Sponsorship can literally mean the difference between life and death for a child.
For just $375 a year, sponsorship helps ensure that a critically poor child will have the necessities for a healthy and successful start to life, including food, school fees and a uniform, educational support through our Youth Centers, counseling and access to basic health care. Sponsorship also lifts the entire community as our programs reach parents, caregivers and other community members, as well.
Many of our sponsored children have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. All have experienced extreme poverty. While our non-profit partners in Addis Ababa strive to keep sponsored children living in the community, when a child has no place to go, the child may move into a group home established by one of our partners. The Hope For Children Fund currently supports a group home that includes four children who were in desperate need of help after their parents both died.
Mary Ellen Graham and Ron Rivard provide a terrific example of the difference sponsorship can make in a child’s life. In 2009, 11-year-old Rediet was totally alone and in desperate need of both financial and emotional support. The Graham-Rivards stepped up and, over the years, developed an unusually close bond with Rediet that has been life-changing for everyone involved. Rediet, a regular at the Youth Center, was first inspired to learn English so that he could write and talk to his sponsors. With Mary Ellen and Ron’s encouragement and support, Rediet has become a strong student and wonderful artist. Rediet is now in his second year at university studying architecture, an accomplishment he attributes to the love and mentoring he has received from his sponsors and the teachers at the Youth Center. Mary Ellen writes, “Rediet is a talented, terrific young man who continues to inspire us with his positive attitude and kind heart. We love him and are so proud of all he has accomplished.”