Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Update from Ethiopia

Greetings from Ethiopia,

Since September 4, 2007, I've been in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia traveling from home to home meeting with some of the 50 plus orphans and vulnerable children ALIF is sponsoring through the Hiwot (Life) Campaign. Words cannot begin to explain this heartrenching experince. One of my aims in establishing ALIF was to create a medium that amplified the voice of the marginalized and underserved, so it brings me some since of relief to know that I will be returning with videos of our sponsored orphans and children telling their life story in their words!

One of these stories will be of a young woman, who after the death of her parents she became the head of the household and thus had to secure the basic neccesities (food, clothing & shelter) for her daughter, younger sister and brother--who is HIV positive and requires a considerable amount of medical attention. Out of despiration she became involved in sex work, which beyond the psychological and physical effects she suffers from, her main concern is that even though she is engaged in sex work she still is unable to secure the funds needed for her younger brother's HIV treatment that he desperately needs.

The videos show of a father's struggle to raise his two children after the passing of his wife, and the "shanty" homes constructed out of mud and pieces of cardboard box. It will tell of the young girl who at the age of 16 left for Saudi Arabia to work as a domestic worker, only to fall victim to sexual and psychological abuse.

This trip has awaken my soul to how precious life is and just how each breath and moment is a precious gifts. I think the only comparable gift each of us can give is the gift of helping somone else breath a bit easier. These stories have strengthen my resolve and commitment to a life of service, and I hope you all will join me as humanity needs all of us to give a gift!Sincerely,

Nasir Al-Amin

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