Can you imagine being 20 years old, having both of your parents die, and taking on the responsibility of caring for and raising your four younger siblings? That is Addisu’s story. For Partners With Ethiopia, the story starts here…
In January 2011, our board president, Ingrid Olson, visited FOVC’s Shanto Center of H.O.P.E. She found a tattered pair of shoes on the ground. They belonged to Israel, an 11-year-old boy in the sponsorship program. Israel received a new pair of shoes from the donations the team had brought. His response was tears of joy streaming down his face. Needless to say, that moment deeply impacted Ingrid and it is why she is leading Partners With Ethiopia today.
Israel is the youngest of five children. When he was a very young both of his parents died. His 20-year-old brother, Addisu, dropped out of school, began to fill his father’s role by running the family farm and raising his four siblings. What a huge responsibility for such a young man! Today, Addisu is married with a precious family of his own. Three of the siblings he raised are grown and gone, but he is still taking care of Israel who is diligently attending school and working toward a sustainable future of his own.
This sponsorship program is designed for children like Israel who have lost one or both parents. It gives the remaining parent or caretaker help by providing the opportunity for the child to receive an education, a daily nutritious school lunch, hygiene materials, access to medical care, and the love and support of many caring adults. We know the support for Israel over the past five years has given Addisu peace of mind. His sacrifice for his siblings is what inspires Partners With Ethiopia to fundraise and partner with Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (FOVC). We are excited that our efforts are keeping families together. We are thankful that Addisu was able to keep his family intact after such a great loss.
Addisu’s story is just one of many, and we hope it inspires you to sponsor a child today. Visit our “Sponsor a Child” page to learn more.