Friday, October 8, 2010

Making a Difference to an Orphaned Child in Ethiopia

Our Story
Rob and I are adoptive parents to three precious children—one born in Russia and the other two in Ethiopia. We want to make a difference in the lives of orphans and vulnerable children in the world. It’s a huge undertaking if you look at the statistics. There are more than 145 million orphans and many more vulnerable children in the world.

After our first two adoptions were finalized, I knew our family was called to do even more to help orphans and at-risk children in Ethiopia, but I didn’t know what. Over the last year I’ve been amazed at the answer to my prayer which was “Please show us how to make a difference in the lives of children without moms and dads.”

First-hand Witness
In December 2009, I went to Ethiopia with a group of like-minded people and a group called Children’s HopeChestWe visited orphanages and care points in Ethiopia, and our hearts broke. Hungry children, tattered clothes, lack of clean water at many locations…. In Kombolcha, Ethiopia, our group met 300 children who have lost a mom or a dad or both. Many of these orphaned children are only able to eat a few times a week because of extreme poverty. They cannot concentrate in school because they are hungry. They need food to survive, grow, and thrive. 

As I left Ethiopia to return to the U.S., I knew we could make a difference in these children’s lives. Our church teamed with another to start sponsoring children at Grace Baptist Church in Kombolcha. A small sponsorship fee ($34 monthly) provides resources for children to receive at least one meal a day, school supplies, a school uniform and basic medical care.

However, because not all the children are sponsored, the meals must be spread out to feed all 300. How could we help fill the gap to make sure all the children receive the proper nutrition they need while we continue to look for sponsor families? That is how “Buy a Book & Feed an Orphan” was born.

Buy a Book & Feed a Child
It’s a simple concept. We are now selling two children’s books, Little Lion's Bedtime and Counting Addis Ababa, all the proceeds will feed children at the orphanage/drop in center at Grace Baptist Church in Kombolcha, Ethiopia. Both books are soft cover and about 11x8 inches.

Little Lion's Bedtime tells the story of Little Lion who is creeping when he should be sleeping! Watch Father Lion gently put Little Lion to bed.

Counting Addis Ababa offers full-page color illustrations that accompany each counting lesson (1-10) in English and two African languages, Amharic and Oromiffa. The beautiful illustrations depict scenes in Addis Ababa’s life such as women at the market, young children, chickens, donkeys, and more.

Each book is $10. Buy both for $17.95; shipping is included! Purchase a book and you will feed an orphan for several days! Buy both books and feed a child for a week. You CAN make a difference. 

About the Editor
We have partnered with Fitsame Teferra, editor of several children's books including the two listed above. Fitsame was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She speaks Amharic, English, German and is currently learning Oromiffa, the second most widely spoken language in Ethiopia. She was inspired to become a children’s author when working for a publishing company. She began to notice there were no picture books for Ethiopian children and had learned when traveling in Europe and North America how children are influenced by books at a very early age. But it was her love for books that was her greatest motivator.
Fistsame said, "I am so excited to be part of  Buy a book and Feed a Child campaign as it will give me a chance to give back to the community. When I first contacted Candy about the possibility of working on fund raising, I was not thinking it would be big and put in to action so fast that it really makes me proud to be part of it."

If you have questions or are interested in sponsoring a child, please e-mail us at