Norwich teachers appeal for donations to help homeless children in Ethiopia

WordUp Addis is appealing for warm clothes, emergency blankets and art supplies to take to children

WordUp Addis is appealing for warm clothes, emergency blankets and art supplies to take to children in Ethopia. From left, Cathy Burton and Jacqui Burgoyne. Picture: Joe Newman - Credit: Archant

Shocked by the destitution of street children she met in Ethiopia, a Norwich woman set up a not for profit organisation to help.

WordUp Addis is a small group working in Addis Ababa which aims to teach the city's street children English and provide them with a hot meal.

Founder Cathy Burton, 59, said: 'The street children in Addis are often boys whose parents have died of malaria, AIDS, or just poverty.

'They then come into the city hoping to find a way to survive. They come for the food of course, but they are also very hungry for knowledge.'

She is going out to Africa at the end of December for three months and for the first time will be joined by Mile Cross teacher and filmmaker Jax Burgoyne.

Miss Burgoyne, 31, will stay for a month to help the children make a film about their lives.

'I'm really excited, but also pretty nervous,' she said.

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'I've led the world's most sheltered life, I've never even seen a fight! So seeing what these boys go through will be life-changing for me.

'But what we are working on is changing their lives, that is the point.'

WordUp Addis works mainly with boys aged between eight and 18, although there are also some girls.

To help the children through the cold nights in Addis Ababa, WordUp is asking for donations of spare warm clothes and emergency blankets, or donations to help fund their work.

The pair pay for their own flights, hotels and food and all funds donated go directly to the children.

'It's actually very cold in Addis at night because the city is at a really high altitude,' said Miss Burgoyne.

'The boys, the Tiger Kids as they have decided to call themselves, sleep outside on the streets and all they can do is huddle together.'

Anyone who wants to donate to WordUp Addis can search WordUp Addis on Facebook to get in touch.

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