30 Jun Blein – When Poverty Has A Face, In and around Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with The Adera Foundation
Upon first meeting Blein you are struck by her natural beauty and poise. If you were guessing her vocation, vogue magazine would come to mind. In fact, Blein has been working for The Adera Foundation here in Ethiopia for over three years with a heart that beats for the poor.
Blein was born and raised in Addis Ababa and was fortunate to have what most would consider in Ethiopia, a middle class upbringing. She was aware of the extreme poverty that haunts her city but was never directly exposed to it’s reality. Blaine achieved a college education in marketing and was on a track that could have taken her far in her chosen field of business. Blein made a decision not to model professionally as the demands put on those who do would have compromised her beliefs. A little over three years ago Blein became friends with those who run The Adera Foundation, becoming aquatinted with their work of family preservation. The experience that changed the course of Bleins life came when a friend with Adera took her to the dump.
Addis Ababa is the capitol city of Ethiopia and is less than two thirds the geographical size of Fort Worth, Texas, where I call home, yet It’s populace numbers over four times as many people. The strain this puts on the infrastructure that exists here is great. The Addis Ababa dump is a mountain of refuse, it’s stench fills the nostrils for miles around depending which way the wind is blowing; vultures circle overhead. Photo’s are not allowed but the stories are plentiful and gut wrenching. There are children that depend on what is dumped by the trash trucks from the city for their source of food.
When Blein saw this with her own eye’s, seeing children sifting through trash for food and pulling clothes from dead bodies that have been dumped here, it changed the direction of her life. It makes the reality of poverty come to life when it has a face and a name that can no longer be ignored. When we look into the eyes of those who are starving and into the faces of those who need the hope of a loving God, we can no longer look away.
Employed by The Adera Foundation, Blein now lends her marketing experience and eye for fashion to help moms that are in the Adera Program make beautiful hand made jewelry that is sold in the US through supply chains that Julie Miller has developed.
The money from the necklaces goes directly to the single moms who make them. This provides a sense of ownership, responsibility and self worth as well as the ability to care for there families. This prevents little babies whose faces you have seen over the last several days from becoming part of the statistics that make up the 147,000,000 orphans worldwide. This is family preservation and it works, thanks to those that support The Adera Foundation and to people like Blein who have devoted there lives to making a difference. I invite you to go to www.aderafoundation.org to see how you can be a part.
“The fact is that this generation — yours, my generation … we’re the first generation that can look at poverty and disease, look across the ocean to Africa and say with a straight face, we can be the first to end this sort of stupid extreme poverty, where in the world of plenty, a child can die for lack of food in it’s belly.”
“Watch carefully the children around you. In precious moments you will catch a glimpse of your Savior’s face. Listen intently and you will hear his voice. Walk gently among them; his footprints are all around you. Embrace them, for you are embracing him. Respect them, because they are sometimes God’s agents – exactly the kind of instruments he needs. At such times, only a child will do.”
From Too Small to Ignore by Wess Stafford (former Compassion International CEO)
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
From the Bible, James 1:27