America World sponsors a large number of families in Ethiopia, totaling 107 individuals. This week our in-country staff made visits to some of those homes in order to meet with some of the sponsor families.
Caitlin, a staff member who works both in Ethiopia and stateside, noted, "It was such a special day for all of us. As we visited with them, we saw such joy radiating from their faces. Each family stated that one of the most special parts of sponsorship was having a bank account set up for their child where a portion of the sponsored money must go every month. Another noted that the sponsorship helped pay their rent so they could use their money for their health in order to better treat some very serious illnesses that passed from mother to child. But the most impactful part of the day was when our own Ethiopian staff member, Israel, took each girl and looked into her eyes letting them know,
‘I was you once. I was also a sponsor child. My family grew up with very little but we had each other, and I always knew I could be anyone I wanted as long I believed it. I studied very hard, worked very hard, and now I am in a very great place. You can do anything you want to do, and never forget that. I believe in you! We believe in you! And God has a plan for you!’
Each time, the little girls started to cry, and you could see hope fill their eyes. While material wasn't prevalent in these households, they had a strength and a beauty I hadn’t seen elsewhere.”