Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bright Futures Fund Girls--an update

The Bright Futures Girls

Just nine months ago, we learned that all of the girls pictured above were too old to receive US Visas and therefore ineligible for adoption.  Birthdates are not generally recorded in rural Ethiopia and children are often smaller than a typical child that age would be here in the U.S.   Therefore it is always a bit of an art to guess the ages of children who arrive at Layla House.  We rely on both doctor's reports, relatives' recollections and technology like wrist x-rays that can show at what stage of puberty a child is in.  Even though these girls had been at Layla House for some time we had hoped that they would still be eligible but it was not to be and other plans had to be made to assure that they would still have a "bright future."  Thus the Bright Futures Fund was born and the girls were enrolled in a boarding school outside of Addis so that they could continue their education and begin preparation for a life in Ethiopia. 

Recently Merrily and Susan Holmgren were able to see the girls on their trip to Ethiopia because the entire group were on a weekend visit to one of our partner orphanages--Sele Enat.   Merrily returned with photos and a social worker's report about how the girls are doing.   Here is an excerpt from that report:
It has been nine months since the girls have joined the school. At first, though they struggled a lot so that they can adjust themselves to the new environment, gradually they have been becoming acquainted with the school system, surroundings and with the other children whom they learn together. At this time they are also doing better day after day and following their schooling courteously. I have been able to see some of the class exams they have taken in the past nine months and they are all doing acceptable. The last semester of this year is at hand and they are doing their best to prepare themselves so that they are getting good result. They are going to have a final exam that starts from June 13-17/2011.
Many people have met the girls over the years and have have received some donations to help us with this project.  The cost of boarding school, books and necessities comes to about $1300 per girl/per year.  If you would like to help ensure that these girls do indeed have a Bright Future, click here.  Please contact Brooke Cole, AAI Sponsorship coordinator.  Donors to the Bright Futures Fund will receive periodic updates and may send letters to the girls via the AAI office in the U.S.  Let's encourage them to do well and succeed!  

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