Surgical Success Stories - Gelane & Mulunesh (#237 & #238)

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Gelane is 45 years old. lives with her husband and has seven children. She had suffered from prolapse for 10 years before seeking help.  She was so thankful for her surgery and your kindness and generosity.

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Mulunesh Arzo is 50 years old and is a mother to eight children, including a set of twins! (Multiple births are very common in Ethiopia. The hospital has had two sets of triplets in the last couple of months.) She is married and lives with her husband and has had prolapse for the past five years. Thank you for helping to change her life.

Surgical Success Stories - Matafe & Ayome (#235 & #236)

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Matafe is 60 years of age and has six living children.  She has had prolapse for four years and lives with her husband who is ill. She was actually brought in by one of the sons of a patient from last week! His mother’s surgery went so well that he told her she needs to have the same thing and offered to bring her in and help take care of her afterwards. Drs Mark and Nate were very happy and flattered that he urged her to come in and was kind enough to help her in this way.

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Ayome is 57 years old.  She has seven living children after giving birth to eight.  She has had prolapse for 10 years and is married living with her husband. Thank you for sponsoring her life-changing surgery!

Surgical Success Stories - Aregash, Mutare and Almaz (#232, #233, #234)

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Aregash is 60 years old and has had six children, five of whom are still alive. She is married and travelled with two of her sons to receive care. She’s had prolapse for four years and the doctors were able to completely address her surgical needs.

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Mutare is 60 years of age. She has had eight children and six of them are still alive. She’s suffered from prolapse for the past year. Her husband is still alive but has another wife and they do not see each other regularly. Her surgery went extremely well and she is now free of prolapse.

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Almaz is 55 years old. She has had six children and all but one are alive. She lives with her husband and has had very severe prolapse for the last three years. She is now free of her prolapse and recovering well. Thank you for your generosity!

Busajo: Your Donations Matter

We are so excited to show you where some of your recent donations for Busajo have been directed. This is a fabulous organization that helps children living on the street in Soddo, giving them shelter, education, love, healthcare and other necessities like clothing and shoes.

Kids who show they are committed to a daytime education program are invited to come live at the Busajo campus, an idyllic spot with room to play, learn and develop life skills. The incredible leaders and mentors at Busajo also focus heavily on reuniting children with their families, offering the supports they need to strengthen that relationship. The reunification success rate is an astounding 85%.

Thanks to YOUR donations to Busajo and to our general fund, we were able to equip hundreds of children with shirts, sweaters, shoes, socks, pants and underwear. You helped to pay for linens, mattresses and bunk beds for dozens of children to have a safe and comfortable place to lay their heads.

Some of the necessities YOU helped to purchase for children in the Busajo program.

Some of the necessities YOU helped to purchase for children in the Busajo program.

Your funds provided crucial medical check-ups. Many of the children who come to Busajo have been fighting for their survival on the streets, with no access to clean water, healthy food, or any sort of health or psychological care.

In addition to all of these tangible items, your donations also helped to pay for ongoing educational efforts at the Busajo campus.

Thank you so very much for the care, kindness and financial support you are providing to these vulnerable children. We couldn’t do it without you.

Bears for Busajo: Re-imagined!

She started with a teddy bear pattern, and a YouTube video for left-hand knitters.

Patti McDonald never looked back.

She’s since knit dozens of amazing bears with custom outfits and stories - Harry Potter bear, snowsuit bear, dancer bear - and the orders are coming in at warp speed.

Patti is a longtime volunteer, donor and supporter of Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia. She’s deeply invested in making life better for women and children in Ethiopia, consistently coming up with new ideas to raise money.

This one has got to be the cutest, though.

Patti remembers when her mom, a professional knitter, tried to teach her how to knit and crochet as a child, but because she was left-handed, the training never made sense.

After her recent retirement, she took another shot. She made it her mission to teach herself how to make our cute little Bears for Busajo as a way to take pressure off other volunteer knitters.

“I honestly just took it up to help. I thought ‘this is something I can do year-round.’ And then I found out how much fun it was,” she said.

But that wasn’t enough.

“For my own sake, to make it interesting, I wanted to start playing with themes,” Patti said.

It all started with Dancer Bear. She added tights, a fluffy tutu, and a hair bow. Then came Singer Bear.

And when she posted about her bear-making escapades on Facebook, the whole venture exploded.

An entire women’s choir placed orders for music-themed teddies. Family members started knocking. Friends suggested new themes.

Now Patti’s made dozens of hand-knit bears, shipped them as far as Thunder Bay and South Carolina, and has a long list of orders for more.

“The best part is, I really haven’t spent a cent, because my mom has an entire closet of yarn ends,” she said.

She’s become a knitting machine, producing an entire bear in just a few days.

Patti says her friends can’t believe it. But she’s even started recruiting new knitters.

“My friend saw these bears and said ‘I want to learn how to make those.’ We get together every Wednesday, and she’s almost done her first bear. I’m so proud of her.”

Three more knitters are waiting in the wings.


“The army keeps growing,” Patti said with a laugh.

She’s far from done.

As Patti keeps cranking out her new orders - everything from Farmer Bear to Nurse Bear to Business Bear - she’s dreaming up new ideas, too.

Next up?

She’s plotting a way to develop a dog bear, complete with a miniature pup alongside.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen, I’m just having fun!” she said.

Faith + generosity + creativity = one bombshell idea!

Olivia Todd is one of our most creative fundraisers - and she’s only 10 years old.

This inspiring young lady was busy all through the Christmas season making special products for her latest money-making venture: Prayer balls!

In a stroke of holiday genius, Olivia came up with a way to celebrate her faith, the power of Christmas and a looming new year, and help women and children in Ethiopia at the same time.

