A True Recipe for Success

Eyob Teklu is a bright, creative, and hard working 19-year-old who was one of the first children to join the BCI program in 2008.

Eyob lives with his mother, younger sister, and grandmother. His mother had him at the very young age of 14 and unfortunately, when her parents couldn’t accept their pregnant daughter, they kicked her out.  Eyob’s father was not around, so that forced his mother to raise him on her own.  One can only imagine how hard it would be for such a young girl to raise a child, with no family support and no income.  Thankfully, BCI discovered Eyob in April 2008 when he was 11 years old  and he became one of the first children sponsored through the program.  young-man-in-debre-zeyit-ethiopia-decorates-a-cake-in-his-new-career

Eyob is a very bright young man. As he got older, his mom, sister, teachers, the school principal, and his friends all expected a lot from him. They could see him going places and  furthering his education but for reasons only God knows, when it came time to take his tenth grade pre-college qualification exam, he didn’t pass.  This was very unexpected and extremely disappointing for Eyob, who had worked so hard in school and had his own dreams of being successful.  He believed that this was his one ticket to a better future for his family and him.

For quite some time, Eyob was angry at life and at God. He felt defeated and hated everything. But when all seemed lost, God intervened. He spoke to Eyob through his friends, who encouraged Eyob to not give up, but to explore another path.  With this urging, Eyob registered for Technical and Vocational Training (TVT) the very next year and began studying to be a chef.

Now, Eyob’s life is completely different.   After spending a half-day in vocational training, he goes to work in the afternoon at a restaurant called Dyrt as an assistant chef. Eyob gets to bake and makes bread, pizza and beautiful cakes.  For now, depending on the work he does, he is paid a minimum of 1000 birr ($45 USD) per month.Eyob is a visionary with a lot of dreams and aspirations. He is not the kind of person who sits around waiting for things to happen. If he wants something, he will do everything he can to make sure that he gets it. Just  talking with Eyob you can see his passion and sense that he has the makings of a great leader.

Eyob Teklu 2

Eyob in 2008

Eyob is also very responsible, saving every extra penny he gets and making sure his mother and sister are taken care of. Eyob has been through a lot in life with never knowing his father and having vision problems but this hasn’t stopped him from working hard and dreaming big. Eyob’s biggest goal is to one day open his own restaurant and when asked if he thinks he is successful he replied, “I am not successful yet, but I am on my way”.
Above all, Eyob is very thankful for what has happened in his life and would especially like to thank his sponsors and BCI for everything they have done for him

 

Eyob’s story is a prime example of why we do what we do.  Your sponsorship makes a difference. Your sponsorship changes lives. Just imagine, what will your sponsored child grow up to be?

 

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Going Hungry

Blessing the Children works hard to ensure that none of our sponsored children go hungry. With your help, we are able to provide each child a full breakfast and lunch and the BCI Academy. This meal program at the BCI Academy is great at meeting the children’s needs during the week but unfortunately, it leaves a gap on the weekends. For this purpose, Blessing the Children provides monthly grain support, to ensure that the children also have food to eat while they are home. This month’s grain support included macaroni, peanut butter, rice, and soup. two-women-in-debre-zeyit-ethiopia-prepare-food-for-the-blessing-the-children-international-feeding-program

Before joining the BCI family, our kids didn’t have this opportunity. Some might eat once a day, while others don’t eat at all. And those that get the chance to eat once or twice a day usually don’t receive a proper meal. We want what is best for our kids, enabling them to grow up healthy and strong, and we understand this can only be accomplished through providing their bodies with the nutrition they need.

Each and every one of you who sponsors a child should be proud of everything that you are doing for these families. Because of your support, these children don’t have to go hungry. These children have the opportunity to grow up strong and healthy! These children have a bright future, because of you.

