Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hanna Fanta

Hanna Fanta is with me this week. She cares for and mentors teenaged girls that have lost parents to AIDS. The stories she has told me over the past 24 hours are chilling, yet, her work leaves me with hope.

Here are some images of her organization, Children's Heaven, that I put together last night from photos Hanna brought with her. Hanna is the woman hugging the girl near the end of the montage. The neat thing about Hanna is that she maintains deep relationships with her girls, like a mother would. And though the overall need in Ethiopia is great, Hanna never wants to lose these personal relationships, and will guard against becoming a BIG sponsoring agency.

I hope the others copy her model of orphan care, because I believe that going deep may be more effective than going wide.

Maybe, if each of us does a little bit, we can change our world.

Today we will make Ethiopian food for a get together at my friend Lee Ann's house. Hanna will talk with our friends about her work in hopes that she will find some women willing to sponsor a girl. Tomorrow, we will do the same thing in Atlanta at Laura's house, then over the weekend, we go to Raleigh, where my mom is hosting another get together.


the ewings said...

Love this! Not sure when I can contribute, but what is the best way to go about that? What if you can give a donation but not be able to commit to sponsoring a girl? Would love to do it if we had the money. -Chris

Heidi Mehltretter said...

There are many good uses for donations. With a recent one time donation, Hanna was able to start a small library, and you can tell from the photos that the girls really love it.

Some of the girls she helps live with their dying mothers, and Hanna wants to get some materials so the moms can do handicrafts at home when they are feeling up to it. Now, whenever they gain even a tiny bit of strength, they will go out and do hard labor, like carrying rocks, to make money, because they lack seed money to do something at home. They over-extend themselves and end up back in bed right away.

Some of her ideas include embroidery, and soap and candle making.

You can write Hanna directly at ethiochildren at yahoo dot com, and she can give you her address in the States. All contributions are tax deductible.

Thanks Chris!

Heidi Wilson said...

Raleigh! Makes me desperately wish I still lived in Cary so I could come too. Love you, and thank you for the video. It is amazing to see love in action.... and heartbreaking to think of how many needs there are.


nosmallfeat said...

You are amazing as is the video. I will link this over to my blog as well. I am really looking forward to tomorrow.


atomicblonde said...

I'll be there next week. That's a beautiful video...I want to go back to Africa.