“Because of my good fortune, I will never have to worry about money again, but these children have been left vulnerable and orphaned by problems that aren’t their fault.” –Jane Surtees
Jane Surtees, a single mother of five, was thinking of more than herself when she scooped up a £7.5 million jackpot. After receiving her winnings, Jane immediately set out plans to help orphaned children in Ethiopia.
Jane travelled to Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, and headed straight to the Kidane Mehret Children’s Home, which cares for 120 orphans. The youngest is three days old, the oldest 17 years. The cramped orphanage is run purely on donations and can only feed the kids three small meals a day. Meat is a once-a-week treat and toys and books are scarce. Jane was struck by how contented the kids seemed despite having so little.
Jane was especially touched by the life of 15-year-old Workeneh Fanetay. After losing his parents to tuberculosis when he was just four, he had to bring up his two-year-old brother alone. One of many homeless children in Addis Ababa, he bought minimal food with money he earned running errands on a building site and helping neighbors. Since joining the Children’s Home 18 months ago, Workeneh and his brother have moved into a modest mud house, planted vegetables on their plot and both attend school.
Close to tears, Jane disclosed her gratitude for the opportunity to meet such amazing children.
“What I have seen in Ethiopia will stay with me for the rest of my life…To have the opportunity to come here and see and feel the pride these children have is incredible.” -Jane Surtees