 

Physics in Action

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”     Nelson Mandela

five-bci-academy-students-learn-about-physics-at-the-foka-science-and-engineering-center-in-ethiopia

At BCI Academy we invest everything we have to make sure our students get the best education possible because we believe in giving them a bright future. However, a proper education goes beyond attending classes and learning theories. Subjects like physics, chemistry and biology require more hands-on practice than others. To fully understand these subjects, students need to see what they have learned in theory implemented into action.

Our laboratory at BCI Academy is not yet fully developed to serve this purpose. In order to enhance their physics lessons, the students were taken on a trip to the Foka Science and Engineering Center. This facility is one of the top science and engineering centers in Ethiopia. Our goal was to give our students the best experience possible, and what better way than to visit the best facility!

four-bci-academy-students-study-a-science-experiment-at-the-foka-science-and-engineering-center-in-ethiopia

The Foka Science and Engineering Center is the first large-scale project implemented by the Gelfand Family Charitable Trust (GFCT) in Ethiopia. Foka Primary School, located on the southern edge of Debre Zeyit, was constructed over 50 years ago. The GFCT toured the school in 2009. Initially planning to simply fix a dangerous playground, the opportunity arose to replace all the dilapidated structures on the campus with eleven new school buildings. Through the course of the project, a visit with the dean of the nearby Defense and Engineering College led to the creation of a new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) center at the school. This center would serve to provide hands-on educational enrichment to students. The Foka STEM Center has since led to the growth of Ethiopian science education.

During their visit to the Foka Center, BCI students participated in a series of science demonstrations that gave meaning to the theories they were learning in the classroom. Our eighth grade students learned about electricity, magnetism, series and parallel circuit, and color coding. The seventh grade students learned about temperature, gravity and pulley systems. The students agreed that this was the best educational experience they could have received!

We are the most thankful to our sponsors for making this experience possible. You are helping us create the path to the future success of our students at BCI Academy.

bci-academy-students-participate-in-hands-on-physics-project-in-a-field-trip-to-the-foka-science-and-engineering-center-in-ethiopia

 

BCI Academy Students Rewarded with Aviation and Agricultural Tours

two-young-girls-pose-near-pond-on-a-field-trip-to-genesis-farms-in-ethiopiaWhat better way to show praise in academic achievement than to provide a first-hand view of future opportunity at top-notch facilities! This past February our students from BCI Academy in grades 1 through 4 with a first semester grade of at least a “B” were rewarded with an educational field trip to explore the industries of aviation and farming, touring the Dejen Aviation Engineering Complex (DAVEC) and Genesis Farms.

According to the Academy’s principal, Mulugeta Gezaw, the purpose of this tour was to show appreciation for the students’ accomplishments and to inspire them toward a future with a love of science.

The field trip began with a tour of DAVEC, a center for military aircraft upgrades and maintenance over-hauls. DAVEC provides depot-level maintenance to the fleet of the Ethiopian Air Force, which operates under the ministry of the Ethiopian National Defense. Traveling outside the populated city of… they arrived at DEVAC to find high security, encountering two check points before proceeding. Phones and cameras were not allowed inside the compound.

In the first part of the tour the students explored the maintenance and upgrade facility for jets such as the MiG-21 and Mig-23 fighters and L-39 jet trainer. They got a chance to see what these jets looked like up close, how they are maintained, and the differences between them. Outside, they saw an Antonov 12 that was being upgraded by a team of experts from Russia and Ethiopia. Next they visited a nearby facility that performs upgrades and maintenance on transport and attack helicopters like the Mi-8, Mi-17, Mi-24 and Mi-35. In the final part of the tour they visited the facility where tools and spare parts for the aircrafts are made by both computerized and manual systems. The students were very excited and asked a lot of questions during the tour, and the guide and mechanics did very well at trying to answer them.  The tour was a great learning experience in the field of military aviation!

