April 5th, 2006
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Categories: About Ethiopia


Though I am not a Catholic, there will always be a special place in my heart for some nuns on the other side of the world. You see, before they came home to us, both of our Ethiopian daughters were cared for in a Catholic orphanage in Addis, called Kidane Mehret. According to this article in the CNEWA:

At one time, Kidane Mehret was run by a single nun who continued to work at the orphanage well into her 90’s…. After the nun’s death, Sister Lutgarda Camilleri of the Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus was asked if her community would assume responsibility for the orphanage. Sister Lutgarda was told the sisters had two options: “Take care of the children or throw them back on the streets.”

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KM-withGailSister Lutgarda chose, of course, to take care of the children. The article talks about the original old building that housed the children at KM. By the time I went to Ethiopia to get my daughters, Kidane Mehret was in it’s new builing, a considerable improvement over the old place. But Sister Lutgarda was still in charge.

She is a strong, efficient lady, (photo above, far right– my daughter is on the left) who when I went to get my daughter, took one look at the outfit I had brought and said, “That will be a little bit small on her.” This despite the fact that she had 170 children in her care at that time, and my daughter was one of a dozen children in her room.

SisterVeronicaAs is the case with all orphanages, things are not perfect at Kidane Mehret. Babies sometimes sleep two to a bed, and there aren’t enough caregivers to go around. But the workers do the best they can with the resources they have. And both my daughters came home in good health, ready to love and be loved.

I am so grateful for the work they do there. A friend of mine, whose daughters came from the same orphanage as my girls, says “There is a whole generation of children [in Ethiopia] just waiting for someone to give them homes.” And the nuns at Kidane Mehret are doing their best to find families for these kids, one child at a time.

3 Responses to “Ethiopian Orphanage: Kidane Mehret”

  1. yes their real says:

    My beautiful son is a Kidane Meheret boy and I will never be able to thank them enough for him. Yes he could have been looked after better – but they did the best they could do with what they have and I think they are angels on earth.

    My other children were cared for elsewhere that was well stocked and well supported but the love and care my children recieved was nowhere near that of Kidane Mehret. I would rather my child be loved and cared for in my absence than just provided for.

    Thankyou Kidane Mehret.

  2. Klaudia Kindslehner says:

    We are just home from Addis Ababa and we got our little Son Samuel ( fromer name Habte ) from Kidane Meheret as well. I must say that we enjoyed every minute out there and it was just a pleasure to meet Sr. Lutgarda and Sr. Camilla who are doing a great work out there. The children are so well cared for and the love and affection they get is priceless. I want to thank them all again for their love and kindness and specially for our lovely son which is the sunnshine of our life now. And we are looking forward to see them soon again when we are coming over for our next adoption.

  3. tracykenzie says:

    words can never be written the way we feel, after going to ethiopia to pick up our children hannamariam (kenzie )and abel (reece), true gifts from god , my heartfelt thank yous to sister lutgarda and sister camilla , for being the foundations these children have, to be able to find families that truely love and need them , and allways knowing each child individualy there charackters and life stories . people look at our children and say how lucky they are, we have to correct them by ansering we are the lucky ones, as hand to heart they have brought happiness and more love into a lonely house that needed there laughter, we thank you god and both sister lutgarda and sister camilla from the bottom of our hearts ,and god bless you , you are truely, two woman that i would give an oscar to every day, allso thank the natural mothers and farthers , ONE for being brave and TWO for leaving them in the safe care of the orphangage, but most of all THREE for letting me have the chance to be a mummy and my husband a daddy god bless and help you , a trip of a lifetime that i would never want to forget , thank you all and god bless tracy salv abel and hannamariam xxxx

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