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There is no me without you : one woman's odyssey to rescue Africa's children
Melissa Fay Greene
Adult Nonfiction HV1344.5.Z8 A334 2006

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Summary: There Is No Me Without Youis the story of Haregewoin Tefarra, a middle-aged Ethiopian woman of modest means whose home has become a refuge for hundreds of children orphaned by AIDS. It is a story as much about the power of the bond between children and parents as about the epidemic that every year leaves millions of children, mostly healthy themselves, without family. Originally a middle-class woman with a happy family life, Haregewoin fell into a deep depression after the death of her recently married daughter. But then a priest brought her two children, AIDS orphans, with nowhere to go. Unexpectedly, the children thrived, and Haregewoin found herself drawn back into daily life. As word got out, an endless stream of children began to arrive at her door, delivered by dying parents and other relatives who begged for her help, and, pushing against the limits of her home and bank account, she took more and more in. Today, Haregewoin runs a school, a daycare system, and a shelter for sick mothers. Without medication for her charges-some HIV-positive, some uninfected, and some infants trying to fight off the virus, but almost all of whom come to her terrified and malnourished-she forges on, caring for as many as she can handle. Increasingly, she also places them for adoption with families like that of journalist Melissa Fay Greene, who has two children adopted from Ethiopia. In Haregewoin Tefarra's story, Greene gives us an astonishing portrait of a woman fighting a continent-wide epidemic. Melissa Fay Greene, award-winning author ofPraying for Sheetrock,The Temple Bombing, andLast Man Out,relates a tale that captures the tragedy of an international epidemic and the remarkable people inventing ways to care for its victims. Her Dec. 2002New York Times Sunday Magazineon the plight of the AIDS orphans inspired scores of adoptions and generated tens of thousands of dollars for the underfunded orphanages of Africa. She has seven children, including two adopted from Ethiopia, and lives in Atlanta. A Chicago Tribune Best Book An American Library Association Notable Book of the Year ABooksenseNotable Book AChristian Science MonitorBest Book A Lukas Prize Finalist   When Haregwoin Teferra's husband and twenty-three-year-old daughter died within a few years of each other, her middle-class life in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was shattered. Bereft and with little to live for, Haregwoin became a recluse. Her self-imposed exile to a hut near her daughter's grave was interrupted when a priest delivered first one, then another, orphaned teenager into her care. To everyone's surprise, the children thrived, and so did Haregwoin. As word spread, children of all ages began to appear at her modest home: an infant brought by a dying mother, an orphaned brother and sister whose grandfather was too poor to feed them, a baby left on her doorstep. Haregwoin's small compound became known as the rare place where ailing parents and impoverished families could safely leave their children. Soon Haregwoin was caring for sixty children, running an unofficial orphanage and day school, and learning first-hand about her country's and her continent's greatest challenge: the AIDS pandemic that is leaving millions of children without parents to care for them.    Melissa Fay Greene gets to the heart of the AIDS crisis, in a story that is a story of Haregwoin and her children: a story of struggle and despair, but also of the triumph of saved lives, and the renewed happiness of children welcomed by adoptive parents in Ethiopia, America, and around the world. Haregewoin's story shows that the crisis in Africa touches everyone in some fundamental way.


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