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| Stories of Success|
One of our guiding principles is to start with the education of a child and as we learn more about the family provide them resources to create a sustainable life. Recently, we were meeting with young children who were to be sponsored for education in a remote part of Ethiopia. We were talking with a young 8 year old girl about school and wanted to meet her family. When asked if her mother was there she answered that she had passed away a year ago and that her 14 year old sister was taking care of her. We then met with the sister who had the saddest face we had seen on the trip. We discovered that they lived alone in their modest home and that a kind elderly neighbor was trying to support them by selling small items on the street. As a result of meeting the young girl and discovering her family situation, we now sponsor the young girl for primary school and her sister for vocational school. We also provide them monthly support for rent and food so they can focus on their education. We feel privileged to be able to help these two young girls and to have met the neighbor who cares so much about them.
One of the most inspiring things about the Ethiopia people is their capacity for joy and grace in challenging circumstances. One of our sponsored students is an intelligent and cheerful eleven year old young girl who literally shines with joy when you meet her. As Serkaddis, our local Ethiopian board member, met with her family she discovered six people living in a structure that was falling over and you could see daylight through the roof. We also discovered that the reason the young girl stayed inside the school during lunch to read was because her single mother could only afford to provide her one meal a day. However, despite these challenges this was a family of joyful and loving people. After discovering the family’s needs we: tore down the old structure and replaced it with a new house, bathroom, attached kitchen, a new fence for safety and running water. We were also able to furnish the house so the day they moved in they could have a fresh start. The mother has found a job as an administrative assistant and the family is doing well. We now also sponsor a younger sister and brother in the family and they all attend the same school.
One of the areas that Mesesso focuses on is the health of our sponsored children. Recently, on a follow up visit to our sponsored students and their families, Serkaddis, discovered that Honey, the young girl on the home page of our website, was quite ill. When Serkaddis told Honey that she was going to call Rod in the U.S. about her health Honey said “Don’t tell Rod, he will worry.” After receiving a list of her symptoms including high fever, loss of appetite and seizures I called Dr. Baker, who is on the Mesesso board, and she said it was critical that Honey be seen as soon as possible and not to wait a single day. Serkaddis made immediate arrangements to have Honey transported from her remote village in the mountains to be seen at a private hospital in Addis Ababa. Honey stayed at Serkaddis’ home for a week as she underwent a series of tests to rule out a number of diseases. Frankly, we had a number of sleepless nights as we waited for the diagnosis. Honey was diagnosed with acute pneumonia and immediately put on antibiotics which have lead to a speedy recovery. When I spoke to Honey on the phone she spoke the few words she knew in English “I love you” and I spoke one of the few Ethiopian words I know “konjo” (beautiful). The health of our sponsored children is very personal to us.
|Mesesso Foundation - Educating Children of Ethiopia|