Sponsor Letter with Update and Information about Packages

May 19, 2012

Dear Sponsor,

We hope this letter finds you and your family well and enjoying a beautiful Spring.  Following is an update on CCC, contact information for Aerie Africa, and important information about sending packages to your child at CCC.

CCC Update

Currently, we have 60 children (27 boys and 33 girls) living at the children’s home in Soddo ranging in age from 3 to 18 years old.  We have five young adults living in transition homes in Soddo and four young adults attending college or university in Addis Ababa, Awassa, and Mekelle.

Richelle and Nathan Haines, our wonderful home managers, are finishing up their first year in Soddo and will be making a visit to the US in August.  They will continue to live and work at CCC through May 2013. Richelle and Nathan make a difference everyday in their many contributions to Aerie Africa and CCC and provide positive role models to our children and young adults.  Currently, Nathan is working with the children on a major gardening project.  Teams of children have plots of land and through the planting, growing, harvesting, and selling of their vegetables; the kids will learn gardening, money management, and business skills. 

In July, six of our eighteen year olds will graduate from CCC into the Aerie transition program.  Richelle is busy helping prepare these teenagers for this more independent living arrangement.

All the children are busy with school.  Several children will be taking important national examinations at the completion of 8th, 10th, and 12th grade in May and June.  They are working hard in school and attending tutoring sessions in the evenings and on Saturdays.

Aerie Africa Contact Information

Stacey McLaughlin is your contact for sponsor questions and inquiries about the child you sponsor.  You can contact Stacey at aerieafrica@comcast.net.  For sponsorship financial questions, please contact Robin Browning at rhbrowning@satx.rr.com.

Letters and Packages

We, the Aerie Africa board, continue to believe that maintaining regular contact with the child you sponsor helps to establish a bond between your child and your American family and is an important part of the sponsorship experience.   However, over the course of the past year, we have continued to see challenges associated with the practice of sending packages to the CCC home.  There have been several cases of packages that never arrived and the cost of sending even a small package has become very expensive.

In addition to these practical challenges, we continuously evaluate whether our practices and policies are appropriate and whether they contribute to the fulfillment of our mission of preparing these children to live, work and become leaders in their Ethiopian communities.   We receive and consider input from you, from our Ethiopian staff and most recently from Richelle and Nathan.   Based on this input there is a growing concern that getting presents several times a year may be setting unrealistic expectations for these children whose peers in school and in the community have a very different standard of living.

After thorough consideration of the issues, we are recommending that sponsors send only one package a year to their child.  We recommend that you send this package in late August so your child will receive it for Ethiopian New Year (September 11).  The package should be small (weighing no more than four pounds).  We suggest that you include school supplies, a shirt, underwear, and socks in the package.

We continue to encourage you to write letters and send cards and pictures on a regular basis.  The children love getting these and proudly display them in their rooms and show them to visitors to CCC.

We thank you for your support that truly makes a difference in the life of the child you sponsor.  Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or comments.  We always appreciate hearing from you.


Aerie Africa Board of Directors

Romeo Bachand, Jr. M.D., Ph.D.

Suzanne Hanlon

Stacey McLaughlin

Cynthia Rask, M.D.

Terri Sebree

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