Friday, April 1, 2011
My Hero Zeritu
Hero : a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability.
Meet Zeritu. Zeritu is an orphan living in Zeway. Her father died when she was young and she does not know where her mom lives. After Zeritu’s mom left her, she found the only other relative she knows, her aunt, and lived with her for a period of time. Like most parents in Zeway, Zeritu’s aunt could not afford to send Zeritu to school and instead made Zeritu work as a day laborer. Zeritu wanted to go to school and make a better future for herself. Since her aunt would not let her, Zeritu ventured out on her own.
By God’s grace Zeritu met an FH social worker in June of last year. As an orphan Zeritu was able to participate in the Child Headed Household (CHH) program. Zeritu now lives in a small one -room house that is rented for her by the CHH program. The house is owned by the mother of one of the FH social workers who lives next door to Zeritu and watches out for her as if she were one of her own children. Thanks to the food, shelter and funding provided by the CHH program, Zeritu was able to enroll in school. Zeritu is currently in 10th grade and her favorite subjects are physics and mathematics. In addition to her schooling, Zeritu also has had the opportunity through the CHH program to receive training in food preparation as a possible career.
Zeritu told us about her dreams for the future. In Zeritu’s words, “I need to be an engineer. Second, and most important, once capable, I want to support other children who face the challenges I have faced.” She went on to tell us, “I need my dream to become my reality. Please pray for this.” As I sat on a low stool just above the dirt floor in the corner of Zeritu’s home, in the midst of her humble surroundings and big dreams, the term hero came to mind. At that moment Zeritu became a hero to me. Zeritu ended her time with us by saying, “I am happy you are here to visit me. I thank you on behalf of all children who have lost their parents. Your support is awesome.” Zeritu, it is you who are awesome, and heroic.