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CrossWalk has adopted a town in southwestern Ethiopa called Gimbi. There we have connected with a Catholic Mission run by two nuns, Sisters Maddy and Suzi. The nuns work closely with the Adventist Hospital in Gimbi and through that relationship they have helped many people. During the past few years CrossWalk has provided over $40,000 to help the people of Gimbi through the work of the nuns.
In 2007 we set our goal high. We chose three projects to fund. The first was to provide $2,500 for a program the Sisters organize for young people who are suffering from the effects of polio. The program provides them with such things as physical therapy and job training. Through this money we will be able to help over 300 children.
The second project funded the development of safe water supplies. Water is life! By providing safe drinking water, we will be able to benefit hundreds, maybe thousands of lives in the outlying villages around Gimbi. The project was organized by Father Solomon, a priest in Gimbi. With the $2,500 Solomon was able to fund two safe water projects.
The third project helped the nuns finish a women's promotional center being built in downtown Gimbi. Through this center the Sisters will be able to provide care for many women in the community, giving them training in parenting skills, preventative medicine and healthcare, job training, etc. It's an investment that will grow for years to come. We provided $5,000 for this project. In total, our goal for Gimbi in 2007 was $10,000 which we exceeded by a few thousand dollars. All of the excess funds went to the Solidarity Fund, an account the Sisters keep at the Adventist Hospital to provide free medical care for the poorest of the poor.
This year has also been exciting as we continue to help the people of Ethiopia. CrossWalk will join in helping raise funds for Project Comfort, a girls' home being established outside the city of Addis Ababa. Project Comfort was started by former CrossWalk member Sarah McCash. In addition, CrossWalk is planning a pilgrimage to Ethiopia in November. Those who go on the trip will return as advocates for CrossWalk's projects within our church and the community. Our hope is that CrossWalk's ownership of our projects in Gimbi will expand to include more of our membership in the years to come.