Annual Report 2020

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t r o p e R l a u n An 2020

R O F D L R O W R E T T E Y AB T R E V O P N I E L P O E P 2020 was a historical year. The whole world suffered with the Covid-19 pandemic, including our people in the Operation Rescue project lands. Our activities had to be put on hold, in some places totally closed down, some only offering food every day, others partially opened. At first we feared that we would not have enough financial resources to carry on. But God is always faithful and a good provider for the poor, the orphaned and widows. We have experienced tremendous generosity from many of our donors. People have sympathized with the pain and suffering of the world and supplied to us so that we could also supply to those in need. I want to say thank you to all of you who have generously contributed to Operation Rescue. We were able to stand with our children and their families, and supply all that was needed. Each person here that contributes gives us a bit more strength to minimize the suffering of others. Poverty takes away from us the power of choosing: choosing what to eat, where to go, which hospital, where to live and so on. While for many of us those things are taken for granted, for some of the population of the world this is a luxury. I am so grateful to be part of a network such as Operation Rescue because we can make a difference, we can help those people out there to have better choices. Many of us dream of a better world, but often we forget that our better world is already here, Operation Rescue and you are creating a better world for those in our reach.



health care, vaccines, medicines, treatments, better education, infrastructure and more purchase power; an economy that is more fair, and political systems that will empower the people instead of oppressing them; the wealth of the world being more shared through investments in industries to generate jobs, and education to empower the less privileged nations. After 100 years we may enjoy a different world. Meanwhile, thank you very much for being part of minimizing the pain of injustice and the impossibility of choice for the poor in those countries.

I believe humanity is at work, in progress and we all together will find solutions against poverty

Kaleb my son said to me: Can you imagine if 100 years from now that new generation might look at old movies and documentaries from now and say to each other, how could it be, that the world lived in such poverty, why did it happen like that? The same way we look back today and think: how could slavery have happened? I believe humanity is at work in progress and we all together will find solutions against poverty. Sustainable development physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual improvement - will come in waves where humanity will be better every day: better

God bless you and empower you.

Marciano Teixeira Founder and CEO of Operation Rescue

FROM THE BOARD - A TRIP AS A PROJECT KICK-OFF? I met Marciano and Christina Teixeira, founders and leaders of Operation Rescue, in the binational group of our church and heard about Operation Rescue for the first time. About a year later my wife and I joined the committee of ORE. A few months later Marciano asked me if I would join the Board. Since April 2019 I have been Secretary to the Board. As a child I myself grew up in a missionary station in Papua New Guinea and so very early gained some insight into other cultures and languages, development aid, education and house building. This is one of the main reasons I find the work of ORE so meaningful and important and why I’m happy to be a part of it. For some time, Marciano, my wife and myself have been discussing an expansion of ORE into Romania. In February 2020 we travelled to Romania for a few days, to the region of Negresti. My wife, herself Romanian, had already done some relief work in the area and knew several people and relief organisations who worked there. Together with the organisation “Barfuss Liebe” (barefoot love, we travelled to several villages and helped to distribute food, clothing, shoes and firewood. I have already seen many poor countries where people live very simply with few possessions. The main difference in this poorest part of Eastern Europe is that the winters in Eastern Europe are harsh, with temperatures falling to -25. The standard of building of the small houses/huts both interested and shocked me. The situation of one family made a particular impression on me. The mother was alone with 7 children because her husband was in prison in France. The wood fire in this one- room dwelling with two beds not only heated the place but was also used for cooking. The roof leaked, there was only thin glass in the windows and there were carpets on the floor and on the walls to try to achieve a bearable indoor temperature. The landlord wanted them to move out in the next few months but they had so far not found an alternative.

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family with his

promote/foster honest work. Many people are understandably unmotivated and live for today. Many young people in the towns are ambitious and educated, but they emigrate to other countries where they earn more, and the old people are left behind. At the time of writing many children could not access schooling because of lockdown as they had neither computers nor internet.

People are very hospitable and share the litle they have.

