"To all the moms who can't be with their kids at AHOPE --- you live in the hearts of all our AHOPE kids as well as staff and donors."
Mother's Day is coming and your news feed will be flooded with stories about inspirational mothers. While the HIV-positive orphans at AHOPE Ethiopia may not have their moms for guidance and love, they are not without hope. Because of the life-saving support from your donations to Ahope for Children, each month over 200 orphans are able to live joyfully. This Mother's Day, we ask you to sponsor a child for one year ($420) or just make a donation in honor or memoriam of an inspiring mother. Your mother will receive a child's information and updates throughout the year.
With a donation of $100 or more, this special mother can be featured on the AHOPE Facebook page as an "Amazing Mother of AHOPE". We would love to share your story about why this mother is truly special and inspires you. Please email email@example.com to have your story added.
We would like to remember all those mothers who are unable to be with their children this Mother's Day and live in the hearts of the children of AHOPE.
Join the conversation by using #mothersofahope and tagging @ahopeforchildren.
Mina "Naihomi" Ferber is our first "Mother of AHOPE". In her memory, Julie has sponsored an orphaned child at AHOPE for one year.
She spoke her truth and she did so without hesitation.
Here is her story:
"This is my grandmother, my Bubbe, Mina "Naihomi" Ferber and she is my hero. I am not alone. She had four granddaughters and all of them have had the same hero. My very own Bubbe (as she signed every note she ever sent me including the ones throughout college when she sent me underwear from Canal Street, toilet paper (no idea why) and her famous "dust like" cookies (made more so by travel) but adored by all who knew her and never to be recreated quite so terribly) was eccentric. She supported her family by being one of the first female social workers in New York City and traveled the world on a Chinese steamer in her 70s. She graduated college at 82 and went on to take Master's classes. There are countless famous stories of her quirkiness and her singular determination to live her life her own special way. She was known for her "firsts" as well as for being well before her time in how she lived. Don't get me wrong, she was stubborn and blunt, she was coarse and she was not known for her stellar taste in men (although she did have stellar taste in sherry). She was not known for being gentle and nurturing, and my Mom would say she lacked mothering skills. But, we girls could forgive our larger than life, force of nature Bubbe any transgression. All of this is how I feel her in my bones, but not why she is my hero and not why I think of her this Mother's Day.
She is my hero because she spoke her truth and she did so without hesitation. She had no fear in telling you when you were wrong and she was far too often simply right. She used her sharp tongue with love always. She stood firmly in her own power and expected the same of her girls. She had strong opinions which she felt no need to defend and she loved with her full heart. She would laugh so hard she would pee her pants and just when you thought she couldn't tell you in any tougher terms your path was wrong, she would slip her hand down your pants and give your tush a little squeeze.
She was indeed my very own Bubbe, and I her very own Katskala (little duck). I make a donation to Ahope for Children today to honor Sidisse Buli and all the women who have spent the last 15 years nurturing children not their own and impacting their lives like my grandmother did for me."
AHOPE is the only orphanage in Ethiopia serving exclusively HIV+ children. While we started as a hospice for these children over 10 years ago, PEPFAR made anti-retroviral medications (ART) available to people in sub-Saharan Africa and gave our children life. Our children now receive the necessary life saving drugs, education, psycho-social support to lead full lives.
Today, we maintain Little AHOPE for our children under age 7. Our older children reside in homes within the community where they are mentored and have the support of a "mother". Our young adults attending high school, university or vocational school and those who have graduated and are working, live in our independent living program. This program teaches our kids how to balance a budget, run a household and remain responsible to their daily activities.
Some children at AHOPE get adopted through licensed agencies in Ethiopia. Most do not. Our goal is to reunify or preserve families, and when that can not happen, we raise these children to become independent members of their country. Over the last several years, we have reunified children with aunts and uncles, older siblings and extended family members. We maintain support – both financial and a host of other services to these families.
Our Community Development Program preserves families. Simply, we keep families from having to relinquish their children to orphanages. By assessing needs of family, we provide educational, medical and economic support to these families. Additionally, our Family Preservation and Economic Strengthening Program creates sustainable security by providing micro loans and business training to each qualifying family unit. Our family businesses range from Craft Work (embroidery, tailoring, shoe repair, weaving and pottery making) to Sales (spices, fruits & vegetables, clothing, enjera and kollo - rolled barley) to one family owning a cafe within their community.