The Searles now have children ranging in age from 14 to 30, and four of them are still at home.
When Bethlehem and Kidist now think about other girls in Ethiopia, they are near tears in describing their living conditions.
"Everytime I think about it, sitting in my room, I cry." Bethlehem said. "Because when you don't have a mom and dad, you spend the rest of your life in the street, and that's pretty hard to see."
"I see myself. I have all these clothes, and I have all this food," Kidist said. "There's no food in Ethiopia. Family, kids on the street. There's no home."
The Children of Ethiopia Education Fund has now sent thousands of girls to school. The donors believe they are paving the way for young women to rise out of poverty.
Last year, the group helped more than 400 girls. This year, 75 sponsors are still needed. The group's annual fundraiser will be on Saturday, Aug. 25, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. at 4576 S. Creekview Drive. For more information go to www.coeef.org.
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