We all get a huge smile on our faces and let a sigh of relief when we find out that another child from the dump is able to go school. For many children, going to school is a dream come true. However, lack of tuition money, family troubles, and health issues can prevent children from ever achieving this dream.
In Kore, the dump community of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, children have the added burden of being from a leper community. This year with the help of International Samaritan and a generous donor, ten children living in the garbage dump are finally able to go to school. They started in September and the children say that a sense of hope and the idea of a brighter future has been restored in their lives. Read Mearag Arage and Biruk Bilelegn testimonies, two of the ten children that have been sent to school, and read how you can become a sponsor below.
“I am Mearag. I am six years old and I am in kindergarten. Before I got a school scholarship, my life was very hard. My mom and dad could not afford my school uniform and I never had my own textbooks or school supplies. Sometimes I couldn’t go to school because we didn’t have enough money for tuition.”
“My parents work in the garbage dump and they both have asthma. My mom also has tuberculosis, but she still goes to work in the dump and sometimes, even brings my little sister with her. I love her very much because I know she works hard so that I can go to school, but without a uniform and my own books, going to school can be hard. The teachers thought I was a thief because of where I am from, and the other students made fun of me because I did not have a school uniform.”
“Now I am happy because with the scholarship I can have my own books and uniform. I don’t have to go to school feeling bad that I am from Kore; I can go and be prepared like all the other children. I am teaching my mom to write her own name now and numbers so she knows what buses to take. Some day I want to get a good job so I can take care of my mom and dad like they have taken care of me.”
“My name is Biruk and I am ten years old. My mom died of HIV/AIDS many years ago and then my dad became an alcoholic and abandoned my sister and me. We moved with my aunt and cousins to Kore hundreds of miles away from my home.”
“My aunt and my cousins all work in the garbage dump and they try to get enough money for me to go to school. I was able to go, but I never felt good there. I remember having to stay late to write down everything in the textbook since I did not have my own. Many children did not like me because of where I came from and what my aunt and cousins do. Recently, my aunt had a very bad fall and now her pain keeps her from working. That is when I had to stop going to school.”
“I am so happy and thankful because I received a scholarship and I started school again in September. I even have my own books and I won’t have to stay late at school writing the information down in my notebook. I can do my homework at home. I hope to graduate some day and become a pilot. That way I could fly back home to where I was born all the time. I miss it there.”
Through International Samaritan’s scholarship program, children like Mearag and Biruk not only receive an education, but also are able to go to school feeling prepared and dignified. Biruk, Mearag, and the eight other children that received scholarships this year are going to school with their own uniform, books, and school supplies, something that they never would have imagined possible. Educating children and helping them stay in school creates a better future for Kore. A $2,000 scholarship sends a child to school for a year but makes a lifetime of difference. Click here to donate now and make a change in a child’s life today.