Alem walks out the front doorway of her tiny home—a humble, makeshift building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Her work-worn hands clutch what appears to be a tight bundle of grocery store bags, which she carefully begins to unwrap, revealing a small photo album. She explains that the plastic bags keep the album from water and dirt damage as a smile spreads across her face. She examines each page like a long-lost friend, a smile of familiarity and comfort. Yamaserach’s face adorns every page; it’s an album of her memories from the time she was a tiny baby.
Yamaserach is not so tiny anymore. This 10-year-old lady is full of energy, excited about school, and eager to draw when her studies are complete. She has changed a lot since Alem first found her about nine years ago. Alem, who never married and has no children of her own, found Yamaserach abandoned alongside a road, and she has cared for her ever since that day.
Alem is supported by her local church through the Home Based Care Program, which helps ensure Yamaserach has the food, medical care, and education she needs. They live simply. Alem and Yamaserach reside in a small home without electricity, and Alem supports them through her job as a church janitor. Finances may be meager, but the love between these two overflows.
While Alem has dealt with ongoing health issues, thanks to the support of the local church, she doesn’t have to give up Yamaserach, the daughter she has grown to love. The church has come alongside these two as they live out their incredible story, equipping them to remain together as a family unit.