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Masterpiece…A Story About Biruk

by Jane Eppard | 12.05.2020

Life is a canvas that is painted by the strokes of every moment.

Life is a canvas that is painted by the strokes of every moment. Fourteen years ago, the mural of Biruk began in rural Ethiopia. Across his canvas, there is a story of sorrows and joys, of challenges and victories.

At four-years-old, Biruk’s parents passed away due to illness, leaving his two sisters and himself in the care of his Great Aunt. However, when Biruk became very sick, the impossible choice was made to place him into the care of the orphanage at the capital city. In the wake of such sadness, the hues of his painting grew more somber until the day he looked into the eyes of his new mother and said, “Good morning.”

That morning brought back the colors of sunshine.  

Biruk is an artist. He enjoys drawing, creating, and exploring nature. Through his art and his loving personality, he exudes light. He lights up his home and school with a kindness that is born from understanding pain and struggle, and yet, choosing to live with joy. It is with this strength that Biruk has faced the challenges of dyslexia and a reading disability.

Biruk’s parents contacted the SLD Read, which is built on Orton-Gillingham phonics, and paid for 50 sessions. A tutor came to his school for half of his 7th grade year. By the end, his tutor suggested more therapy sessions. Due to Biruk’s dad losing his job, they were not able to afford continued lessons. That is when SLD Read told them about Family Hope Foundation. Thanks to a scholarship, Biruk was able to receive another 50 lessons.

With the help of tutoring and his school’s 504 plan, Biruk is receiving A’s and B’s in his studies. He works extremely hard (3-4 hours every night with homework) for his grades. Biruk is a portrait of perseverance. He is a picture of brightness breaking through the bleak. Each moment of his journey has been captured like strokes of a brush upon his life’s canvas. A canvas that is beautiful, for Biruk, is indeed a masterpiece.