Here’s how Olivia describes her fundraiser: “I made prayer balls to hang on the Christmas tree, where you write down on a small piece of paper a prayer you have for the upcoming year, and place it inside the ball to view as a family the following Christmas!”

And they were popular!

At times, Olivia had so much interest in her fundraiser that she had a hard time managing the demand. She’s already presented our founder, Shelley Green, with a cheque for $200 as a result of her hard work.

“I had a lot of orders all at once so it was challenging to keep up! Creating all of the papers to go along with the prayer balls was challenging for me because I had to learn to write neatly with an ink pen,” she said of the pre-Christmas rush.

But Olivia is a big fan of Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia and the work we do for kids just like her.

“I care about children who don’t have what I have and I want to help them and their families. I really love this organization and I’ve been finding creative ways to donate to them since I was six years old,” she said.

Olivia Todd presented our founder, Shelley Green, with a cheque for $200 from her fundraiser creating Prayer Balls over Christmas.

Olivia Todd presented our founder, Shelley Green, with a cheque for $200 from her fundraiser creating Prayer Balls over Christmas.

It’s pretty phenomenal to see young people like Olivia embrace charitable giving at such a young age. We are so blessed to have her in our corner.

But Olivia tells us it feels like a reward for her, too.

“This project made me feel great inside. I felt happy to help in my small way and I hope it will inspire other kids to help, too.”

A fantastic fundraiser: Toys for You

When 10-year-old Olivia Wedlake gets home from school, she’s not sitting down with video games or wasting hours on YouTube.

She is eager to jump onto Facebook – but not for the reasons you’d think.

Olivia is spending her spare time crafting, creating, and marketing a business venture called Toys for You, raising money to help bring toys to kids in Ethiopia.

Last year Olivia launched her campaign sewing custom hand warmers, warming eye pillows and warming neck pillows, and has since raised hundreds of dollars!

Olivia Wedlake, 10, is sewing hand warmers, eye pillows and warming neck pillows to raise money for toys for children in Ethiopia!

Olivia Wedlake, 10, is sewing hand warmers, eye pillows and warming neck pillows to raise money for toys for children in Ethiopia!

Her goal? To help children who don’t have the same advantages she does.

“It makes me feel happy because I'm helping others, but it makes me feel sad because people in Ethiopia have to work hard just to eat,” Olivia said when asked about the project.

Olivia’s mom Lisa is a key force behind the annual Mini Gems & Java fundraiser in London, which raises money for Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia. Her volunteer work opened Olivia’s eyes to the realities in developing countries.

“When I volunteered at the Mini Gems & Java event I learned they don’t have a lot. I know the money from Mini Gems & Java goes to helping other things, so I wanted to start my own fundraiser to help them have toys, too.”

The 10-year-old had a little bit of experience with grassroots efforts, making sweet treats as a way to raise money for charity through her summer camp the past two years.

It’s hard work making all those hand-sewn products - Olivia has enlisted her mom, aunt and nana for support - but she is one dedicated seamstress. Olivia originally thought about selling her hand warmers, eye pillows and hot packs at school, but was rebuffed because of school board rules.

She didn’t let that challenge deter her, though - Olivia told us it was “nothing compared to what the kids in Ethiopia have to face” - and the Wedlakes came up with another solution.

“My mom and I decided to start a Facebook Page to show and sell my items,” she said. Olivia uses that page, @ToysforYouLondon, to showcase her products and take orders. Everyday she checks the page after school to see if there are any other comments requesting a hand warming, eye or neck pillow.

She edits a photo album of products after an order is made to display to customers which items are still available.

Though the entrepreneurial life at just 10 years old can be tough, Olivia says it’s worth it.

“It is also fun. I enjoy it!”

We’re so grateful for the next generation of change makers, both here and in Ethiopia, who want to share their good fortune! Thank you so much Olivia for your generosity and your hard work!


Surgical Success Stories - Genet, Askalech and Mounone (#229, #230, #231)

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Genet is only 30 years old and only has one child.  She’s suffered from severe prolapse for three years and desires more children. She was crying in clinic saying how prolapse has ruined her life and she couldn’t leave her home or go to other people’s houses.  She was SO happy to have surgery and is so grateful for your support.  This surgery has literally changed her life!

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Askalech is 45 years old.  She has five children and lives with her husband.  She’s suffered from prolapse for one year and has now had a successful surgery.  She is now free of her prolapse!

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Mounone, who is 60, has had prolapse for eight years. She is widowed and had six children, 3 of whom are still alive. Her oldest son accompanied her (this is common in Ethiopia where the oldest son bares a lot of family responsibility) and she successfully underwent a definitive prolapse surgery today. Thank you for your support!

Surgical Success Stories - Abebech, Azelech and Gistane (#226, #227, #228)

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Abebech has suffered from prolapse for four years. She is married and had a large cystocele. She was pregnant seven times and has delivered seven children who are all living. Thank you for helping her!

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Azelech is only 30 years old, has been pregnant six times and all of her children are living. She has had 3rd° prolapse for 18 months since the delivery of her sixth child and now she has received her life-changing surgery at Soddo Christian Hospital.

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Gistane is a widow who has been pregnant 12 times. Eight of her children are living. She has suffered from prolapse for 13 years. She is so grateful to have this taken care of. She sends her blessings to all of you and wishes you all long lives.

Surgical Success Story - Tewabech is #225

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Tewabech is only 35 and has had severe prolapse for about a year.  She only has one child and wants to have one more so many of the surgeries that Drs. Mark and Nate do were not appropriate for her.  However, they were able to perform a surgery that addressed her prolapse and still allow her to have children. We trust that she and her husband will be blessed with another child!