Randalstown-based Hope and a Future charity is praising God following the recent departure of a container, now on its way to Ethiopia with equipment for youngsters with disabilities, toys and much more.
Hope and a Future is dedicated to improving the life-chances young people in the large town of Shashemene in southern Ethiopia, through education.
In the past year, this small independent organisation has completed the construction of a two-storey building, which will house a Centre for Disabled Children on the ground floor, with a youth facility upstairs.
Taking up the story, Christine Keenan, who founded Hope and a Future Ethiopia, told us:
“While this building was under construction, the local community here in N I was invited to donate unwanted Disability equipment such as wheelchairs, crutches, walking aids and any other items which would benefit disabled people. Over the past few years a large quantity of items have been stockpiled in our premises at Antrim and the hope was to arrange for a shipping container to take these items to Ethiopia where they could transform the lives of very many people.
For the past couple of years it seemed like an impossible goal due to many obstacles – paperwork, approvals, customs, taxes and not least shortage of finance, but at long last on Tuesday 3rd Sept 2019, the container arrived into the yard of the Antrim premises. Many hours of hard work by a team of volunteers filled it with hundreds of disability items including hoists, therapy couches, wheelchairs, walking aids, crutches and also lots of toys and new O’Neills clothing. On Wednesday 4th September 2019 the container was closed up, sealed and now it is on its way by sea to Djibouti Port in Eritrea and then by road onward into South Ethiopia”.
Christine enthused; “This is a really great achievement for a small local Charity and now we wait and pray that everything will go according to plan and the container will arrive complete at the final destination in Shashemene.”
“It will take a number of weeks for the transportation of the Container and a group of five people are planning to travel from here to Shashemene in the middle of October and will hope that the Container contents will be there so that they can begin to plan distribution and organise for the best use of the equipment.”
Hope and a Future supports projects in Ethiopia.
Currently, the charity sends £5000 every month to support and maintain current projects in Ethiopia mainly a school with 500 children. Now even more finance is needed for the new Disability and Youth Centres to be fully developed with staff and equipment. By the time the mission pays out each month and also for local running costs here, there are no reserves for unexpected expenses. The Charity relies upon volunteers and any salaried staff receive only minimum wage.
Donations for the Hope and a Future Charity Shop are welcome
Christine went on to say: “We welcome donations of good household furniture and any other household items in good condition including clothing, toys, bric-a-brac etc. A collection service is available for furniture. Of course, also any financial donations or regular sponsorship is most welcome to ensure the future of these rewarding and worthwhile projects in Ethiopia.”
For further information about Hope and a Future Charity, contact any of our three outlets –
23d Ballymena Road, Antrim (behind Maxol station) – Tel 02894467724 or Mob 07753985282
7 New Street, Randalstown – Tel 02894479138or Mob 07544496000
139 Staffordstown Road, Randalstown – Tel 02894472499 or Mob 07979398474
Please browse the website, www.hopeandafutureethiopia.org, to find out more about the work done by Hope and a Future charity based in Randalstown.