Hope for Mitiku & His Village

Hello! I am Sophie Fauveau and my husband is Mark. We are a family of 5, or 7 or 8 depending how you look at it. Building our family has been a painful, beautiful complicated journey.

After 6 years of marriage filled with love, infertility, miscarriages and failed adoption;  we were blessed to adopt 2 baby girls born in 2009 (one born in the USA and one in Ethiopia).

We brought our girls home within months of one another and went on to have 2 unexpected (and complicated) pregnancies. We were blessed with a son in 2011 and then again with identical twin boys in 2013. Our 3 boys were born early and with medical challenges. Tragically our twin sons did not survive.

In January 2017 we unexpectedly found out that our middle daughter Azalea-Mitike from Ethiopia is a twin.
Her twin brother still lives in Ethiopia with his family!!
Upon discovering this, we immediately started planning for a reunion (you can see it in our featured video).

Our reunion was particularly emotional because we found a very sad, scared, confused (and incredibly sweet) boy. It quickly became apparent that Mitiku’s introverted behavior was more than just shyness. Besides the fact that he is grief stricken by the very recent death of his grandma (his primary caregiver since birth), there was clearly something else that prevented him from fully connecting with people around him.

His demeanor reminded me a lot of Azalea-Mitike’s prior to her being diagnosed with hearing loss. She seemed to be in her own bubble and spent most of her time hiding behind my legs looking very confused.

Mitiku the first day we met.

I saw these behaviors in Mitiku and after a few days I made the connection that his disconnect might be coming from poor hearing.

Azalea-Mitike was outfitted with hearing aids when she was 3 years old and it has completely changed the way she interacts with the world. She is thriving in school and socially.

On our last day in the village I mentioned my suspicion of hearing loss to his father who agreed and humbly asked us if we could help his son see a doctor, facilitate moving him back from his grandma’s village to his father’s, and help with his education.

We left promising that we would do everything we can, and here we are with this GoFundMe.

Because progress can be complex in Ethiopia, we’ll keep you updated here - if anything changes, we’ll explain why.  You are a part of our story, and we really appreciate your care and continued involvement.

Updated 5/23:  Celebrate with us!! 
We have received fantastic news!!

I am telling you all about it in "Update 8" and posted a video to share my excitement.  Mitiku’s hearing has been restored!! We were able to send him to several doctors to get evaluated and treated.  He has received medication and underwent a minor procedure to treat an infection and get rid of wax build up that had clogged his hearing.
We were able to get him to all the place he needed to go to with his dad thanks to you all.  Transportation via rented 4WD to multiple doctor visits, translator (he speaks a dialect), procedure, medication...it took weeks but it was worth everything as now he can hear ! 
The doctors were also able to address the widespread parasite problem he was dealing with which was making him very weak and it was reported to us that he is now healthy !!
What a relief ! Thank you all!!

That means that Mitiku is going to be able to go to his village school starting in September!! It will be his very first time in school. Entering grade 1 shy of 9 years old. I cannot wait to share thos pictures with you!!
The school is very rural and poor. It serves 1,151 kids (grade 1 to 8) and is in dire need of our help! I hope you will join us in changing the education experience for Mitiku and thousands with him and after him!!

School in the village for  over 1000 students (grade 1-8)

We have partnered with a very reliable American NGO (Non-Governmental Organization/Non-Profit) who is licensed to work in Ethiopia. They are  called Roots Ethiopia  and are the beneficiary of our campaign. We heard only positive feedback about their work and met many people who had experienced first hand how involved with the community their work is! We are excited that they have accepted to partner with us!

Roots Ethiopia has strong ties with the community and a deep understanding of how to work in rural Ethiopia. They will coordinate  all the work to be done on the ground.

A visit by Roots Ethiopia's staff to the village this past June kicked things off and we are finalizing the proposal and plan of action.  I will share more in an update when the plan is final.

With the money we raise we are  going to do the following:

★ Fully re-build/refurbish the school buildings (patch walls, fix roof, concrete the floors....) and possibly add buildings.
★ Bring in furniture as there are no desks, chairs or blackboard. A desk with attached bench cost about $65 to build and we need enough to sit over 1000 kids!!
★ Bring  learning material such as books, pens, notebooks, calculators, maps...
★ Add an 8 block latrines (currently there are no toilets in the school)  
★ Offer teacher training for curriculum enhancement (health and science)
★ Hopefully, If we raise enough, we will build a library.
★ We also hope to grow our reach and offer family planning education, menstrual health classes and resources for young women so they can stay in school longer. 
★ Help fund a reliable transportation for the NGO so they can become the long term link for the village’s educational needs (currently they use motorcycles, public transports, rented cars and walking to get to the village which is extremely remote.

• We are committing to sponsor Mitiku’s education with an individual sponsorship  until he graduates and hope to be able to offer more of such sponsorship to other kids in the village.
A sponsorship of one child is $21/month and Roots Ethiopia already has a way to manage those.

Being able to do all of this work will impact our entire family (Mitiku, his young half-brothers and cousins) but also every child in the village and the entire community for generations to come. 

Cousins and aunts in our village returning from school the day we arrived. Such bright and motivated young women.

Note: If someone (a dealership, corporate office or private donor) wishes to get involved and discount/donate a car ,  it would be a dream come true!  The target car is a Toyota Land cruiser (4 to 5 years old ) but a Range Rover Land Rover is a great option too. Shipping can be arranged from anywhere in America, Europe, Africa or The Middle East.  Please contact me if you can help!

Leaving the village on the last day. Azalea-Mitike and Mitiku are crying as they are about to be separated again.  
We cannot stop thinking about Mitiku. He is part of our family! We will be back to keep our family ties strong and report to you in person about the work we all have accomplished together!

Together we can do great things!

Thank you for reading. 
Please share our story with your friends and family: https://www.gofundme.com/mitiku

Donations ()

  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 9 d
  • Diane M Herrmann 
    • $300 
    • 25 d
  • harold goldstein 
    • $250 
    • 29 d
  • Jay Shah 
    • $50 
    • 29 d
  • Heather Binns 
    • $20 
    • 29 d
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Sophie Fauveau 
Portland, OR
Roots Ethiopia 
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