Folgende Fragen beschäftigen uns momentan, um bald in Osteuropa einen ORE - Standort zu eröffnen: We’re currently grappling with the following questions before we open an ORE Centre in Eastern Europe: -where should we begin to help? -what sort of investment will help most? -which area or which village needs most support? -which local people or organisations can ORE work with? Joel Oppliger Secretary of Operation Rescue

People are very hospitable and share the little they have. Unfortunately corruption, from stealing vegetables out of gardens to EU and government taxes is part of the culture which doesn’t Also on the Board: Martin Schild President

Lea Gyger Treasurer

L I Z A BR THE NEED FOR SUPPORT INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OUR CENTRE IN PATOS The year 2020 was difficult, especially emotionally because our routine crashed. Before the outbreak of the pandemic our Centre was full of life. There were regular visits and good relations between Operation Rescue, the families and the schools of our children. The children with problems were especially closely monitored. How serious individual problems were usually became apparent during conversations with the various parties and then suddenly, because of the pandemic these conversations were no longer possible. Now, since we’ve been able to take up our work again albeit in a reduced capacity, the greatest challenge is that once again we have to take the children off the streets and integrate them into our programme. It’s particularly true for the older children without any structured family life: they need to be offered an attractive programme so that the process of reintegration can function. During the very gradual easing of the long lockdown our youth services bureau didn’t want to allow our centre to reopen. Our manager went to them with photos and stories about our children to make them aware of the challenges and problems in the suburbs of Patos. The children were receiving food from us daily but increasingly they were going back to the streets and starting to beg or get involved with selling or taking drugs. Apart from that the families were not keeping to protective hygiene measures which was leading to comparatively high infection rates in the area. The problems in the families had increased too. The children had accumulated lots of school material as they were not in a position to do the work at home which they received for their remote learning. They had neither the technology nor the support of their families to do so. There were also children who were depressed or were having lots of arguments and fights with family members. The centre was finally allowed to open again to the children under strict conditions towards the end of the year. The parents were asked in advance what they hoped for in the reopening of the centre and had to sign a declaration that they were in agreement that their children should attend the centre. Most parents agreed. In addition, Operation Rescue had to buy thermometers to test all children each time they came to the centre. They had to bring their own water bottles and disinfect their hands every quarter of an hour. They also had to wear masks, and each teacher was only allowed to be

together with a maximum of eight children. In this way we manage to run activities on a rota basis. To keep the number of children within the permitted limits, each child can take part in our activities twice a week. We’re pleased that the children are now able to do their homework with us. Family visits have also now resumed. Because the families are now aware of our hygiene systems we hope that the infection rate in the area will reduce.

Maria Edinete Martins Fernandes Manger of Operation Rescue Patos, Brazil

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NATÁLIA BEFORE AND TODAY When I was seven I joined Operation Rescue. Before then, for a good six months I had begged my mother to let me come for it was my dream. Dancing was also always a dream of mine, especially ballet. I could never have believed that I would one day have the opportunity to dance in public in front of many people, and without Operation Rescue, I would never have been able to fulfil my dream. When I was younger I volunteered to teach 30 children of around 5 to 6 years old, and taught them the alphabet etc. That was very good and very satisfying for me. During my final years I was able to fulfil a further dream in that I finished a course at technical school to become a care assistant. I could never have managed that without Operation Rescue. At the moment I work as a secretary at Operation Rescue. Many wonderful people work here and they all want to save children who have no hope and who don’t get any hope from their parents either. Operation Rescue gives them hope and prospects.

now done something with their lives. There are many young people and young adults who might otherwise be involved with drugs, but who today are in a different place and who even sometimes have jobs- thanks to Marciano and all his colleagues who chose to help this region and this area specifically. Marciano was like a father to me, and advised and supported me as no one ever had before. My dream now is to be able to start up a Centre in every town which needs the change Operation Rescue brings – particularly the towns in our area. I would like to be a ‘multiplier’ here in Paraiba, and build up and save people who – like me earlier – need support. I hope that we get more and more supporters because looking after and helping people in danger is not easy and needs ever more resources so that everything can be done.

Operation Rescue has changed my life completely. I’m pleased to have the opportunity to teach the children what I was able to learn here.

Operation Rescue has changed my life completely. I’m pleased to have the opportunity to teach the children what I was able to learn here. Had Operation Rescue not existed I would just be some girl from a poor household who had lots of dreams but no opportunities. These days at Operation Rescue I see not only myself but all the others who grew up here and have

arly... Natália e

y. and toda

Natália Diniz Operation Rescue Brazil co-worker

a i p o i Eth THE PAST YEAR HAS BEEN EXCEPTIONALLY DIFFICULT FOR ETHIOPIA We started the year with the pandemic, which for us really only started to affect us after April. At the beginning there was much disbelief and scepticism but soon people realized how deadly it was. So we closed down the activities in the Centre and sent the children to their relatives. Throughout this time we felt we needed to start doing food distribution as people lost their jobs and the children’s families were going through difficulties. As soon as we were getting used to COVID-19, a locust plague started that has devoured much of the crop produced by the farms. The locust plague was not even finished when an armed conflict between the Local Government of Tigray and the Federal Government started. More than 60.000 have fled to Sudan as refugees and over 70.000 have been displaced internally in Tigray. Uncountable numbers of civilian casualties, massacres, ethnic cleansing incidents and innumerable reported cases of rape have occurred. We had days without electricity, telephone and water, and the internet has been closed down for months. Because the banks were closed, it was impossible to get cash.

