Monday, May 10, 2010

A Ray of Hope for Two Children in Ethiopia

Sisay Girma is and eleven-year-old bright young girl. She was born in a family of six including her father, mother, brother and two sisters. She is the first born child to her parents. Sisay used to live with her parents in a town called Neja which is found in the Oromiya province of Ethiopia. Her parents make a living through farming. However, the income generated was barely enough to cover the consumption expenses of the family let alone provide the means for her to go to school. Hence Sisay did not have a chance to get any kind of education. In search for a better life, Sisay came to Addis Ababa to live with her aunt. However life in her aunt’s house was not any different from the life she had left behind. Her aunt, W/ro. Ayelu is a 30-year-old woman who supports her family with the minimum wage she earns by working as a daily laborer. Sisay spent most of her days taking care of the household chores.

No matter how badly she wanted to go to school, she couldn’t until an organization called Compassion Family International (CFI) gave her the opportunity to be part of its meal plus educational program. At CFI Sisay benefits from the meal provision (breakfast & lunch) and gets the necessary education that equips her with the knowledge she needs to join a formal primary school. Her teacher said, “She used to have a rather difficult behavior at first but now she gets along very well with the other children. She has a good participation in class and is egger to know new things. She is also maturing spiritually”.

Sisay is very happy to be part of CFI’s meal plus educational program. She said, “At first, I used to fight with most of the children as I have never been part of such gathering. Everything was new for me. I used to get upset and cry often times. But now I get along with all my friends and teachers. I love it here and I’m happy.” When asked about her ambition in the future Sisay replied, “I want to go further with my education and become a school teacher”.

Ayansa Uguma is six years old. He lives with his mother in a small rented house. He doesn’t have any siblings. His father died when he was very young. His mother works as a daily laborer and earn a wage that is merely enough to pay the house rent and buy a small amount of food. Ayansa never had a chance to go to school because his mother could not afford his educational expenses.

Having seen the living condition of Ayansa, the local city administration recruited him to be a beneficiary at Compassion Family International (CFI). Ayansa is now one among the 25 children that regularly comes to CFI’s drop-in center to benefit from the meal plus educational program. In addition to the pre-school educational program, CFI provides two meals (breakfast and lunch) to all the children everyday on weekdays. For Ayansa and most of these children, this could be the only decent meal they get throughout the day.

Ayansa is an active, friendly and healthy young man with a bright future ahead of him. He loves to draw and play with his friends. His teacher said, “Ayansa is one of the good performers in class. He’s well-mannered and gets along with all the children”. Ayansa wants to be a driver when he grows up.

Compassion Family International (CFI) is a partner organization of International Hope & Heritage. CFI is located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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