July 19-29th, 2018 - The focus of this trip will be a simple bible program for the kids to support their spiritual growth, English skills, teacher training, health education, and making progress with savings groups and agricultural support. Anyone with a loving heart is welcome; no specific skills are necessary. For more details please contact Deana Dickerson.
You can help make a life changing impact on a child in Sintaro by being a sponsor for the next class of kids entering school. Sponsorship provides uniforms, books, health checks, daily meals and spiritual nourishment. Contact Phyllis Park if you are interested in sponsoring a child.
Latest Sintaro Update
Fact Sheet (Updated as of 12/15/17)
The original financial commitment, as approved by the CPC Session, was made in 2012 and was specifically to build a school for K-4th grades, the development of a well and the sponsoring of 400 school children, over a 7 year commitment (from 2013-2019). Based upon our experience in the early years of this project, CPC would then determine whether it wanted to go the second phase, meaning the construction of additional building classrooms (grades 5th-8th) and to addressing other important needs of the community.
Due to the success of the first phase, CPC Session approved in February, 2017 going forward with a) the construction of additional classrooms, the extension of child sponsorship from the 6th grade to the 8th grade for each child and finally, an eventual phase-out plan which allows each child under sponsorship to complete their 8th grade education. With these changes, the original 7 year commitment has been extended to the year 2031.
As of December 2017, our oldest children in the school are 4th graders; meaning that in June 2018, they will graduate from the 4th grade and need a new classroom (in the new building) to move into.
Success in the Sintaro Project is measured in several ways. Included in this are such metrics as a reduction in water and hygiene-related diseases, reduction of sicknesses and deaths due to improving health, improved class attendance, lower drop-out rates (particularly for girls), higher graduation rates, improving test score, improving job opportunities and a new vibrancy in church attendance and people knowing Christ. From the plan’s inception, the goal has been to extend benefits to both families in the school and others in the village.
The objectives of the Sintaro project were not exclusive to Sintaro. A major objective of the project is to transform not only the lives of the villagers but also of CPC members. The hope and prayer of Sintaro is to break the hearts of CPC’ers for what breaks God’s heart and to see this displayed by their ever- increasing participation in the Sintaro project. Particularly of interest is to try to pull in those members who would otherwise not become involved in church programs.
Our partner in Ethiopia is Hope Enterprises, a Christian organization whose mission statement is to “serve the poorest of the poor” with a “Ladder of Hope” model that moves people out of poverty. Foundational to the Hope model are “Hope” schools, where there is a better child/teacher ratio (50:1), where they can require a 50%/50% ratio of girls/boys and where Hope can select the teachers (based on their Christian experience). In Ethiopia, there is a strong separation of church/state and therefore, Hope is not allowed to publicly promote their Christian orientation.
Hope Enterprises is already partnering with two other churches. One is Menlo Park Presbyterian and the other is Venture Church in Los Gatos. In both cases, the churches are involved in Ethiopian village projects similar to Sintaro. This affords CPC an ability to learn from these other churches who have a wealth of experience in working with villages in Ethiopia and with Hope Enterprises.
The plan for the school and child sponsorship began with 100 children, in two levels of Kindergarten (K1 & K2). The starting ratio is 50%/50% girls/boys and children are selected based upon need. Church and village elders, as well as government officials and Hope personnel ultimately determine which children are selected. Each year upon graduation of each grade, the children advance to the next grade, while another 50 children are selected for entry into Kindergarten. Using this model, CPC will eventually have 500 children under sponsorship. Currently, as of December 2017, we have 300 children.
In the Hope model, only one child per family can attend the Hope school. In this way, Hope is able to extend the benefits of sponsorship to a wider part of the community.
Child sponsorship by third-parties is a major element of the Hope model. The costs of sponsorship covers all costs for the student, including their books, utensils, school uniform, an annual health assessment, teacher costs and providing for two meals a day, for six days of the week. The coverage of these costs is a huge benefit to the families, who in most cases, could not otherwise afford to have their children in school.
The costs of child sponsorship is $40/month, which covers the costs mentioned and also contributes to covering the costs of community development.
Christian education for the children is allowed and does occur before the school day begins and during an all-day optional Saturday program. The program before the school day begins is called ‘the flag ceremony’ is conducted by school teachers or invited guests.
The operational costs for Hope Enterprises is 10% or less. This means that a minimum of 90 cents of every dollar goes to the intended purpose, while 10 cents covers the costs of Hope’s operations.
The total population of Sintaro is approximately 11,000. In the area that is geographically close to the school, there are approximately 500 family units and 3,500 people. This means that over a nine year period of adding children to the school, we will be able to offer school attendance and sponsorship to nearly all poorer families.
One of the early teams to visit Sintaro Village was an ‘assessment team’, who purpose was to help identify key priorities of the village. Many priorities were identified and among those are greater spiritual nourishment of the villagers, hygiene and sanitation education, medical assessments, teacher and adult education, agriculture assistance and education, various housing improvements, fostering a greater sense of community and working with government agencies more closely.
Some information about Sintaro:
a. It is a very poor community. Many villagers earn less than $3/month, so they have no ability to pay the costs of having their children in a Hope school.
b. The primary industry is farming/agriculture.
c. The language spoken is Sidama, a regional language. Amharic is the national language of
Ethiopia but few villagers speak it and even fewer speak English.
d. There are four Christian churches in the village, one Catholic elementary school (private and expensive) and a government elementary school, too far away for most of the villagers.
e. The primary sources of water, before the well was finished, were various springs (which are not productive all year) or a local river with very polluted water. In both cases, the distances to these sources are great and the water quality poor.
The question of ‘sustainability’ is often asked, usually as it relates to whether after a relatively short investment in Sintaro, the villagers would be able to support themselves. The practical answer to this is ‘no’- not within this time frame. Given the severe economic conditions, the time-line for achieving sustainability needs to be viewed within a generation and not a 20 year period. Long after CPC has fulfilled its commitment to Sintaro, children will be graduating from the school, living healthier lives and graduating from high school and college. As these children find jobs and often times send monies back to their families, the economic conditions of the village will rise and the goal of sustainability will ultimately be achieved.
18. Two verses are our operational motivation and provide direction as to our priorities in the village. These are:
Matthew 25:40 “ Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you
did it for me.” Jesus calls us to serve the poor.
Luke 2:52 “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” This verse
shows the full aspect of human development- wisdom (education), stature (physical health), and in favor with God (spiritual development) and favor with men (social development). Our objectives in Sintaro are always along these same areas of development.
Sintaro July 2017 Team Update
July 2017 Trip Summary
- Starting September, we now have 300 kids in school
- Kids in the school thriving; physically, educationally, socially, spiritually
- Loving and dedicated teachers
- Sintaro school ranked #1 in the county
- Solar electricity installed and enabling adult education classes at night
- New building site chosen next to current site, with construction starting in 2018 (grades 5-8th)
- Some issues we addressed: Fences around the water sites need repairing, Fence around the water pumping station is needed, Discussed raising water prices to cover fuel costs, Establishment of a “small use fund” at the school
- Hope Enterprises, our partner for Sintaro, having management and organizational issues, for which we (and other donors) are providing ongoing counsel
- 50 new children needing sponsors, starting now
- Taste of Sintaro Night will be held in September 23rd, 2018
- CPC Session approved:
◦The next phase of building◦Extension of child sponsorship to the 8th grade, so EVERY child will graduate from the school
MORE RECENT TRIP STORIES!
LAST YEARS UPDATE VIDEO