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Hussein's Promise to his Adopted Son

Seventy-nine years ago, Hussein was born in a small village in southern Ethiopia. Growing up in a farming community, there was no school in his village. Instead, children helped on their family farm. So Hussein and his siblings worked each day tending to his father’s cattle. But Hussein longed for an education, so one day he rose early and walked for miles to a town with a school. When he returned home that evening, his father was angry that he never dared to return.

As Hussein grew into a young man, he fell in love with a beautiful girl in his village named Abebech. He asked her family for Abebech’s hand in marriage, but they refused to bless the marriage. Hopelessly in love, Hussein and Abebech ran away to elope. They settled in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, where they still live today. Hussein spent his entire life employed in construction until retiring at age 65. The couple had 4 children, but only one, a daughter, survived past childhood. When she married and moved away, Abebech wanted another child – an impossibility at their ages.  Then one day as they walked past a church, they heard a baby crying.  A newborn, wrapped in blankets, had been left on the church steps, his parents too poor to keep him. Hussein and Abebech agreed to raise him as their son.  They named him Yohannes.

Because they were both retired with only a small pension, it was very difficult raising a growing boy. Hussein promised Yohannes that he would always help him attend school instead of working for his family. So they applied for governmental assistance and joined Lelt’s programs 8 years ago. Yohannes began coming to Lelt’s community center for hot lunches and school help. His mother and father began receiving household necessities and food each month, as well as medical assistance. Hussein got long-needed eyeglasses, and last year Yohannes had an emergency appendectomy through Lelt’s partnership with a local hospital. 

Yohannes is now thriving in school.  He says his favorite subject is history, but he wants to be a soccer player for the Ethiopia National team when he grows up.  His parents hope he will be the first in the family to attend college.  Hussein and Abebech tell us how grateful they are for Lelt’s assistance in Yohannes's education, and helping to sustain their family through this adoption.

Please consider becoming a Lelt child’s sponsor for another deserving child in need in Ethiopia    

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