There Is No Me without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Africa's Children

There Is No Me without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Africa's Children

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Overview

There Is No Me Without You is the story of Haregewoin Tefarra, a middle-aged Ethiopian woman of modest means whose home has become a refuge for hundreds of children orphaned by AIDS. It is a story as much about the power of the bond between children and parents as about the epidemic that every year leaves millions of children, mostly healthy themselves, without family. Originally a middle-class woman with a happy family life, Haregewoin fell into a deep depression after the death of her recently married daughter. But then a priest brought her two children, AIDS orphans, with nowhere to go. Unexpectedly, the children thrived, and Haregewoin found herself drawn back into daily life. As word got out, an endless stream of children began to arrive at her door, delivered by dying parents and other relatives who begged for her help, and, pushing against the limits of her home and bank account, she took more and more in. Today, Haregewoin runs a school, a daycare system, and a shelter for sick mothers. Without medication for her charges—some HIV-positive, some uninfected, and some infants trying to fight off the virus, but almost all of whom come to her terrified and malnourished—she forges on, caring for as many as she can handle. Increasingly, she also places them for adoption with families like that of journalist Melissa Fay Greene, who has two children adopted from Ethiopia. In Haregewoin Tefarra's story, Greene gives us an astonishing portrait of a woman fighting a continent-wide epidemic.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781602526617
Publisher: Findaway World Llc
Publication date: 08/01/2007
Edition description: Unabridged Library Edition
Product dimensions: 6.61(w) x 7.95(h) x 1.22(d)

