Grace Temporary 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 abandons the child.
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. In the infant day care, we ask the mothers to come every three hours to breastfeed their child, if possible, or express milk in the morning and afternoon. When there is a need, we provide formula while the child is in day care. We have a ratio of one caregiver for every two to three infants.
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. In the feeding program alone, we feed about 150 people daily. Overall Grace Center provided between 700-800 meals a day to the children in the program and others in need.
Grace After School Program
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. Many children in the Grace Center are older and have never been in school. This is an opportunity for them to learn more in a shorter amount of time by being with small groups of students with trained teachers. Then when they enter school, they can be at the same level with the other children. Though it is called After School, the center operates all day with students that have different class schedules due to the extreme numbers of children needed to attend school.
There are anywhere from 80 – 150 children in the after school program at a time.
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, 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. This program serves close to 1000 people quarterly and we have seen hundreds of lives saved through this program.
Special Needs Program
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. 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.
Small Business Program
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.
Prison Kids Outreach
In Ethiopia when a mother goes to prison, her children will often go with her, serving time for a crime that they never committed. There are two reasons the children grow up in prison. One is the lack of foster care, and the other is the high instance of revenge killing. Revenge killing is when a person from the victim’s family kills someone from the killers family in order to take revenge. Children often get caught up in this. Previously, these children never even went outside the prison, now they come out to go to school and the children in the Bahir Dar Prison have a playground and come outside to do crafts and activities with the Grace staff once a week. Grace Center is currently serving 68 children throughout the region who are growing in prison.
Women's empowerment helps women to find ways to provide for their families. Grace Center provide 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.