By Ariel Rapson, Office Manager

From 15th-23rd March 2017 I left managing the Lustre office behind and joined a group visiting Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with Compassion UK.

Compassion is one of the world's leading child development and advocacy organisations which is funded through child sponsorship.

One of the main purposes of our trip to Ethiopia was to visit the children sponsored by people in our group. My husband and I were able to visit our two sponsored children and their families. It was wonderful to see how simply given the opportunity to go to school, having a proper meal and medical care meant that they were thriving. The people we met in Ethiopia were so welcoming and in each home we were given popcorn and freshly made coffee; an Ethiopian tradition.

As we visited the local school projects we were able to present them with gifts of school supplies. Lustre Consulting sponsored a full suitcase of crayons, pencils, pencil sharpeners, erasers, and notepads. The suitcase was given by our team to a rural project around 2 hours north of Addis Ababa.

Just before we arrived in Ethiopia, on Saturday 11 March, the top of Koshe dump split causing a devastating landslide that tragically claimed the lives of 170 people, including entire families. Koshe, which means ‘dirt’ in Amharic slang, is the only landfill site in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. Our compassion guide wrote this blog about our visit to the affected community project: “A beacon of hope in the shadow of the dump

Seeing the scale of the disaster first hand, the waste regulations and guidance we follow in the UK feel justified. 170 lives were lost because this dump was not properly designed or managed.

Being faced with poverty on such a large scale was a life changing experience. I am once again even more thankful for everyday things like running water and electricity. Although global poverty is a complicated issue, through Compassion programmes, children's lives are being changed. As families are impacted and empowered so are their communities, and ultimately this can break the cycle of poverty.

If you would like to find out more about the work of Compassion and how you can help click here. If you would like to see a video snapshot of our trip click here.