| What is Project Blue?
Help A Life Foundation was formed in 2007 with the goal of housing and educating adolescent orphaned girls and providing them with a secure and supportive environment. We currently house 42 girls in a building compound capable of accommodating 60 girls and will be adding 8-10 girls per semester to the project.
These girls are selected from the surrounding villages with the collaborative effort of the local community leaders. These girls are housed in a gated safe group home with all living necessities provided for.
There are 4-6 girls to a room with 2 study halls and one computer room. The girls go to school during the day and are tutored in Math, Science, English and Computers by evening.
In addition, life skill training will also be provided to integrate them into society as productive citizens. We currently have 3 self sustaining projects going where 5 of the girls are managing them full time as a career and will be paid a salary accordingly which allows them to integrate back into society as a proven success of Project Blue.
Much of the success of this project is due to Help a Life working directly with the local Government and businesses. All of the HALF staff on Project Blue in Debre Markos are Ethiopian and decisions are made in tandem with the local Government officials.
1. Location: The proposed project is located in Debre Markos, in the Amhara region, 300kms. north west of Addis Ababa. The region was chosen due to the extremely high incidence of female, adolescent abuse issues reported by teachers, church groups, civil authorities and NGOs as well as the US government, plus the number of at risk orphans already clearly identified in Debre Markos by local social services. (15,000).
2. Goals & Outcomes: The project aims at reducing the vulnerability of orphaned girls through an enhanced four year, education and empowerment program and making them agents of change in their own community through a superior and advanced education.
All of a girls basic needs are fully provided for by the project. In addition they experience a caring and supportive environment, some for the first time in their lives.
The commitment of Help A Life Foundation will not end with graduation from high school. It will continue to support each girl through four years of college and is arranging for full financial scholarships through individual sponsorships in the USA & Europe.
Help A Life Foundation believes adolescent girls are the answer to the changing developing world. An adolescent girl who gets an education, stays healthy, and gains life skills, will marry when she is ready, have fewer and healthier children and earn an income that shell invest back into her society. With little to no education, she will miss the opportunity to reach her full human potential.
We realize that these girls are the key to breaking this cycle of poverty throughout the developing world. With the collaborative efforts of the international community, we hope to change it through educating and empowering her and she will do the rest.
How this is done?
Our goal is to make this center known for its commitment to protecting young female orphans and as a beacon of academic excellence. All of the girls attend the local public school, but in addition are obliged to study 20 hours a month with extra tutoring in Math, Science, English and Computer science. The facility is equipped with a library, classrooms and computer laboratory.
Girls who do not advance to University level are trained in business enterprise and prepared for many of the service jobs available in local government, education and healthcare.
The team at Help a Life Foundation has designed this project so that it will be financially self sustaining within four years.
Sustainability will come from:
Extensive market research has been completed and with support from the University of Debre Markos Agricultural Department, the Ministry of Education, the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture. A meeting took place in November 2011 of all parties and the municipality agreed to apportion land and utilities for this purpose. No such industry exists in the area and there is local excitement about such a development. The pro forma indicates that this project within three years will generate minimally $20,000 US, net profit annually. The project already has a US financial sponsor. The Rotary Club of Concord, California and nine affiliated US clubs the Rotary Club of Addis Ababa West and Rotary International have made a 3 year financial commitment to this project for $65,000.
The project will be directed by Board Member Dr. Michael Barrington who will make periodic site visits, but will be managed and operated by the University of Debre Markos Agricultural department under the supervision of Dr Molla Addesu.
This project will be fully operational in the Fall of 2012.
Sales of Merchandise:
Marco Guzzardo is not only the Founder of Help A Life Foundation but is an established, recognized international fashion designer with with a major customer base in the USA (Nordstroms, Macys, Bloomingdales, etc). He is the President of the Board of Directors and is currently establishing a manufacturing and production line in Addis Ababa for a contemporary a collection to be sold at major retailers in the United States. All profits will be donated to Project Blue.
This project will be fully operational by the end of 2012.
Nino Learning Center
Orphan girls in Village
First Group of girls studying at group home