accessible. And we don’t know how long it will go on. At Operation Rescue we are taking care of the internally displaced people that have run away from the army and from rape. Their houses were destroyed and their families were killed. They fled to save their lives. For the moment they are accommodated in 13 schools in Mekelle. Camps will now be built outside the city to give shelter to those displaced people so that the children can go back to schools which have been closed since March 2020. As soon as children can go back to school, Operation Rescue centres can also open their doors again and we will continue to care for our children under the projects.

We know the value of peace only when we experience war around us

The conflict affected all three cities where we have project centres. At the time of writing, we are still in a state of war, we still can hear shooting outside the cities and 80% of the countryside is not

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We know the value of peace only when we experience war around us. Please pray for peace and for life to go back to normal in our communities. Thank you for standing with us through this time of difficulties. God bless.

Getachew Tesfay Manager of Operation Rescue Ethiopia For more information about the situation and videos about the emergency relief campaign for Tigray, please visit our website or use this code:

India As for everyone, 2020 was a challenge for us, especially since national lockdown was started at the end of March. On the orders of the government and for the safety of the children we had to close the centre. Lockdown affected the community in many areas. Many people lost their jobs and workers had to travel long distances on foot to return to their families. Goods transport came to a standstill. I was very worried about our families as most live on the pavements and many parents are casual, daily workers. I could feel how they were struggling for their basic needs and food as shops were closed and there was no income. By the end of the year the centre still wasn’t open but at least our children could get a packed lunch from us at the centre every day. I thank God and our supporters and donors. Their commitment and generosity meant that Operation Rescue in Kolkata was able to distribute food such as rice, lentils, beans and cooking oil four times over the year to families and people in our area. For example in December a good 500 kilos of food was distributed to 40 families. This support came as a surprise to them and was a Christmas present which they dearly needed – and gratefully accepted. Thanks to your help all our children are healthy and well – no single child caught Covid-19. Thank you!

Alem Kichu Manager of Operation Rescue India

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THREE PLACES IN WHICH WE WORK – THREE TY TIGRAY Administrative area of Ethiopia with towns Mekelle, Adwa and Adigrat Average annual temperature 26.9 C Average annual rainfall 1.614 mm Poverty: 21% of people in Ethiopia suffer from malnutrition. In Tigray 27% of people live under the poverty line. Main problems: Repeated famines caused by drought and locust plagues, as well as war, political conflict between Ethiopia and neighbouring Eritrea as well as the various ethnic groups in Ethiopia. Refugees from war have been living in degrading conditions for decades. Even before the current conflict almost two million people needed help. Resources and of note: agriculture thanks to mild climate and high altitude, mountainous areas attractive to tourists. In Tigray the army defeated the Italians in 1896 and prevented the country from being colonised.

PARAÍBA Province of Brazil, with town Patos Average annual temperature 27,6 C Average annual rainfall 764 mm Poverty: almost 42% of people in Paraiba live under the poverty line and an eighth live on less that one US dollar a day. Main problems: Drug taking and selling, corruption, inflation, gangs, child prostitution and teenage pregnancy. Adverse climate with prolonged droughts leading to many landowners losing their properties. Resources and of note: Textile industry, site of many university and college courses, varied nature, coastal regions attractive to tourists. Apart from precious stones (tourmaline) there are other mineral resources (ore and uranium). Patos lies on the controversial Transamazonica, a main east-west highway which in the future is planned to connect both oceans to each other.

KOLKATA City and metropolitan region of India C°Average annual temperature:26.9 C Average annual rainfall 1.614 mm Poverty: two thirds of people in India live in poverty and over 30% live on less than 1.25 US dollars a day. Main problems: Kolkata is considered the poorhouse of India: social inequality through the caste system which is a widespread, social system in the country, overburdened infrastructure, malnutrition and hunger as well as a lack of drinking water and hygiene leading to disease and child mortality; crime, prostitution and alcoholism. Air pollution through industry and traffic. A high proportion of people live in slums and on the streets. Resources and of note: Very varied industry. Fast growing technology and service sectors as a result of international firms shifting jobs to Kolkata. All the important technology firms have a large presence here because of the low wages.



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OPERATION RESCUE IN ZOOM CONFERENCE It is with great joy that I am writing to share about the wonderful experience of helping to organize the Hope in Times of Pandemic virtual event last year, with the Founder and President of Operation Rescue, Marciano Texeira, and Christian Baumann who supports Operation Rescue in Switzerland in the area of communication and PR.

