PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Several years ago, a Portland family discovered their adopted daughter had a twin brother in Ethiopia.
They set out to raise money to help him and the village their daughter came from to build a school and get supplies for the kids. But as with almost everything now, COVID-19 presented new challenges and now they’re raising money again.
It’s been quite a journey for Azalea-Mitike and her family in Portland. A few years ago, she and her adoptive mother, Sophie Fauveau, went back to the village where she was born. That’s when she met her twin brother and her birth father. Her mother died in childbirth.
While they were there they quickly realized the village needed help and school resources. With the help of the Portland community, Azalea and her family raised $60,000 through a GoFundMe campaign.
Working with Roots Ethiopia, the money went to building a library, bringing much needed desks and supplies, and even purchased solar panels for electricity. Now, though, the pandemic has closed everything, and that’s affected the food supply chain in the village.
“We reached out to the community and asked if they would help with providing food security because over there for $50 you can feed a family of 6 to 8 for about 3 weeks,” Fauveau said.
So far they’ve raised almost $7000 in this effort and money has already gone through Roots Ethiopia to support families with food and sanitation supplies.
All of it helps Azalea’ brother and her village thrive. That brings her comfort, especially when she hears from him.
“I get letters and pictures and small videos,” she said.