The Project Officers for Roots Ethiopia are local to the regions where they serve. This has many advantages for both Roots Ethiopia and communities, as it enables us to understand the sometimes unique needs of a community. It also allows our staff to be frequently in different villages (“kebeles”) on a regular basis, developing relationships. Here is a story sent to us by staff who were alerted to a potential School Sponsorship Scholar in Wolayta by a Project Officer…eleven year old Mihret.
When the Project Officer first brought to us meet with Mihret, she was carrying one of her little sisters on her back. When we get closer to the house, she came to ask us who we were. She looked pale and tired; the look in her eyes clearly touched each of our hearts.
Mihret is eleven years old. She has a twin sister and also has younger twin sisters. Her Mother is a widow who struggles to raise all four girls. Her mother used to work as a laborer. However, now with the younger twins to care for, she couldn’t leave them to go out and find labor work. The family could not afford to rent a house and are living in a small house provided by the local Women and Children’s Aid Society. Mihret was living with her aunt who lives far from her family’s village, and used to attend classes in the local school. Now it has been five days since she left school to return back home to her mother. We asked her why she had to leave school. She explained that “my twin sister got sick and went to Hawassa for medication. My mother wants to find a daily labor work and I am here to help care for the smaller children.”
As we spoke to her, she continued to carry one child on her back while other little ones played. We would have like to find her playing or studying with her friends. Instead, she has left her dream behind to make things better for her family.
Mihret deserves to be supported. She is now included in the Roots Ethiopia School Sponsorship Program. She was happy with tears in her eyes when she received school materials from the team. She will attend school and there will be help for her mother’s task to care for her sick sister. We know this: we will work together to create a better future for more children who are in need of our help.