Last week I went on a trip to Ethiopia with Food for the Hungry. I knew that a portion of our trip 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.
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