Doni Fetene told News 3 that her family was not nice to her and her own family is ready to send her back to Ethiopia where she is to marry a grown man.

By Denis Rosch |

Employees at Bryan Elementary School in Las Vegas, Nevada are going above and beyond for one of their students, not for grades or future career opportunities but to stay in the United States with her adopted family.

Her name is Doni Fetene, a new student to the Bryan Elementary School family but already her story has made an impact. Without a little help, she is at risk of being of sent back to her native country, Ethiopia where a husband is already lined up for her.

This is not the future, 10-year-old Doni says she has envisioned for herself.

In one of the classrooms, a lesson was given about perspective and how various people might understand a situation differently based on experience and for Doni, just being part of the discussion was a gift.

“The best part of living here is to have friends and a good family that can help you,” said Doni.

The 5th graders full name is Tselot Fetene or Doni. A 10-year-old Ethiopian girl caught up in a very grown up struggle. She was sent to the United States when her mom could no longer care for her and she bounced from one relative to another for seven months.

Doni Fetene told News 3 that her family was not nice to her and her own family is ready to send her back to Ethiopia where she is to marry a grown man.

“I really want to be a doctor, so I can’t be a doctor in Ethiopia because I’m going to marry,” said Doni.

Doni’s current guardian Yodit Debebe says she needs to save her.

“I need to save this girl, she looks nice and smart and is really a good girl so I want to keep her in my house,” said Debebe.

With the blessing of the girl’s mom, Debebe is working to get Doni Fetene a green card and a chance for a better future in the United States.

“The lawyer told me she needs guardianship but the guardianship costs for a lawyer and for immigration,” said Debebe. This brings us back to Doni’s new school, where staff has set up a GoFundMe account to raise $7,000 to cover court costs associated with immigration.

“When you hear about a little girl that could be married off at 9-years-old to a 30-year-old man, your heart bleeds and you have to take care of them. I think any school that heard this would do the same thing,” said Bryan Elementary School Counselor Gina Thornton.

All of the help, for a little girl, who knows plenty about perspective, fitting in a new school, surrounded by support. Something she never had until now.

“It was hard, but in this country there are a lot of students so they can help me find anything and I’m not scared,” said Doni Fetene.

Doni Fetene’s guardian would like to adopt the little girl someday, but that’s down the road. Right now, it’s about a green card.

If you’d like to help Doni Fetene click here for her GoFundMe account.

Source: KSNV
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