To the Friends and Supporters of ECF,
I am delighted to update you on the progress of ECF Children’s Fund (The Ethiopian Children's Fund) and the ECF Village in Aleltu during our seventeenth year of operation. During this period, our seventh group of students graduated from high school and we enrolled an additional 80 more destitute children into the program, increasing our enrollment to just over 730 students.
In 2010 we celebrated the first graduating class of ECF. Today a total of 47 students are in Universities around Ethiopia, majoring in Medicine, Law, Engineering and Journalism. Our matriculation rates continue to be positive and these results have shown us that any child, given the right education and care can achieve so much, ECF continues to provide assistance to all students from Grade 1 to university.
The Gelila Assefa Puck Vocational Center (GAP Center) was launched in partnership with Dream For Future Africa Foundation, DFFAF, and the Orphaned Starfish Foundation. The ICT program is fully operational and the first class of ICT trainees graduated in 2016. As part of The first phase of the vocational training programs: Sewing and Design will follow later this year. This new programs will enable graduates of ECF and the community to learn valuable skills.
We are most thankful to Energy Assistance for funding the construction of the small irrigation project. The Belgian based energy company, had the objective of improving the production of traditional farming through the introduction of an irrigation scheme, which will enable ECF to irrigate an area of up to 6 hectares and ultimately doubling its production.
ECF Village's Education and Development Program (ECF-EDP) in Aleltu continues to inspire us. The children's resilience in the face of grinding poverty and distress, including HIV/AIDS related problems, is truly remarkable. Their spirit of hope and optimism reinforces our determination to reach out to more children on the brink and in great need. Our goal was to reach 700 children by the end of 2016 and We have exceeded that. By September 2019 we expect to reach close to 1000 children, as we enroll more children and continue helping thousands through our community outreach programs.
We owe much of our progress to the fruitful partnerships with dedicated individuals, businesses, development organizations and indeed the communities themselves. Our international structure remains 100% pro-bono. But as much progress as we have made, however, ECF Village does not have a secure future without an Endowment Fund and child sponsors for all the children. I appeal to all friends and supporters, individuals, organizations and businesses to come on board and help sustain ECF Village. The ECF team looks forward to continuing this joint journey of giving back and rediscovering our common good in this interdependent and fragile world. For those who are only now learning about ECF, we invite you to visit us on the ground or virtually. For those who are already making a difference, the board and staff of ECF are deeply appreciative and grateful for having chosen to reach out and help make a difference the ECF way.