Special Needs Program
SPECIAL NEEDS PROGRAM AND SCHOOL
We provide food, one to one care, school and tutoring, and medical support. Most of the children in the Special Needs Program have cognitive and physical disabilities. They are each on individualized care plans that help them to reach their goals. Grace Center also serves children with physical disabilities through school sponsorship as well as the other programs in Grace Center.
In Bahir Dar, The Special Needs Program provides for children with special needs who rely on our support to help them stay alive and learn. Many of these children would not be alive without this program.
After School Care
CHILD SPONSORSHIP AND AFTER SCHOOL CARE
The Grace After School Program serves school aged children with a safe and enjoyable learning environment. There are teachers and other support staff available to tutor children ages four and up. Any children who are not in Grace Academy we pay for tuition through child sponsorship to send them to other private schools. This would include any child above fourth grade.
There are anywhere from 80 – 150 children in the after school program at a time and several hundred in child sponsorship that are able to attend school and receive high quality education, even university level education.
We have also had many students graduate from university including Meaza who is now a doctor. Click here to hear her story.
The feeding program is the first response when a new family comes to the center. We are able to offer food and nourishment until the family is able to begin supporting themselves and providing their own food. Everything is reviewed in a case-by-case basis and some people remain on the feeding program long term, such as pregnant and nursing mothers, people unable to work due to disabilities or other illnesses, orphaned children, and sponsored students.
We also provide food during disasters such as the covid closures as well as providing for thousands of refugees.
Grace Center provides between 700-800 meals a day to the children in the program and others in need. During the pandemic and war, Grace Center has fed nearly 10,000 people.
HOPE MEMORIAL MEDICAL CARE
Hope Memorial Medical Care was founded after tragically watching a small baby die from starvation. Her name was Hope. This seven-month-old child weighed less than a newborn. After this trauma, we at Grace Center vowed to do everything in our power to keep children and parents healthy. This medical program is staffed by two nurses full-time. Along with caring for immediate medical needs, Hope Memorial Medical Care offers weekly check-ups, and classes for mothers in health and hygiene. We have also been able to provide surgery for children and women in desperate situations. In addition, the nurses check all the children.
Grace Academy serves children ages 3 and up. We currently have KG1, considered preschool in the US up to fourth grade and added another grade each year. Our prayer is that we will be a K-12 school. Grace Academy charges no tuition and yet provides a christian private school level of education, helping these children to break the cycle of poverty in their families.
Click here to see a video of the Grace Academy Kindergarten.
SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAM AND WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT
Women’s empowerment helps women to find ways to provide for their families. Grace Center provides jobs and training, assists families in becoming self-sufficient through childcare, basket weaving, jewelry making and other skills, training and employment. Grace Center also runs a childcare training course where a woman will finish with a certificate and have the opportunity to work as a nanny at Grace Center or even work else where as a nanny.
Grace Center employs anywhere from 100 to 150 women at a time.
The Small Business Program helps to provide work for those who might otherwise not be able to find work, such as Kari, who is profoundly deaf, as well as other women. They make crafts using traditional Ethiopian ideas but add their own unique flare and style. Grace Center then sells these crafts to cover the salaries of these women. We also help single fathers to help start businesses like shoe repair and have helped moms to open fruit and vegetable stands, as well as well as tea houses and larger businesses like restaurants, cafés and hair salons.
Click here to see Lawaye’s story and her successful business.
When the doors for international adoption began closing, Grace Center, through the leadership of Director Amy Minard, started the first local adoption program in Ethiopia. This is a program that helps Ethiopian families to adopt children.
We have been overwhelmed by the response of how many families within Ethiopia have now been blessed by adoption. Many people had just never thought about adopting. Since we have been able to educate churches and communities and all of Ethiopia through the use of tv advertisements, so many families have grown through adoption.
Prison Outreach Ministry
Prison Outreach Ministry
In Ethiopia, when a mother goes to prison, her children go to prison with her. For many years we didn’t know about these children. Then the government came to us asking us to help them. Before Grace Center none of the children were in school. Now all 60 of the school-aged children growing up in prison are attending school and have hopes and dreams for the future.
Click here to hear an award winning poem from Haregwa, one of our kids in prison
Click here to see how one volunteer group visited Grace Center and built a playground for the children in prison
Click here to see a video about how the organization 'Delivering Good''partnered with Grace Center to bring hope to the women and children in prison.
Grace Day Care
GRACE DAY CARE
Grace Day Care is a clean, safe, loving environment for children from birth to four years to come, learn and grow while their mothers and guardians work to support their family. Many women come to Grace Center feeling they have no choice but to abandon their children. When we tell them about the day care, it is as if their prayers have been answered.
Grace Infant Day Care was the first infant day care program in all of Ethiopia.
Temporary and Foster Care
Children’s Home, Temporary Care and Foster Care
Grace Center has the only live-in temporary care facility, that allows families options other than permanently abandoning their children. When a mother is sick and has no other support, her child can stay in Grace Temporary Care. Grace Center also has a reunifications officer that seeks out relatives for the children when a caregiver dies or a mother abandons the child. Grace Center has been able to successfully reunify over 100 children.
Click here to see a video of one of the lives saved through temporary care.
We are also a long-term home for over 50 children through our foster care program and children’s home. Foster Care didn’t exist in Ethiopia before Grace Center. We have been able to start a program that will provide all the love and care these children need by renting houses in the neighborhood, having house moms as well as our administrative staff members living on site. We are family for these children. We have even been able to see these children get married, send these children to college and help them start careers.