“I’d like to introduce you to someone special,” said Fr. Habte, the director of our programs in Ethiopia. “Fikre is 12 years old and one of our top-performing students,” he added while gently pushing a shy young woman through the door towards the group of donors I had accompanied to Emdibir.
Only a few months earlier, she had lost her father, an agronomist working for Fr. Habte, in a tragic car accident. Fr. Habte told us with tears on his face how Fikre’s father was bedridden in a hospital for several weeks before he finally surrendered to his injuries and passed away. In his final hours, he summoned Fr. Habte and begged him to take care of his two children and wife, who was fighting a battle against breast cancer.
Soon after his death, his family lost their house because they could not afford the rent. Fr. Habte received a plot of land as a donation and asked A Chance In Life if we could build a new house … a home for Fikre, her brother and her mother. In no time, donors like you raised the money necessary to restore hope to Fikre’s family and give her a chance in life.
Even after returning home to New York City, we continued receiving news of how the family’s new home had changed their lives. Fikre continues in the 8th grade as a citizen of Boys’ & Girls’ Towns of Ethiopia, and her mother has a peaceful place to rest as she continues her fight against breast cancer. Fikre’s brother, who is autistic, has the structure and security he needs to feel safe and happy.
I am so proud of A Chance In Life’s family. Your commitment to our mission allows us to be an organization with both the heart to change the life of a single child, and the capacity to help entire communities flourish. Fikre is just one of over 3,000 children who have received a chance in life this year through our Towns in Italy, Ethiopia, India and Latin America. In the past year, we’ve also:
Next year will mark 75 years of serving at-risk youth, an achievement your generosity has made possible. Let’s celebrate the legacy of our visionary founder Msgr. John Patrick Carroll-Abbing with this important milestone. And let’s not forget what he said … "Until every child is free from hunger and suffering, we have no right to stop." On behalf of all of our citizens around the world - thank you!
Click to read A Chance In Life's 2018-2019 Annual Report.