It’s been an exciting time for Fields of Hope in the last month or so. If you haven’t heard, we have received approval on our school project proposal for Yetesfa Mesk International Academy from the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Education. Also, the Ethiopian Federal Charities and Societies Agency has approved and licensed Fields of Hope to work in Ethiopia. It took us 8 months to get this license, but many people spend two years working to get this license! Needless to say, this is a huge relief to us and a big answer to prayer! Thank you to all who have joined us in that.
It was a bit of a surprise for us to learn that there are still more processes to complete before all is said and done. After receiving our license, we found out that we need to make an agreement with the Addis Ababa Finance and Economic Development Bureau. In order to complete this agreement, they want to see 10% of our proposed budget for the next 5 years in the bank. This is a little more than $60,000.
So, you can see that what is in front of us is an even bigger task than all of that paperwork. In addition to the agreement with the finance office, we need to rent a school compound, hire/train teachers and other staff, identify which women and children will be our first batch in the school…and all this before Ruth and I go back to the US in a month to have our baby! It feels like a mountain, but we are excited to climb it!
What this all boils down to is that we are going to need a lot of help from a lot of people to make this happen. One of our most pressing financial needs is the money to rent a compound for the school and to pay salaries. When you rent a place in Ethiopia, you most often pay for one whole year at a time. Rent is around $2,500 per month for the kind of place that we will need for the school. In addition to that, we will need some extra money to fix up the place and make it ready to be a school as well as what we need to pay salaries of the people involved at this stage. All things considered, to get us started, we are looking at around $50,000. Which really only means that the $60,000 is not that far off from what we need to get started anyway! Currently, the Fields of Hope bank account is just about empty, so we definitely have a ways to go!
This is where you come in. It goes without saying that we need financial donations. But, we also need help getting the word out about what we are planning to do in Ethiopia. Please share our story and our plan with as many people as possible. You can email them a link to our website, you can share our page on Facebook, you can join The One Dollar Campaign, you can talk to friends and family about what we are doing, etc. The more people that know about the project and get involved, the easier it will be to raise this money. The reality is that we are not able to do this on our own. But, together we can break the cycle of poverty, prostitution and despair. Together we can build a new cycle of Hope, Freedom and Restoration.
Will you join us?