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Dörthe

January 2011

I got to know Jutta and the MCRC while contributing to a German fundraising organization called „creating smiles“ that supports orphanages and similar institutions in Cambodia, India and most recently (by getting to know the MCRC) in Ethiopia.

Last year I decided to have a longer break from my professional life as a Human Resources Manager in Hamburg and to take a two-month-sabbatical.

The first month I spent at the MCRC in Addis Ababa where I taught English to the younger children, took over art lessons, created masks and costumes for the soon Lion King performance and helped Jutta in any kind of the daily business. It was certainly the warmest month of my life and I don´t mean that seasonal.
I was impressed by finding this oasis of a lovingly created and well-maintained compound with plants, singing birds, playground, a vegetable garden, clean rooms and inspiring school environment in this dusty and poor town. The friendship among the kids is palpable and seeing them improving in lessons and therapy and watching them re-ramping after in many cases traumatic incidents is just glorious.

Beeing now again in Hamburg I think all the time about how to raise more money to support the MCRC and how to manage to go back soon.

Elisabeth

October 2010

I first became aware of the work being accomplished by Jutta De Muynck in 2007 when I visited her project on a visit to Addis Ababa. At that time, Jutta was working with 30 disadvantaged children in her personal compound. Her garage had been turned into an art, drama, and play area and she had built two small classrooms in which to educate her young charges.

As an educator, I was most impressed by the loving and caring structured atmosphere that surrounded these children. Clear educational and behavioral expectations were in place to give them a feeling of security. The children were very happy, dressed in clean clothes and provided with a well-balanced diet. Medical care was accessible to those in need and even at his time, Jutta was helping families who had been evicted from their houses due to substantial rent increases which they could not afford to find accommodation.

Jutta is a warm and welcoming person – a person who exhibits all the qualities required to carry out her passion of working with those who need help to fulfill their potential. Although I only met her twice during that first visit, I knew that I would return home with the goal of raising money to support her valuable work.

In 2009, I returned to Addis to spend five weeks volunteering as a teacher and writer of grant proposals, but most importantly as a friend who has herself developed a passion for the rehabilitation centre and who would do whatever is necessary to support her project.

I write this testimonial in the fall of 2010, once more volunteering in a similar way, this time for six weeks. Will I return again? Most certainly, as long as there is work for me to do, and I will continue to raise funds and return to see the students I have known go on to further education and become successful and contributing members of Ethiopian society.