The HFK Brother Sister Friend (BSF) Program matches young people ages 6 - 19 in Korah with kids of similar age in North America, giving them opportunity to have a pen pal and prayer partner on the other side of the world.
Kids in Korah grow up in extreme poverty. Many have lost one or both parents due to diseases such as TB, leprosy and HIV. Their community is filled with those who are forgotten by society and many survive by living off of the city garbage dump. The goal of the Brother Sister Friend Program is to let these kids know they are NOT FORGOTTEN, but have a friend who cares about them and prays for them.
Our desire is for young people in North America to understand the needs of someone their age in the third world and to have the privilege of developing a relationship through letters, cards and photos.
Brother Sister Friends in both Ethiopia and North America have the opportunity to pray for one another and learn what it is like to live in each other’s world. No matter your age - you can bring love and hope in a very real way - to a Brother or Sister Friend in Korah!
Frequently Asked Questions
There is no cost to join the Brother Sister Friend Program, however we do ask if possible; each time you send a card to your Brother Sister Friend, that you please include a minimum $5.00 donation towards the costs of the BSF party, translators, photographs & extra baggage fees. In addition, if you require that we mail your BSF’s return card to you, please include an additional $5.00 per family for postage.
KIDS FEEDING KIDS: At the end of each calendar year, any of the BSF monies that have not yet been spent will be re-allocated to the HFK Berta Breakfast program to help feed malnourished children, many of whom are Brother Sister Friends.
BSF Mail is delivered to Korah, two times per year at the BSF party. Mail will be due at the Hope for Korah office in Abbotsford, B.C. about four - six weeks prior to the party. You will receive a notice via email or with your BSF letter, telling you when the next mail due date is. Typically, your mail will be due around early December and May.
Send your mail to the following address:
BSF - Hope for Korah U.S. & Canada Office
P.O. Box 16013
Abbotsford, BC. V3G 0C6 Canada
Your mail is shipped in hockey bags on an airplane and delivered by a HFK Team travelling to Ethiopia. Once in Korah, the team will host a BSF Party where there is singing and possibly a special program or skit, as well as snacks such as bananas, cookies, and drinks. The children attending wait patiently and anxiously to receive a letter from their BSF. At the party Korah children will not only receive their mail, but will also have their picture taken and write return letters back to their BSF.
Children in Korah learn both Amharic and English in school. If your friend does not read English, we will be sure that one of our many translators at the BSF party, will read and translate your letter to them. If your BSF can write English, they will write back to you themselves, but most often children will ask one of the translators to write their letter as they dictate what they want to say to you. Sometimes they will also include a small drawing. Your return letter will always be in English.
Most often you will hear back from your BSF, but if your friend is not at the BSF Party when the mail is delivered and we are unable to get your letter to them during that HFK trip, you may not receive a letter back from them at that time. However, the Ethiopian leaders will continue to do their best to make sure that your letter gets to your friend even after we have left.
It is important to remember that life in Korah is hard. Sometimes family members die or families unexpectedly move out of Korah. If this happens to your friend, we may not always know what has happened or where they are. On the other hand, there are many families who have lived in Korah for years and will likely never move out of the area.
Even if you do not hear back from your BSF, please continue to pray and write them. Most often we will have a letter for you the next time we come back from Korah. However, if you do not receive a letter back over a period of time you can certainly ask us to match you with another BSF.
Yes, you can send your BSF something lightweight and flat that will fit inside your envelope. It is important that it is something small that your BSF can fit into their pocket. Examples of items to include would be a stick of gum, granola bar, stickers, one pen/pencil, hair clips, wrist band etc. Your BSF will be among over 200 children at the party where they will receive your card and photo. We do not want other children to feel left out or to put your child in danger by receiving something of greater monetary value. If you would like to send extra donations to the Hope for Korah office, such as a bag of candy or sharpened pencils, or monetary donations to cover the cost of these items or the BSF party, that is very appreciated.
- Please fill out the BSF Information and Covenant Form (PDF) and EMAIL it to firstname.lastname@example.org OR mail it to BSF - Hope for Korah Canada & US Office O. Box 16013, Abbotsford, BC, V3G 0C6.
- Once we receive your form, we will email you a Brother Sister Friend Card to fill out and submit along with a photo of yourself. This card will be used to match you with your new BSF and it will also be sent directly to your BSF, as your first correspondence with them.
- We will do our best to match you with a young person close to your age, however keep in mind that many children in Korah do not know their exact age or birthday. We will always match you to the same gender.
- Once you are matched, you will receive a photo and information card from your new BSF, similar to what you filled out in #2, as well as the next ‘Mail Due’ date.
Each time you send your BSF a letter or card, there are several important steps to remember:
- I have included $5.00 with my card to help cover the BSF party costs, plus an additional $5.00 (per family) to cover postage so my return letter from my BSF can be mailed back to me.
- A photo of my BSF is visible on the outside of my envelope.
- My envelope is clearly marked with both MY FIRST & LAST NAME and MY BSF’s NAME.
- I have taped A SHARPENED PENCIL on the outside of my envelope.
- I can slip something SMALL & FLAT such as my photo, stickers, wrist band, or hairclips INSIDE my envelope.
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