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The Energizer Blog

  • Writer's pictureEileen McDargh

The Resilient Spirit: A New Face For Beloved

Ten year old Beloved Jefeti of Zimbabwe mistakenly thought a land mine he found was a transistor radio and put it in his mouth for better reception. He survived the resulting explosion but his face did not. Zimbabwe doctors put him back together as best as he could but he spent the next few years being called a monster because his face was unrecognizable. He dropped out of school and became home bound. Enter Operation of Hope located in Lake Forest, California visited the village where Beloved lived and he had the courage to ask for help A year later he was flown to the U.S. for surgery at UCLA. There were many road blocks to overcome regarding funding but the executive director of Operation Hope, Jennifer Trubenbach, borrowed money from a friend and took out a second mortgage on her house to pay her back. Beloved is now 17 years old and about six feet tall. He is attending school at a third grade level to get caught up with his education and he lives with a local host family. He visited his home village this past April with Trubenbach and returned to the U.S. in May. He hopes to continue his education here where he is happy and people respect and admire him. He was featured in the Orange County Register and the September 22nd issue of People Magazine. Here's to Beloved... a child branded a monster who had the courage to ask for help and here's to Jennifer Trubenbach and Operation of Hope for going above and beyond the average charity by personally giving Beloved a new face and a future. How could you reach out today to a child who needs your help?

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