Thursday, March 19, 2009

What Can We Do?

This was the first question I asked myself when I heard about Haregewoin's passing. After all, she has 50+ children, many of them HIV+, still living at her homes throughout Addis Ababa. Surely, these children are sad and scared.

The following was on Melissa Faye Greene's blog this morning and it shows us how we each can contribute something, should we so choose. It's amazing, truly, how much it costs to care for children in such a poverty-infected country. But, given that the cost of the washer and dryer for Hannah's Hope was nearly $20,000 (that is not a typo) it's not terribly surprising.

$1 may not feel like a large donation but if everyone who reads my blog in a month donated $1, it would be almost $1000 toward this effort (that's assuming that my parents aren't reading my blog 998 times a month, but who knows).




*from the blog of Melissa Faye Greene, author of There is No Me Without You.

Haregewoin Teferra 1946 (est.) - 2009

Dear Friends,

By now you may have learned the shocking news that Mrs.
Haregewoin Teferra has died suddenly after a short
illness. We don't know what caused her death; she felt
sick for a couple of days, went to the doctor, came
home without a diagnosis, felt sick again, laid down,
and that was the end.

We are grieving, yet we have no time to spare: 59
children survive her, many of them toddlers and babies,
the majority HIV-positive.

Worldwide Orphans--the New York-based organization that
has provided pediatric care to Haregewoin's children
for many years--has stepped into the breach. They have
assumed full custody of the 42 HIV-positive kids and
are prepared to take responsibility for the 17
HIV-negative children, as needed, most of them babies
and toddlers. Those small children are still at
Haregewoin's foster home; their caregivers have
stayed on; and the Atetegeb board has taken charge of
their well-being for the present.

These heroic measures come at high cost: it is
estimated to require about $4,600 per child to cover
food, healthcare and medicine, education, clothing, and
caregivers. Once the children's basic needs are secure,
their paperwork will be sorted out: some may be
eligible for adoption, others may have extended families
in a position to take them in; others may find new

No one knows, at this moment, whether Haregewoin had made
financial plans for the children in the event of her
death. All that can be sorted out in the future. The
crisis is NOW: keeping the children fed and clothed,
paying the salaries of loving caregivers to act as
stand-ins for their late parents and long-devoted
foster mother, and making sure there is no lag-time
in their life-saving medical treatment.

At Little Atetegeb, for positive children

Haregewoin lived with these children seven days a week,
24 hours a day, for ten years. She is irreplaceable.

The youngest children, of course, have no idea what
has just happened. Please let us work together to
act as foster parents in absentia for them and to
provide financial sustenance to the adults on the
ground in Addis during this transitional time.

Thank you in advance for any amount you can give.

Online contributions can be made at

Checks may be sent to:
511 Valley Street
Maplewood, New Jersey 07040


Haregewoin's children


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