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Ohio State University Visited Mary Joy

Ohio State University delegates unveiled their interest to partnership: The Ohio State University (OSU) delegates visited Mary Joy Development Association on December 9, 2012. The delegates encompass OSU’s professors, Deans and researchers. The visit was aimed to establish partnership between MJDA and OSU on community health outreach program, volunteer mobilization and in-service training programs. The delegates visited the MJDA medical center’s activities and integrated community development programs as well as discussion has been held among the team members and MJDA’s management on the focus of the partnership and sustainability of MJDA’s health programs. The visitors were accompanied by Professor Tirusew Tefera (Dean, College of Education and Behavioral Studies, Addis Ababa University) and Dr. Mekasha Kassaye (Assistant Professor in English Language Pedagogy and Higher Education Policy and Management) and Ethiopian Medical Student Association’s Executives.

Volunteers Recognition

On the 4th of February 2012, MJDA organized a Volunteers Recognition Event to publically recognize the contribution of 200 volunteers who have been actively participating during the last 5 years to achieve the organization’s objectives.

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“The Sun Will Rise Again”

The Story of Samson Getachew, 18 years old

When I was a little boy I was happy and my mother cared for me. I still remember how my mother used to cherish me with endless love. I was her only child. Unfortunately, for unknown reasons, she became deathly sick and sent me to my grandparents, who lived in Gojam. Because I was just a small child, I never had the opportunity to know my father or ask where he was. Then my mother passed away

Her death left me alone with no one to take care of me. My relatives were not willing to accept the burden of caring for me and accepting me as part of the family. Thus, I grew up like a dog that is passed around the neighborhood, one day in this house and tomorrow in another house.

Back then, everybody just called me “Gefi”.

One day my mother’s friend came from Addis Ababa and proposed to take me with her so I could grow up with my aunt. My relatives were relieved to see me leave. So I came to Addis Ababa full of hope to join school like normal children. But when I reached the capital city, my aunt refused me and told my mother’s friend she could not afford to take care of and feed me.

My fate was such that I lived with my mother’s friend. She tried her best to make me happy and enroll me in school. I became a part of her family despite her husband’s resistance to accept me. Taking advantage of the opportunity, I attended school and soon become one of the top students. The years passed and when I reached grade seven, I was forced to leave the house because of my foster father. He said that he should not suffer because of me and told to my foster mother to choose between me and her biological family.

I had no other alternatives. For days at a time, I stayed with friends and finally became a shoe shine boy, otherwise known as a “street boy”. My friends and teachers were deeply affected by my situation, yet nobody offered a solution.

My world and my heart darkened as I watched my education, hope and future slip away.

One day the sun rose again in my life, and everything changed. I was approached by a Plan Mary Joy Home Based Care Provider who knew my story and educational performance. I registered and provided her with the necessary scholastic materials, financial and nutritional information. Mary Joy accepted me into their program.

I am now in my fourth year as a participant in the Mary Joy project. I am currently in the 11th grade, and I continue to rank first in my class and the school.

Thank You Mary Joy.