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There Is No Me Without You 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book really touched me. Americans really have no clue how huge the AIDS orphan problem is in Africa. This book tells not only one woman's story of how she took in countless orphans, but the story of Ethiopia and the epidemic that is only getting worse day by day. The U.S. is falling miserably as a relatively rich nation to help Africa gain the resources it needs to combat AIDS and extreme poverty. This book gives both sides of the story: a personal story of one woman, and statistics and history about Ethiopia and its struggle with AIDS.
co_coyote on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Melissa Fay Greene tells the story of Haregewoin Tererra, a woman of modest means,who opens her house and home to AIDS orphans. Nothing is ever simple in Ethiopia, andthis story is not either. To Green's credit, she tell's the story as truthfully as shecan. On my flight to Ethiopia, the plane is full of young families (almost always white,it seems to me) heading to Addis to adopt orphaned children. And on the plane home, youcan see without a doubt that these children are going to be smothered in love and affection,pampered in ways that will be the polar opposite of their life in Addis. But, still, thereis something in me that keeps me from getting my head totally around the adoption process.These children are ripped from their entire culture and placed in another. I'm not surethat is always the best idea. This book wrestles with these problems and issues. I foundit immensely though provoking.
writestuff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A widowed, middle-class woman grieves for her daughter who dies horribly from AIDS. More than a year later, depressed and still mourning, she enters a church to request a hut in the cemetery near her daughter¿s grave ¿ she has decided to go into seclusion and live out the rest of her life in grief. Instead of seclusion, however, the priest offers her something different ¿ to become a foster mother to an orphaned teenage girl whose mother has died from AIDS. The decision to accept the priest¿s offer is a turning point for Haregewoin Teferra and her life begins again.She had lost her daughter. And God sent her these precious children. - from There is No Me Without You, page 259 -There is No Me Without You is Haregewoin¿s story told by award-winning journalist Melissa Fay Greene. When Haregewoin took in her first orphan, her heart was opened to the plight of her country¿s children. Thousands of Ethiopians were dying from a virus with no cure, and leaving behind their children who were shunned because of fear. The options for these children were few ¿ many ended up on the streets, starving, selling sex for food, or dying from the same disease which had taken their parents. Haregewoin Teferra was an angel of mercy. Very quickly she found her small home filled with children who had no other place to go.Greene provides the historical backdrop for the AIDS pandemic in Africa which later made its way to every country in the world. She explores the variety of theories about why AIDS arrived in the human population¿the most compelling of these being the theory of serial passage ¿ that a weak pathogenic virus is strengthened through mutation of the virus as it is injected from one host to another. In the case of AIDS, unsterile injections of vaccines in third world countries may have been the genesis of the disease whose roots have been found in African monkeys. I was shocked to learn that even as late as 2000, there was an estimated thirty to fifty billion unsterile injections occuring per year¿even though a single-use autodestruct disposable syringe had already been developed. Why were these new syringes not being used? Of course, the reason is money.Global health experts agree that safer needles are a crucial step toward eradicating the iatrogenic spread of diseases, but where will the funding come from? WHO¿s budget is insufficient and the big donors are not coming forward. - from There is no You Without Me, page 84 -Greene reveals the incredible poverty and poor delivery of medical services which has allowed AIDS to continue killing people by the thousands in Africa, while in the United States people are surviving the disease because of access to life saving drugs. She examines the greed of the pharmaceutical companies who initially charged upwards of $15,000 per year for the latest AIDS drugs, while production costs for those drugs were somewhere in the range of $200. Patent protection contributes to the inability for poor countries to acquire the medications needed to save their communities. When GlaxoSmithKline¿s (GSK) patent on AZT expired in 2005, generic drug makers were able to provide the drug for $105 per year, a marked decrease from GSK¿s price of $3893.64 per year. Despite the ability to now provide generic first line AIDS drugs to patients, multinational drug companies continue to fight for exclusive patents on the second line drugs¿a move that makes them out of reach for poor countries.The statistics Greene shares with her readers is stunning and heartbreaking; the numbers staggering: * 81% of Ethiopia¿s people live on less than two dollars a day; and 26% live on less than a dollar a day (page 12) * By 1999, UNAIDS estimated that 33 million people around the world were living with HIV/AIDS and that 16.3 million people worldwide had died from the disease. (page 113) * In 2000, AIDS had killed more than twenty-one million people, including four million children. More than thirteen million ch
RachelPenso on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing book about an Ethiopian woman who is grieving the deaths of her husband and their daughter and decides to take in a couple teenagers from off the street. Her "mission" grows and she ends up with dozens of Ethiopian children of all ages, many who have been orphaned by AIDS.This book was written by an American mother of two Ethiopian children. The author spent time with the Ethiopian woman, Haregewoin in her home, and bore witness to children grieving the loss of their parents and families.The history of Ethiopia and the impact of HIV/AIDS on the Ethiopian people are also touched on in this book.
whoot on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the book I seem to be recommending most often right now!! It is a fabulous interwoven work including personal narrative, stories about the children, and comprehensive information about how AIDS is currently being treated in Africa. A must read!!
twallace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A dense but (mostly) interesting account of the AIDs epidemic in Ethiopia and especially AIDs orphans. Greene provides a lot of technical background information about AIDs as well as detailed history about Ethiopia. The best parts are the more personal narratives about Haregewoin Teferra, a selfless woman who takes in AIDs orphans, and the children she helps.
dianemb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't imagine anyone reading this book and not being moved by the plight of those suffering from HIV/AIDS in Africa and all the children who are being left parentless. The author intertwines the true story of a woman who took in one orphan only to end up with 30 or 40 because she couldn't turn them away, and facts and statistics having to do with the HIV/AIDS situation in Africa. She particularly focuses on Ethiopia.We should all be ashamed of the way we have turned our heads as millions of people die. The drug companies are more concerned with their patents than they are of the lives of people even though they make astronomical profits every year. And western countries protect the drug companies instead of the ill. Some ideas of what could be done were presented, but personally, I just wanted to fly to Ethiopia and bring all those children home.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a "difficult read" because of what it is about but is well worth it. It is very "eye opening"!
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noa_trin More than 1 year ago
This book will make you cry and change the way you look at your life. I have 2 adopted girls from Ethiopia, so it meant even more to me. However, whether you are adopting or not, this is a touching book, well written and thought provoking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book. I sent it to family members (after reading it myself) to help them understand our decision to adopt from a developing country. While we ended up adopting from Haiti, this is an excellent book describing orphans in poverty striken nations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BooksCanChangeYourLife More than 1 year ago
Not enough can be written about this book. Very well written and thought provoking!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A story that needs to be told and Greene tells it well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It seems impossible for anyone with children (or a heart) to read this book and not feel a need to DO SOMETHING! Although foreign adoption is financially out of reach for most Americans, making a difference in the life of a foster child or neglected child is not. Readers should also be pushed to ask their government why they are letting pharmaceutical companies continue to stand in the way of providing universal, affordable access to antiretrovirals. READ THIS BOOK.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Haregewoin Teferra's story is precisely what the world needs to hear - a powerful reminder that one person can make a difference. As read by voice performer Julie Fain Lawrence this story is straightforward and true. While it would have been easy for the actress to lapse into sentimentality she never does so, speaking strongly, courageously, which certainly befits the life of Haregewoin. A resident of Ethiopia, Haregewoin was devastated when she lost both her husband and her 23-year-old daughter within the space of five years. How does one react when everything in life they hold dear is taken from them? She became a recluse, isolating herself in a tin walled compound close to her daughter's grave. It was as if there was nothing on earth left for her and she was simply waiting to die. All of this changed when a priest brought a teenager, orphaned by the horrifying AIDS pandemic that is sweeping their country, to Haregewoin. Then he brought another. As she began to care for these young ones her life changed and so did theirs. It didn't take long before it was known that Haregewoin offered a haven for the lost - a baby was left at her doorstep, a grandfather gave up grandchildren he could not afford to feed, a young boy whose mother had died and whose father was terminally ill. Soon, there were sixty children in her care. A mighty task for a middle-aged 4' 8' tall woman. Yet she rose to it and more - she did so gladly, heroically. Yes, this is a tragic story in many ways but it is also a hopeful one, a reminder of the resiliency of the human spirit and the generosity of the human heart. - Gail Cooke