This article caught my interest tonight:
The Ethiopian peasant farmer and his wife shuffled painfully into the orphanage. They were in the last stages of AIDs and had only weeks to live. However, they were happy. They had heard the Franciscan nuns had found a home for their three children and had come to say farewell.
“I am so happy, they are going to stay together,” the father, Solomon, whispered as he embraced a middle-aged couple from Utah. “Now, I can die peacefully. They will go to school in America and have a future. It is good they leave here.” As they embraced their two daughters, aged 8 and 6, for the last time the tears ran freely. Their four-year-old son did not appreciate the significance of the moment and ran off to play with friends.
…Only a fraction of Ethiopia’s burgeoning population of orphaned children, now put at five million, find their way to Kidane Meheret Children’s Home. Even fewer leave and they are certainly the lucky ones.
A few miles away, dozens of children sleep in drains at night and beg by day at the sprawling central bus station. They face constant dangers.
“Some are forced into prostitution, some are sold by relatives after their parents die, they are kept as maids and often abused,” said Dagmawi Alemayeau who runs an organisation, Forum on Street Children, which tries to fight trafficking. Most of an estimated 50,000 children on the streets of the capital, Addis Ababa, at some stage pass through the bus station where he has his office.
“Adoption is sad, very sad but the whole issue is sad, a life of neglect, and abandonment, grinding poverty and abuse is sad, adoption is often the lesser evil especially as the people who come here are good and very carefully checked,” added Sister Luthgarder who finds at least one new born baby a week on her doorstep.
Please cure extreme poverty. Please stop this cycle. Please be with these families and these children. Please stop the spread of AIDs in Africa and around the world. Please come quickly.