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acres-of-lush-green-crops-at-genesis-farms-in-ethiopiaAfter the DAVEC tour the students ventured on to Genesis Farms, a large compound that began in November 1996 for the purpose of demonstrating large scale, integrated agricultural production. It includes greenhouses, poultry parent stock barns, ebb and flood irrigation beds, a feed mill, hatchery, farm store, training center and devotional hall. The farming compound employs more than 550 workers and grows over 20 varieties of vegetables and harvests 150,000 pounds of product weekly! They also have an internship program which provides hands-on training to men and women from all over Africa.

school-children-play-during-a-field-trip-break-at-genesis-farms-in-ethiopiaUpon arriving to the farm the students took a break for lunch then played some familiar games and ran in the garden. After the much needed rest, the farm tour began with explanations of each area. The dairy barn is fully occupied with 120 cows providing milk for the processing plant. The farm’s butter, cheese and yogurt are market leaders in quality and taste. The hatchery produces 4,500 chicks per week, and the egg production averages 12,000 per day.

As the day came to an end, everyone was thanked for their hospitality and the students returned to the bus and headed back to the school. They were all very tired and exhausted from the intense heat of the day and from standing for hours, but it was well worth it.  Our children learned what their future could be if they continue headed in an educational path toward industries such as these. Some of them might become pilots and some could be flight technicians. Others might become mechanical or electrical engineers, or even solders that live and die for their country. They could also choose to be well-educated farmers, skilled in providing the food for their nation.

Our job at BCI Academy is to shape the students’ future by inspiring, educating and guiding them as best as possible so that they can write their story and meet with their own destiny of greatness. We believe these kids are the hope and future of our country which we all long to see. We will do everything in our power to make that a reality!

Seizure-Free, But the Need Continues…

teen-student-at-bci-academy-in-ethiopia-smiles-because-she-has-been-seizure-free-for-four-yearsYebsira is a bright, caring young lady who is dedicated to her education and her family. Seven years ago she started having seizures and began a long medical journey that would lead her from having numerous seizures a day to where she is now – seizure free for four years! 

In March of 2012, Yebsira’s mother took her to a specialist in Addis Ababa who put Yebsira on a new medicine that, although more expensive, was able to successfully control her seizures. Since then, Yebsira says that although she sometimes feels the “warning signs” of a seizure, that she has not had one. With her seizures under control, Yebsira has a new lease on life, not living in fear of when the next seizure will strike and how weak it will leave her. She is able to live worry-free and enjoy being a child!

Yebsira is scheduled for routine check-ups with the specialist in Addis every six months and we believe that she will continue to remain seizure free.

In May of 2012, Blessing the Children shared Yebsira’s story and received a donation providing a year’s worth of medicine for Yebsira. That year has passed, so we continue to rely on sponsored funding to cover the ongoing medical expenses.

For $75/mo, we are able to provide Yebsira with her medicine, as well as cover all of her medical visits and required testing with the specialist in Addis. Would you consider making a donation to keep Yebsira seizure free?!

Students Take Great Pride in Keeping BCI Academy Clean

male-students-at-bci-academy-in-debre-zeyit-ethiopia-shovel-water-into-a-bucket-after-heavy-rainsA child’s attitude is often shaped at school. Lessons they learn in science show them the importance of keeping their environment neat and clean. Recently, the students at BCI Academy learned just that. As a result of the lesson they became motivated toward positive actions on their environment. This month there are heavy rains in Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia, so the students are very interested in cleaning up the school compound and all its drainages.

As we see the students taking action on their environment, we also see them growing in an understanding of what it means to care for their world around them. They are learning the value of a life-long responsibility and a moral obligation. That is the mission of BCI Academy – not just to teach – but to motivate and create a behavioral change that students can carry into their future.

young-boys-clean-up-grounds-of-bci-academy-after-heavy-rainfall-in-debre-zeyit-ethiopiayoung-boy-smiles-while-sweeping-the-grounds-of-bci-academy-in-debre-zeyit-ethiopia