kids raising kids: the reality of child-headed households in africa

01chhOn my trip to Ethiopia with Food for the Hungry, I knew that a portion of our time would be spent visiting the homes of sponsored children, so that we could see the way child sponsorship was transforming their lives. When I saw the schedule for our time in the village of Zeway, there was one description that gave me a catch in my throat upon reading: Child-Headed Household.  I've heard this term before, and understood that it refers to a house in which there are no parents. As an adoptive parent and orphan advocate, the idea of children living without an adult, left to fend for themselves and care for young siblings, has always  evoked a profound sadness in me. I knew that these visits would be emotional. 

We visited several families in Food for the Hungry’s program for Child-Headed Household.  Each family was overcoming incredible obstacles . . . and each family was thankfully having their basic needs met by a sponsor in the US.  I cannot imagine what live would be like for these children without help.

I’ve shared the details of five incredible families over at Babble Voices today.   I hope you will take a moment to click here and read their inspiring stories of resilience.  Their reality is such a stark contrast to kids growing up in the US . . . but their hope for the future belies their circumstances.

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