Thinking Citizen Blog — Abebech Gobena: “The Mother Teresa of Africa”
Thinking Citizen Blog — Monday is Foreign Policy Day
Today’s Topic: Abebech Gobena: “The Mother Teresa of Africa”
I had not heard of her until I saw the obituary in the New York Times on August 4th. How many other inspiring stories are there out there that I don’t know about? What should the place of “heros” and “heroines” be in the social studies curricula of elementary, middle, high schools, colleges ? Have you heard any inspiring stories lately? What historical figures or current leaders do you most admire? Are there other candidates for the epithet “Mother Teresa of Africa” that I have not heard of? Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
HER FATHER WAS KILLED WHEN SHE WAS 9, SHE WAS MARRIED OFF AT AGE 10
1. “When she was 10 her family arranged for her to marry a much older man, but she ran home soon after the ceremony. Her family returned her to her husband, who kept her locked in a room at night.”
2. “Ms. Gobena managed to escape through a hole in the roof and made her way to Addis Ababa, where she found a family to take her in.”
3. “She attended school and later found work as a quality control inspector with a company that exported coffee and grain.”
1980: DURING A FAMINE SHE FINDS A CHILD LYING BESIDE A DEAD MOTHER
1. She brought the child home to care for it.
2. Over the next year she brought 20 more. Her husband gave her a choice: me or the children.
3. She chose the children.
HER LEGACY — from 21 to 12,000
1. An estimated 12,000 children have been supported by her charity, Agouhelma, which is one of the largest non-profits in Ethiopia.
2. Her charity also provides “formal and non-formal education, HIV/AIDS prevention activities, habitat improvement and infrastructure development, empowerment of women, among others.”
3. “Abebech Gobena was one of the most selfless and pure-hearted people I ever met,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization and a former Ethiopian minister of health, said in a statement. “She helped many children not only to survive, but succeed in life.”
Here is a link to the last three years of posts organized by theme:
Please share the coolest or most important thing you learned in the last week, month, or year related to foreign policy. Or, even better, the coolest or most important thing you learned in our life related to foreign policy.
This is your chance to make someone else’s day. And to consolidate in your memory something important you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart. Continuity is the key to depth of thought. The prospect of imminent publication, like hanging and final exams, concentrates the mind. A useful life long habit.