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Friday, September 28, 2012

Ethiopia: “Like a Mother and Father, HOPE International Development Agency Supported Me”

We are helping hundreds of children and young adults in Addis, Ethiopia, to transition out of a tragic past into a promising future. Most, but not all of these young people have been affected by HIV/AIDS, losing one or both parents to the disease. Helen Tekele’s family was not destroyed by the epidemic, but she still ended up, at a very young age, with no adults to fend for her. Her experience is typical of the children we work with:

"My name is Helen Tekele. I am 16 years old and living in the Gotera area of Addis Ababa. I am one of 7 children. We had been living off the pension of our retired father, but since my mother was an asthmatic patient she was not able to support us and medical care for her was expensive. Though our living standards were very low, my parents were happy. To increase the family’s income, my father started working as a guard in one organization. However, after some time my father became ill with Tuberculosis. When the case became serious, he was admitted at Zewditu Hospital. Shortly after, he passed away. So as not to be a burden on our family, four of my brothers married. My brother who remained at home was forced to put his education on hold because the tuition fees were too high. When my mother’s asthma became worse, I too dropped out of school to care for her. After being hospitalized for quite some time, she passed away. It was at that time that a HOPE International Development Agency employee introduced me to the organization. When I shared my story with them, they were very willing to support me. Like a mother and a father, HOPE supported me to continue my education, providing necessary school materials. The organization also has been providing me wheat, oil, and Famix monthly. With the support of the Almighty God and HOPE, I am studying the 11th grade. If it is God’s will, I want to support children who have lost parents like myself to complete their education."

We have no reason to doubt that Helen will go on to be an incredibly supportive and compassionate adult. This is what we see happen with ‘our kids’.

If supporting someone like Helen is something you’re interested in doing, learn more by visiting www.hope-international.com today.

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