English Competition a Success

Hundreds of children recently gathered in the school courtyard on a sunny afternoon to hear the results of the annual BCI English Competition. After a week that featured multiple rounds of competition, winners emerged at each grade level. Our grand prize winner, Remedan Jemal, was thrilled to receive a laptop computer that will aid him in his studies. There were many eyes upon him as he received his prize, and no doubt these children returned home inspired to study hard for next year’s competition.

Congratulations to all of our competitors, and especially to Getaneh Yohannes – Grade 6 Champion, and Tinsae Teklu – Grade 7 Champion. Getaneh and Yohannes have grown up in the BCI program and we are delighted for their achievement.


Growing Pains: Water Shortage at the BCI Academy

If you have bought a home or rented an apartment, you have likely felt the “joy” of those little discoveries you make after moving in: the noisy neighbors upstairs or the room that always seems to be mysteriously colder than the rest of the house. We made a discovery like this after opening the Bethlehem campus of the BCI Academy this past fall. As it turns out, the water line does not provide enough water to support the more than 1,500 students who attend the school, especially during the daytime.

The Bethlehem campus water line originates from a reservoir in town. Water continues to flow throughout the night, but we currently have no way of capturing it to save it for the next school day, meaning that this precious and scare resource goes to waste. This also means that the students run out of water during the day and are unable to use the drinking fountains and toilets. This creates a sanitation issue as well as a dehydration risk, particularly during the warmer months of the school year. Besides the health concerns, the water shortage is a distraction for the students. It is difficult to concentrate on your studies when you are physically uncomfortable in class.
In an ideal situation, we would install a well on the school property; however, this is a difficult task in Ethiopia, as the water is hundreds of feet below the surface and requires use of a $25,000 well-drilling device. There is also a 2-year wait list to use the drill.

Young BCI Academy Student

The current water usage for the school is more than 20,000 Liters per day. In order to provide an adequate supply of water, we need to install two tanks that each store 10,000 Liters of water. These tanks will collect the water that flows through the night and hold it for use the next school day. The cost to install both tanks, all accessories included, is only $1 per student. We think this is a small price to pay to enhance the health of more than 1,500 students! We hope you will consider partnering with us to make sure our students stay clean and hydrated during school hours.

1 Tank: $750
1 Grade: $125
1 Class: $30
1 Child: $1

Blessing the Children International
2265 Fraser Road
Kawkawlin, MI 48631



Shoes for Every Child

Our social workers recently had a big task: fill up the BCI van with 200 pair of brand new shoes – one pair for every child in our program – and deliver them to each family. It took many days to get the shoes sorted and distributed, but it was a joyful time bringing this blessing to each and every child and family. We know that for the rest of the year all of the children have good quality shoes to protect their feet as they travel to and from school and around the town.

Children Receiving their Shoes After School

Happy Guardians Picking up Shoes for their Children

Shoes Ready for Distribution