Hi my name is Fasika Jembere, and I’m a student at the University of Toronto. I visited the school in Ethiopia last December.

I spent a few weeks there helping the mothers serve meals and assisting in any way I was needed with other tasks around the orphanage. Primarily, my focus was teaching the children and interacting with them. On our first day, as I toured the compound and said hello to all the students, I was amazed by the joy and happiness all the children exuded. Their excitement to see visitors and perform their songs and show me all they had learned was truly infectious.

During my time with the children, I mostly spent my days with the pre-kindergarten class. Each child was eager to learn and excited to demonstrate their knowledge. While the education was primarily in Amharic (the Ethiopian language), the children still learned English, and were able to read and write. What touched me the most when interacting with the kids was how strong of a community there was. When I asked for a student’s name, another would answer filling in the last name, and other additional information about their friend. Each student viewed the other as their sister or brother.

My experience with the children was truly remarkable. I was back in Addis Ababa this summer for work and I went to say hello the children. To my surprise, even six months later they still remembered me and were eager to share all the new things they had learned over the past few months. It is truly amazing to see first-hand the impact that the charity has on the lives of so many young children and women.