28 Apr 2012

Hana is looking for sponsor parents

Hana is a 9 year old girl from Akaki. When she was smaller she went to Abugida, now she goes to the Fitawrari School where shes in 3rd grade and where she eats in the dining room we have there.

This is a very special sponorship because it involves an extremely unstable family environmentshe lives with her grandmother, just the two of them alone, and the grandmother is elderly.

Hana lives with her adoptive grandmother, Workinesh. We have no idea how old Workinesh is because she appears to get younger as she ages but she must be around 75.

She receives a pension of 80 birrs.

I remember the first time I saw the little old lady, she couldnt have weighed more than 25 kilos. She was stick thin but Hana was as well cared for as possible.

Hanas mother disappeared after giving birth and Workinesh brought up the child. Hana doesnt have a father.

Hana and her grandmother lived in terrible conditions before she was sponsored, an indescribable hovel. The sponsorship has provided a great improvement in their lives. Workinesh is much stronger.

Hana was being sponsored for a while but is now without sponsor parents once again.

If you would like to sponsor Hana please email:


24 Apr 2012

Tirusew is one of the 51 children sponsored by Mediterránea. Sponsored children are chosen by the school to be sponsored as they are the neediest of the needy.  

Tirusew was being sponsored up until a few months ago but he no longer has a sponsor. 
Even though Mediterránea has a fund for when a sponsor parent stops paying or a suitable sponsor has yet to be found – given that we obviously can’t just leave them without any help in their unstable situation – the money from this fund could be used for developing community projects. 
What’s more, we know that when the new toddlers arrive there will be more sponsorships since all families have to present a certificate declaring poverty which means they live in extreme poverty.  

As we wish to continue growing in everything we do, we are looking for a new sponsor parent for Tirusew and other children who we will mention at a later stage ( Esubalew, Hana , Tismegariam...). Fortunately, there are not many of them. 

Tirusew lives with his mother who is ill and his ten year old sister Tigist, an extremely bright child. 

Tirusew is also ill. His mother Alem is 30 years old. His father is dead. 

This is one of the first families we visited at their home 5 years ago. Alem told us that she tried to make a living as a cook but once they found out about her illness they got rid of her. She was terrified that her landlord would also find out as she knew that he could throw her out of the small room where she struggled to live with her children.

Tirusew is 6 years old and goes to class KG 2. It is a blessing he attends Abugida school and receives meals because he is keeping strong despite his illness. He’s a very good pupil. 
His mother makes a living in whatever way she can, but her state of health and the rising cost of living (rent and food) make it impossible for this family to survive without our help. 

If you would like to sponsor Tirusew please email: apadrinamientosong@gmail.com

We are well aware that the financial circumstances of each and every one of us can change, especially in these difficult times, and we completely understand this. But if you are thinking of sponsoring a child we ask you to consider the moral commitment which can stretch over several years. We ask you not just to follow a fleeting impulse to sponsor a child as a temporary measure because the reality of the situation of these children is sadly all too real.

We will send you photos and updates on him and his circumstances and if you wish you can even meet him, as other sponsor parents have done. 

We have parental consent to publish photos and stories relating to sponsored children.  

Photos: A recent picture of Tirusew with his mother Alem and Tirusew when he was smaller.

Thank you very much.

22 Apr 2012


Most of the children who live in orphanages have parents without the resources to care for them and provide them with what they need.

We’re not talking about the “orphanages” created exclusively for international adoption, where many children with families end up, because they are not institutions, merely “passing through” places.

We are talking about mostly well-meaning institutions whose children end up growing up inside, despite having their own families outside. We are talking about poverty being the cause of the institutionalisation of children.

It has been established that at least four of every five “orphans” have one or both parents who are unable to look after them. If they don’t have parents then they have grandparents or extended family.

The charitable organisation Save the Children published a report which shows that the figures in some areas are as follows: 90 percent in Ghana, 95 percent in Indonesia and an unbelievable 98 percent in Central and Eastern Europe. The main reason that so many children are becoming “orphans” is poverty. 
“Unfortunately, there are many desperate families who feel they have no option but to leave their child in an orphanage which will at least ensure that they receive food, clothing and education. In many countries it is possible that the only type of free education available to the community is the orphanage. The most tragic thing is that, in frequent cases, the children who arrive at the orphanage are separated from their families permanently.”

Whilst some parents give up their children in the hope that it’s the only way of giving them a better life, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Children in institutions are much more vulnerable to abuse, neglect, exploitation and psychological damage. Save the Children report that children who grew up in orphanages are more prone to experiencing problems with their development, behavior and furthermore, they have a lower intelligence quotient than those who grew up at home or with adoptive parents. Children under the age of three, in particular, suffer permanent damage, both physical and mental. 
Save the Children makes every effort to deny the conviction that the orphanage is the answer for families who are struggling to bring up their children. For this purpose, they try to persuade Governments and donors to dedicate funds to projects supporting the families. 
“We know that the cost of running institutions is ten times higher than the cost of supporting the child in the bosom of its family, providing access to health, education, infant care and the help for survival.”

In some countries, orphanages have been turned into lucrative businesses, according to Louise Melville-Fulford, which has led to a dramatic increase in number over the last few years, especially in Africa and Asia. “Orphanages are often seen as an easy option and they tend to attract plenty of financial support, for which reason many unscrupulous individuals take advantage of the situation, pocketing the donations instead of using the money to help the children. In the worst cases, children are kidnapped by orphanages since the donations are determined by the number of children inside the institution. In other words, the more children they have, the more money they get. Afterwards, the children are thrown out onto the street on many occasions.”
What is the best way to help then?
Save the Children maintain that if they receive the right amount of aid, even the poorest of families are perfectly capable of looking after their children. But it is vital to make an appeal to the Governments, donors and the people who work at the orphanages to get them to direct their efforts towards granting this aid. 

It’s disgraceful that a child with a family is put in an institution.
In our humble experience we think that the best solution is a good school, where the children are happy in a safe and stimulating environment. Where they can have 3 meals a day. Where they can at least be guaranteed to survive for the first 5 years of their lives, since from birth to 5 years is the most vulnerable period in a child’s life.
This seems such a simple example, though it is rarely followed and we don’t understand why. We would even dare to say that there are more orphanages than schools of this type.
Because nothing can substitute the warmth, intimacy and the continued support and relationship within the family.
To give an example, the large majority of the children at the Abugida school ought to be in institutions for reasons of poverty. But their lives are actually very different: they attend school or nursery where they eat, play and learn with happy teachers, where there is no physical punishment and where their families come to collect them each afternoon to take them home... This also gives so many single mothers the chance to keep their children. There are also single fathers too, of course.
No child wants to grow up in an institution, cut off from the outside world.
Let’s dispel the myth that it takes very little to make a Third World child happy – this is just an excuse not to give him/her very much.