What we do
Out of the Ashes works with kids that have been labeled as “dump kids” from Korah Ethiopia. Korah is a leper colony of over 130,000 people, located inside the city limits of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Korah is directly adjacent to the city trash dump. Due to the extreme poverty in Korah, many families are simply unable to provide for their children. Lacking options, parents send their children (some as young as 6 or 7 years old) away to “work” in the “Koshe” ( trash dump) . The children often have had minimal or no schooling.
Once there, the children live and even eat from the dump. They spend their days picking through the piles of trash and searching for scraps of plastic or metal to sell. Younger children often fall prey to adults, older kids, hyenas and large scavenger birds who all fight for the “best trash”. Before they are even teenagers many succumb to alcohol and drug use, and none of the children go to school.
It is a devastating reality for most of the thousands of children living and eating in Korah’s trash dump. Without the support and aid of others there is little hope for a different life. OA is committed to making a difference and works to quite literally pull kids out of the ashes of the trash dump and send them where children belong… to school.
To assure each child has what he or she needs to permanently break the cycle of extreme poverty, OA’s comprehensive program provides:
- Tuition- Children are enrolled in fully accredited Ethiopian boarding schools, technical schools, colleges and local day schools. Placements are made based on the student’s needs, readiness, goals and aptitude. Housing- In most cases children reside in school dormitories. In some cases our youngest day school children live with their families. During summers and other school breaks students that do not have a stable home to return to will stay in an OA shelter located in Korah.
- Nutritious food- Children simply can not learn well when they are hungry. All OA students are provided with three meals daily during the school year and participate in a daily feeding program in the summer.
- Clothing- In Ethiopia a child is not permitted to attend school without the required uniforms. This in and of itself is often a barrier to education for a child from Korah. Each OA student receives all of the necessary school uniforms & shoes required for attendance in school, and basic clothing for non school days.
- School Supplies- Children are provided with necessary school supplies, including a backpack, books, notebooks, pencils and pens
- Personal Care Supplies- Other basic care supplies are provided, such as soap, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, pillows and sheets for the dorm beds, laundry soap and sanitary supplies.
- Medical Care- Children are often medically fragile after living in the dump. OA works to return each child to a state of good health necessary for success in the classroom. Children receive well checks annually by visiting medical teams. Throughout the rest of the year medical visits and medications are provided as needed.
- Counseling Services- Many of the children in the program are un-parented and do not have a role model for educational success. OA social workers play a critical role in guiding our students. Each child has a dedicated social worker to support him/her achieve their academic goals.
Out of the Ashes is able to provide these critical services through the generosity of donors to our General Fund and through the ongoing support of Sponsors for each student. Sponsors not only commit to financial support but very often they provide encouragement through personal relationships formed with their sponsored children. This direct and ongoing relationship between students and sponsors is an essential ingredient in the overall success of the program.