It was the worst news I could get. Our Shanto staff informed me that one of the new children passed away a few days after he joined our Shanto H.O.P.E. Child Sponsorship Program. His name was Yishak Worana. Our Community Workers in Shanto tried all they could to save him, but Yishak died at the age of 9. He left behind three siblings and two parents. When I asked the community workers and local clinic about the cause of his death, the answer was sad and yet, not uncommon — malnourishment and unsafe living conditions.
The level of poverty that Yishak’s family faced was beyond desperate. Their home was a nearly collapsed hut in Tomtome village in the Shanto area. They had nothing to eat. The two parents were seriously sick. I thought the whole family would die. They truly needed a miracle. When I shared Yishak’s family story with our supporters, they asked me if FOVC could build a new house for this poor family if the funds were available. Of course, I said yes.
Then the miracle started. Our supporters, inspired by Yishak’s story, began fundraising. And by April 2014, we began to build his family a new home. We are happy to report that the house was finished. The family’s transformation was miraculous as the parents grew healthy and their kids grew healthier too.
After the new home was constructed, we talked to the family and their neighbors to understand what difference the house had made in their lives.
Ato Worana, the dad, says, “Everything is done through Him (God). I have no words to express my heartfelt thanks to FOVC and all who contributed to the construction of this house. As you all know, I had no shelter. I used to live in a local community policing center ’senteriya’. When I remember those life challenges, tears come out of my eyes. I never want to remember those days again. My oldest son died due to unsafe living conditions. But now, because of you, I am living happily and safely with my little children in my new house. I lost my son because of the life difficulties confronting me. He passed away because of the heavy rain falling on him as he was a little baby!”
Ato Worana adds, “When I was living on streets, life was too difficult for me especially at night; as I found myself protecting my children from the harm of night animals (especially hyenas). Thank you very much!”
While Ato Worana was sharing his happiness, his wife, Woizero Zenebech, interrupted him, “I do not remember the exact date it happened for me. It was rainy season; heavy rain with snow is falling down at night. I could not resist the rain as I was 8 months pregnant. I went to one of the neighbors’ seeking help but they chased me out saying you came to steal. Now I am very happy to have such a good house! My tears are swept out and my prayers are answered. God bless you all.”
The village community’s leader said, ”The help done was not only for Worana and his family. The whole community benefited from the project. We were always worrying about them, especially at night. But now we all relieved from the stress. We thank you in the name of Jesus! God bless you.“
First-born sons in Ethiopia are often responsible for tending to their family, helping them prosper and ensuring their security. Yishak never got that opportunity in his nine years. Yet, through his story, FOVC supporters helped honor him and his responsibility to his family.
Desalegn Daka Founder and Executive Director, FOVC