We also had the privilege of hearing from the field managers from Ethiopia, Brazil and India about the amazing work and incredible hardships that they were facing – my heart was both filled with joy for the wonderful news of thousands of kilos of food that were being distributed, and the spiritual and emotional support that the field staff were offering to the communities, and with heaviness for the great need that the communities were facing.

The invitation to join the administrative team as a volunteer to organize that virtual event, and to help Operation Rescue connect with its generous donors was impossible to refuse: the children and families served by Operation Rescue and the team that makes that work possible are very dear to my heart.

We also had the previlege of hearing from the field managers from Btrazil, Ethiopia and India.

After a couple of months of intense work and weekly meetings, the date finally came when we were able to see the faces of several supporters of Operation Rescue in a Zoom conference. Everyone was very interested in hearing about how Operation Rescue was supporting the children and families in Ethiopia, Brazil and India during the COVID-19 pandemic and the enormous challenges that the field staff were and are still facing. Marciano and Christina Teixeira shared about how they were mobilizing resources in Europe, Canada, the United States and Brazil to bring funds and supplies to meet the needs of the hundreds of families and children served by the project.

Having volunteered with the Hopes in Times of Pandemic virtual event made me appreciate even more the incredible work of the Operation Rescue staff in the field and in Europe.

May God continue to bless the children and families in their needs, those directly serving the children and families with strength and faith, the administrative staff with wisdom and humility, and the donors and volunteers with generous hearts and resources to continue to give and be the hands and feet of Jesus. Amen. Thais Cristina Goulart Coordinator Canada

d n a l e r UK & I 2020

REPORT FROM OPERATION RESCUE UK & IRELAND 2020 has been an unprecedented year for Operation Rescue and for our trustees. A visit to Northern Ireland by four of the ORE staff planned for May 2020 and a planned visit to Mekelle by a group of trustees in July to celebrate 20 years of the project and make plans for the future could not take place because of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland and in Ethiopia. The usual annual visits by trustees including that of the Chair of Trustees were also made impossible by the political tensions in Tigray which erupted into a civil war on November 4th 2020. The year had begun well and as trustees we were full of hope as we welcomed Abadi Tesfay, Project Manager at ORE on a

dicative to us of the wonderful loving commitment of the staff. Abadi’s visit clarified many issues around the future relating to the building of the fourth centre at Maichew. An outline proposal as to our obligations in relation to the building of the first two phases of the project by December 2020 was proposed, accepted and agreed by all the Trustees. However, all was to change beyond our imagining. Realising that lockdown meant the centres had to close and that a major flour distribution had been made to the ORE families in April, the Trustees launched a gentle appeal to our supporters to raise funds for the next similar distribution that was planned for July and were humbled by the response which raised £16,000. As Trustees were deeply affected by the news of the outbreak of hostilities on November 4th and the loss of all communication with ORE. We met on November 8th to pray together and like so many others waited so anxiously for snippets of news coming through. It was with enormous relief that we began to establish phone communication again during the week beginning 20th December. The end of the year brought much thankfulness for God’s hand of protection upon the staff, children and families despite the ongoing fighting in all parts of Tigray. One clear positive this year has been the evidence of the deep bonds of love that connect us here at home with the staff in ORE. We continue to pray for an end to fighting and restoration of an environment that will allow the centres to reopen and we pray for God ‘s sustaining power to equip the staff as they cope with the ongoing political and economic uncertainty as well as the pandemic.

short visit to Northern Ireland in February, paid for by one of our trustees and sponsored by the Trustees as a whole. When Abadi attended our Trustees meeting, he updated us on the World Bank funded ‘safety net’ project being operated by ORE which aimed to help young people between the ages of 11 -18 to reconnect with their families and society through a settled social, educational and spiritual pathway. ORE ‘s involvement in this challenging project was of such high quality and later in the year we were thrilled to know that 34 out of 40 young people had been reunited with their families. The fact that a group of ORE staff volunteered to stay in the project guesthouse to give support to the young people 24/7 during lockdown was so in-

In conclusion we wish to record our deep sadness that at the start of 2021 we lost a much-loved founder trustee, Billy Livingstone, whose loving support for ORE was a source of great encouragement to all of us. We extend our sincere sympathy to Sandra his wife and to their family. Kate Doherty Chair of Trustees

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OPERATION RESCUE USA Operation Rescue Child Care Projects PO Box 133 Elk Grove Village, IL 60009 Tel.: +1 (847) 345-2150 Email: Manager: Pr. Leandro Nogueira Bank details: US bank Routing. 071904779 Acc. 199378938534