MCRC: PROVIDING MEDICAL CARE AND EDUCATION

The Mother and Child Rehabilitation Center (MCRC) was founded in 2006 by Jutta De Muynck with the help of her husband Chris. It is located in the centre of Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, a city of roughly 3.5 million people.

 

In recent decades, the population of the city has grown rapidly, although the electricity network, water supply and sewage facilities have not expanded to match this population growth. Sewage facilities are available for only about one in ten of the city's inhabitants, the others must resort to public latrines, often situated far away. Accordingly, not far from the business district and international luxury hotels, Addis Ababa is also home to an extensive slum district. Many children living in the slums do not have access to sufficient medical or psychological care and support, on account of the extreme poverty of the district. They are also barred from attending a decent primary or secondary school. Children who are disabled or with obvious ailments are ostracized from the community, sometimes forcibly, and HIV patients still face stigmatization.

 

MCRC is a place of refuge, rehabilitation and education for children, women (mothers especially) who are ill, traumatized or in dire straits. MCRC comprises Jutta De Muynck's private home and two other buildings located nearby, and now offers support for over 80 children aged between two weeks and 16 years old, plus nearly 60 women/mothers and several fathers. Some of the children have lost a parent or are orphans, while others live only with their mother or their father. MCRC chaperones ill children, mothers and also fathers to good physicians and finances their medical care. MCRC also organizes medical treatment in Europe for patients with especially severe illnesses. A trained care worker provides long-term support and advice to children and parents infected with AIDS. All children learn social skills and gain a basic education, with the aim of later begin able to place them at a private school or a good public school. 

MCRC pays school fees and supports its schoolchildren until they receive their leaving certificates and begin training or college education.

 

MCRC offers mothers and fathers basic reading and writing courses plus intermediate courses that enable them to achieve a school leaving certificate. Other courses on offer include sewing or training as a cook or nanny. More than 10 women are currently working in or for a small grocery store that incorporates a tailor's shop. Further facilities of this kind are being planned.

 

A range of therapies including dance, music, play, arts and sports therapy help children and mothers overcome the traumas they've suffered. Role-play and drama also teach them self-confidence. About two thirds of the children sleep over in one of three buildings. However, to maintain relationships with their families, most children do return home at the weekend. In addition to their training courses, almost all mothers also complete a range of tasks (washing, ironing, cleaning, cooking, gardening, etc.). For this they are paid a small wage that helps them to cover their costs of living.

 

The main objective of the Mother and Child Rehabilitation Centre is to ensure that all people who come to MCRC in their hour of need are one day able to stand on their own two feet and positively take control of their own lives as autonomous, physically and mentally strong and healthy individuals.

 

You can find more information on the MCRC´s website www.mcrc-addisababa.org


A SMALL DONATION HELPS THE CHILDREN AND MOTHERS OF MCRC

We support the Mother and Child Rehabilitation Center in Ethiopia with regular donations. Some of this money is used for the immediate care of children and mothers, to buy essential items such as food, medicines, hygiene products and clothing. Some is also used for furniture, toys and items for school, and for leasing the buildings and paying the salaries of teachers and care workers, who also thereby receive the means of making their own living. Please help us top up our financial support by becoming a member of creating smiles. One-off donations are also naturally very welcome.

 

If you need a donation receipt, please state your address in the "reason for payment" box.

 

You can also support MCRC directly by writing the keyword "Ethiopia" in the "reasons for payment" box when making your donation to creating smiles by bank transfer. Donations in kind, such as children's clothing and shoes for children of any age are also welcome at any time.

 

Addis Ababa lies between 2,200 and 3,000 m above sea level, and it gets severely cold in the rainy season! Accordingly, items of warm clothing, rainwear, rubber boots, solid shoes and tights are also always needed. We organize regular personal shipments of goods direct to MCRC at Addis Ababa.

 

For further information, please contact Franziska Oelte, the project manager for MCRC at creating smiles (franziska.oelte@creatingsmiles.de).


WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT MCRC IN ETHIOPIA?

To help people out of the vicious circle of poverty, these people must get the chance to be able to escape their oppressive surroundings. A child traumatized by illness, brutality, hunger or emotional isolation needs to be tended to by trained care workers so that he or she can begin the healing process in a friendly, affirmative environment.

 

MCRC aims to provide professional care workers who can recognize the individuality of each person and foster his or her talents. Jutta De Muynck has worked with a professional dancer to develop a specialized dance therapy system that can help mothers, disabled children (even those who need to use a wheelchair) and traumatized children to free themselves from their inner fears and find a deep pleasure and pride in performing the movements. Music therapy has benefited some children to such an extent that a children's choir has now been formed that is already performing in public. Other children show a particular talent for drawing or painting and receive professional guidance in these areas.


Apart from fostering the individual, all children also receive comprehensive education in basic school subjects, to give them all a chance of later attending a good private school. 28 children are already attending this school. In September, 12 children will sit the entrance exam for the classes corresponding to their age and abilities. 

 

In all of her work, Jutta De Muynck wishes to follow and realize the shared philosophy of all world religions, that every individual has the right and the obligation to treat him- or herself and others with mutual tolerance and respect, and to live his or her life in a way that brings a positive benefit to the wider community. In this way, Jutta De Muynck and her team hope to make a lasting contribution to breaking down the borders between the "first" and "third" worlds.


WHY IS CREATING SMILES SUPPORTING MCRC?

Jutta De Muynck arrived in Addis Ababa in 2002. As a former hospital instructor, she was quick to realize that many children living in the slums do not have access to sufficient medical or psychological care and support, on account of the extreme poverty of the district.

 

They are also barred from attending a decent primary or secondary school. Children who are disabled or with obvious ailments are ostracized from the community, sometimes forcibly, and HIV patients still face stigmatization. Many of these children's mothers are themselves victims of a childhood cut tragically short by violence, extreme poverty or discrimination. Married off while still children, they were thrown out of the family home to face sexual and domestic abuse. They have never attended school. 


Founding members

The Mother and Child Rehabilitation Center (MCRC) was founded in 2006 by Jutta De Muynck in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.

 

Jutta De Muynck previously spent many years as a teacher at the "Schule für Kranke" (Invalids' School) at the University Hospital in Münster. There, she worked as part of an integrated team of doctors, nurses and carers, plus teachers, therapists, social workers and psychologists. Their objective was to help children who were seriously ill or traumatised by extremely difficult living conditions. The emphasis here was on strengthening the will to live and the restoration of self-confidence for the children, plus the provision of a school education.


In 2002, Jutta De Muynck accompanied her husband to Ethiopia, where he had accepted the position of senior director in a major company in Addis Abeba.

 

During the first two years, she taught at the German Embassy School.

She rapidly saw how there was a lack of proper provision of schooling and medical care, especially for the many children growing up in the neighboring slums. She resolved to dedicate herself to the task of giving the underprivileged children a chance to recover both their physical and mental health, to learn, and be filled with cheerful laughter. Building on her many years of experience in therapeutic care work with children and their relatives, Jutta De Muynck founded the Mother and Child Rehabilitation Center in 2006 as a therapeutic facility and an education center for both children and their mothers. In her work, she receives both moral and financial support from her husband Chris De Muynck.

 

In summer 2009, Franziska Oelte from Hamburg got to know Jutta De Muynck and her Mother and Child Rehabilitation Center on a trip to Addis Abeba, and was impressed by the commitment and the visible success of her work. Franziska's lively memories of the children who have found refuge in the MCRC, where they are so eager to learn and start laughing again, spurred her to engage herself in securing support for the project in Germany.

 

The MCRC has now been supported by creating smiles since June 2010. The contact person at creating smiles is Franziska Oelte (franziska.oelte@creatingsmiles.de).


GALLERY MCRC