Fundraising Coordinator (Volunteer)
My connection with Ethiopia began back in 1996 when my husband and I decided to adopt a child. At the time, we thought we would adopt a baby and probably never return to Ethiopia. As we all know the best laid plans often change. Since being united with our 6-month-old daughter in 1998 my first trip back was in 2005 when she was 8. From that point onwards it has pretty much been an annual event to return to her birth country.
We have made such strong connections with the beautiful people in this country. So many have so little, yet are so humble and giving in so many ways.
Each time I returned there seemed to be a new project or family that needed help. It got to the point where I felt quite overwhelmed and wondered how can one possibly help everyone! I learnt very quickly that whilst I could not help each one that needed it, I could still make a difference by helping as much as I could.
When I first visited CCELA a couple of years ago, I discovered some children who I had met many years ago at a different orphanage. These children had been moved as the orphanage had closed down, they were placed in a government orphanage which would have been quite traumatic for them.
Fortunately, they were then assigned to CCELA and are now living in what is as close to a family home as they will ever have. Meeting these children again has given me a purpose in life which is to ensure they are well educated and are living in a loving environment and I hope my support can give them a future.
We need to break the cycle for these children, a good education is the key to this. I will continue to visit regularly as will my daughter.