As we counted down the days to the New Year, celebrated Christmas, and spent time with family and friends, I reflected on my visit to Kore, the garbage dump community in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. There, thousands of miles away in Africa, I witnessed hundreds of children living in homes made of plastic tarps, broken tree limbs, cardboard, and rusted corrugated sheet metal. Many of the children living in these conditions were at no fault of their own but were victims of the dire circumstance under which they and their families have fallen.
Dagne Tariku, only 14 years old, lost his father in an accident and was forced into the dump with his family as a means of survival. His mother was desperate to earn a living and knew she could make a little money searching for trash in the dump. She collects plastic, metal, and discarded items to sell. Dagne’s mother does not let him go to the trash dump because of its horrible conditions. However, she continues to go every day despite being sick from the smoke and dirty conditions of sorting through the rotten trash.Dagne hopes to become a doctor and, with International Samaritan, his future is brighter now that he is receiving a scholarship to attend school.
Hearing Dagne’s story makes me feel grateful for my blessings, and thanks to our donors, International Samaritan’s scholarship is providing Dagne with hope to improve his life. I wish you God’s continued blessings in your life and a happy new year.
Andrew Pawuk | International Program Director
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