opportunities for a bright and sustainable life. BHE also supports the guardians of the children to ensure they live in safe, nurturing and loving homes. When you enter BHE’s drop-in center, a beautiful house surrounded by tall green trees, you are met with warm smiles and happy faces. In the words of one of the children, “Brave Hearts is not just an NGO, but a loving home, where you feel like part of a family with brothers and sisters!”.
Brave Hearts Ethiopia has come a long way in a short time. Brave Hearts started out as a rescue project, three years ago in March 2014, after the organization supporting these 36 bright young children failed and its closure put them at risk. Three years and a lot of hard work and dedication later, Brave Hearts Ethiopia has proudly and successfully graduated 21 children from its program. The program has directly reached 125 children, guardians and community members through educational, health and psychosocial support, was well as through micro-finance programs and sanitation projects as well as 300 individuals indirectly.
The BHE difference is the focus and team effort it puts towards ensuring the children receive well-rounded and holistic care, resulting in a lasting positive effect in every aspect of the children’s lives. The program includes a wide range of services including educational, medical, and nutritional support. BHE’s educational support also includes school fees, material needs, and tutorial fees. After school, the children come to Brave Hearts Ethiopia’s Drop-in Center, where the healthy snacks provided benefit them greatly in both their general well-being and in their greater ability to focus on their school work, study time and tutorials.
As part of these great efforts to change the lives of the children for the better, Brave Hearts ensures that a dedicated team of social workers develop life skills sessions every Saturday to engage and educate the children on various topics. Lively and interactive debates and discussions are held on building self-confidence, time management, dealing with conflict, building social skills, child protection, assertiveness, cyber safety, responsibility and emotional management among others.
Sessions are also held every two weeks with guardians to discuss and address any issues that might have arisen. Guardians are given health trainings on child care, nutrition and sanitation. It is wonderful to see that now, while the guardians care for the children, the children have become responsible young adults who care for their guardians in return.
Brave Hearts Ethiopia continues to do a remarkable job in changing lives with the support of its local and international partners. “This program has given us life!” said Meaza, a mom with a child in the program.
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