Finally happy – but for a long time it didn’t seem as though it would finish well. Amanuel is one of the sponsored children of Abugida. His mother was HIV+ and had breast cancer in an advanced state. As with other mothers who are ill and have no family support we were paying, over months, for a lady to do the domestic work and bring Amanuel to school.
Amanuel’s mother died three weeks ago. One of her aunts came to the burial and we asked her what would happen to Amanuel, whether she would take him with her to the countryside where she lived. For some weeks we have been waiting on news, as the prospects for Amanuel didn’t look good.
Then, a big surprise, his father appeared and has taken charge of Amanuel. Amanuel’s mother and father had had many problems between them but when the mother died his father appeared and decided to live in Akaki. So this time there has been a happy ending because Amanuel loves his father, they are very happy together and because Amanuel will continue at Abugida School and in the community that he knows.
We are finding it increasingly difficult to find families that will accept and look after children who become orphaned, despite paying them monthly to do so. This fact clashes with the idea of the big African family, the spirit of family and solidarity.
A father who is HIV+ spoke with the families of Abugida. Not for himself, as he has arranged for his children to live with his brother should he die. He spoke on behalf of the rest, for those who dare not ask, for those who are suffering because of the uncertain future of their children. He spoke with families to encourage them to welcome in children who were not theirs. But unfortunately he spoke in vain. None of the families of Abugida wanted to act as surrogate parents.
As we have a spare room with two beds at the school, we shall at least be able to temporarily look after any newly orphaned children until we can resolve their situations. We are not able to do anything else but the truth is that this situation this subject always leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
At least today Amanuel is happy. He doesn’t have his mother anymore but he has his father…one more child rescued from an uncertain future.