One Gift Cupboard Filled With Love

By Donna Atola, Kenya Field Content Specialist
Photos by Hope Center Staff

A sponsor’s simple gift brings dignity to an Ethiopian family.

Most people don’t think twice about the benefits of having storage cabinets for food and clothing. But for families living in poverty, a simple cupboard is a luxury out of reach.

Eight-year-old Bamlak lives with his parents and his sister in a small house in a crowded neighborhood in Akaki Kality, a suburb of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital. Their home is among eight houses in a compound where the 23 residents share a water source, a power source, and a toilet. With limited sanitation and hygiene resources, community members are prone to disease and infection.

When he was 4, Bamlak couldn’t attend school like the rest of his friends because his parents couldn’t afford shoes and a school uniform. Ethiopia offers free education in government-sponsored schools, but parents have to help provide such essentials needed by their kids.

When Bamlak was 5, his parents were relieved when he was registered in OneChild’s Akaki Hope Center because the center helps provide essentials such as shoes and clothing so he could attend school.

Then Janet, who lives in the United States, started sponsoring Bamlak.

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“We’re lucky to have Bamlak settled in school because we feared that our unstable economic status would cost him his education,” says Alemitu Tariku, Bamlak’s mother. “But now his meals and clothes are assured of at the Hope Center, and the Hope Center has allowed him to learn and to get to know God at a young age.”

But even with Bamlak comfortably in school, his family faced another challenge. Mice that run rampant in the neighborhood were destroying their food and clothes because they lacked storage cabinets.

“It was challenging to replace Bamlak’s uniform frequently because the mice were so destructive, and it broke my heart to have him go to school with a fairly good but torn uniform,” says Alemitu.

Recently, sponsor Janet sent Bamlak funds as a Family Gift. Child Champions at his Hope Center met with the family to determine how to spend the money, and they settled on purchasing storage items and food.

“I am excited that Janet gifted me a cupboard and storage boxes. We already have our utensils and our food stored well in the cupboard,” says Bamlak. “The cupboard will help my family cut on the losses of food, and now our evening leftover food will be intact come morning because that is what I take before going to school.”

This is a luxury that I never imagined we would ever have. With the storage boxes, our clothes can now last us long, and we can now save more money.” — Alemitu Tariku, Bamlak’s mother

The family is so grateful for the life-changing gift.

 

“Thank you so much Janet, and may God bless you,” says Alemitu.

The cupboard will help my family cut on the losses of food, and now our evening leftover food will be intact come morning because that is what I take before going to school.” — Bamlak