World Vision Ethiopia (WVE) and World Vision East Africa Regional Office (EARO) were recognized as champions of children at a “Love Harvest” recognition and award event held from August 21 to 22, 2013 at the African Union Conference Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. On the occasion, WV was recognized and awarded under the category of international NGOs that filled with Christian love and contributed to the disadvantaged and poor children in Ethiopia with great commitment. Accordingly, WVE National Director, Mrs. Margaret Schuler, received two trophies on behalf of both offices from the hands of Rev. Alemu Sheta, Secretary General of Evangelical Churches Fellowship of Ethiopia, and kids representing the poor and destitute children in the nation.
Love Harvest is a national initiative, based on local resources and organized by a steering committee consisting of well-known individuals, evangelical churches and NGOs focusing on children issues. Being the first of its kind, the event was aimed at recognizing and appreciating different individuals, groups and organizations with children’s cause from both the national and international arena involving in Ethiopia and at cultivating the culture of appreciation as well.
Other than His Excellency Ato Mulugeta Wuletaw, Minister of State, Federal Affairs, more than 800 participants representing different national and international organizations, churches of different Christian denominations, government offices working on children issues, organizations that work on disability, child sponsors, individuals, families, and other invited guests attended the event.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mrs. Margaret articulated WV’s holistic approach to ensuring the wellbeing of children by saying, “The truest measure of a child’s well-being is not found simply in growth charts or in literacy statistics. It shows when children have a light in their eyes, smiles on their faces, joy in their hearts and spirits overflowing with hope.” At the juncture, she also emphasized on the importance of partnership to bring hope to children in Ethiopia in particular, and the world in general. Faith-based forums would be one area of focus in this regard, she added.
During the course of the event, WV was also able to share its good practice in Antsokya, Ethiopia through a short video that depicts the effective and timely response WV had given during the 1984/85 famine in Ethiopia and works done to rehabilitate the victims in the aftermath.
The desk display, which was run parallel to the award and recognition event, provided participant child focused organizations like WVE with the opportunity to promote themselves to a wider audience and share their experiences, vision and information among one other.