From their perspective

By Dawn Patterson

It’s one thing to share the stories of Hope in the Hope in Ethiopia
ministry.  But then we got to thinking…..what are their stories?
How do they feel about this ministry?  We did a brief interview with
Bezawork Lakew who is the director of the Child Head of Household
program, Zeway


Before the CHH program came to Zeway what were some of the biggest
problems you saw for the Children?

Children were in great grief and trauma due to the life they were
living.  They were abandoned and in a desperate situation.  They had
problems getting to school.  Food, clothes, and getting house rent
were some of the problems observed and some of them were getting their
food by begging.  They were not healthy in their physical development
and they didn’t have money to go to health institute when they got

What has been the biggest change in the children since CHH was brought to Zeway?
After the CHH Program started children felt relieved about their
“tomorrow”.   They feel hope, and their grief and trauma is eased due
to the support of their social worker. They go to school and learn in
a stable condition.  They are growing healthy and get medication when
they get sick.

Why was the defacto orphan program started and do you feel it has helped?
The defacto program started because Children were living in HIV
positive families and one day if their family passed away they would
surely became child head of household with in a desperate situation.
Even before their family passed away children were living in fear of
being abandoned if their bed ridden family passed away. So to treat
children ahead and to help them to get relief and not feel anxious
about their situation, we started defacto CHH program.  For example
“Belayenesh” a mother of two Children passed away after she entered
the program and was getting support for a certain period of time. Her
two Children namely Meserete Alemayehu and Samuel Habtamu, are now in
the program and they are continuing their education and their
relatives are serving as their guardians.  The children did not have
to wait for care because they were already in the program.

What is the hardest part of your job on this point?
The hardest part has been when the children reach adolescence.  It is
hard to guide them because they are deceived by peer influence.  These
children come from hard life conditions and their parents were
prostitutes, addicted to chat and alcohol and other hard situations.

Can you share one small story of “hope” that has really blessed you?
The story of hope I want to share you is that the involvement of the
church to support the orphans. The program by itself challenged the
church to see their call and what they are doing. Leaders repented in
most of our training focused on Care for orphans, poor and the widow.
Some Churches of Zeway and metro started to care for orphans and
widows. Let me share you the case of Bulbula church. The Church
prepared a special service for CHH living in Bulbula every Saturday.
Danie, one of the Elders in the church that serves CHH and taught a
lesson on salvation for big boys and Girls.  The small Children are
learned about the  Bible in pictorial representation.  They have also
a program arranged by the Church to visit each other on Friday once a
week and they go to home visits to visit their friends together with
their Sunday class teacher and share joys together and see each other.
 Daniel an elder in Bulbula Meserete kiristos church knows each CHH
home and visits each of them.   It is because of this, we have hope
for this program to be sustained locally.  Children even came to
Christ because of the example Teshome Tadesse showed (the brother of
Asnakech) when he received Jesus as his own lord and savior. Asnakech
his sister is now serving in Choir. Aynalem (defacto orphan) who was
leading a very desperate life also received Jesus Christ as her
savior.  Most of the Children living in Bulbula are now going to
Church every Saturday and showed an increasing interest to be in
Church. So we give praise to God for all this.

Finally I would like to share you some of the prayer request.

  • So please pray that Children to live a stable life & attain their future, to be hopeful and resist the challenges they face from peer influence.
  • Pray for social workers that God give them wisdom to lead these children into the best future.
  • Pray for Zeway Church Leaders to expand what they started and for those who are not active in holistic service especially for Adami Tulu leaders to start holistic ministry and give care for orphans and widows in their Church.

God bless You


  1. Julie Kouri says:

    Great interview! It is insightful to hear Bezawork’s perspective and learn how HiE has encouraged him.

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