In 1966, Mary Myers Bruckenstein, RN and Peace Corps Volunteer was teaching in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, when she was introduced to a tragic little girl, Berhane Daba. Four year old Daba had polio and couldn’t walk. Her family was unable to care for her. An operation to strengthen her legs left her in a full body cast. The orphanage would not take Daba back because they could not care for her. Mary Meyers-Bruckenstein took Daba into her home and into her life. A life long relationship began. Merle English describes this beautiful story in an article in the Sunday, August 16, 2015 issue of Newsday. Here is the link to read it.
From the article:
“On June 6, in an auditorium at the University of California, Berkeley, Myers-Bruckenstein, 69, a retired registered nurse and former Peace Corps Volunteer beamed like a proud mother as Berhane Daba, an Ethiopian orphan whose life she transformed, received the 2015 Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award, the National Peace Corps Association’s most prestigious honor.
Thanks to years of devoted “mothering” from Myers- Bruckenstein, Daba was being recognized for co-founding in 2002 an organization that positively affects the lives of thousands of women.
She is executive director of the Ethiopian Women With Disabilities National Association, a 3,000-member national advocacy group that provides job and small-business training to foster those women’s economic independence, and counseling to raise their self-esteem.”