Ann Dunham Soetoro

by Ana Karen from Tampico

- They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself-
Ann Dunham and toddler Barack Obama (
Ann Dunham and toddler Barack Obama (

Heroes are not so common in this World because the majority are among us and we don’t see them until they make an action that captures our attention. They don’t have superpowers or wear a cloak but they can make you feel better with a smile. The Heroes just want the best for the world and seek to improve it by small acts.

My Hero is Ann Dunham Soetoro, Barack Obama's mother. She is my hero for many reasons, but the main ones are:
*She never gave up in difficult times.
*She helped others in many ways when she needed support of everybody.
*She instilled in her children the equality in all its forms.
To understand my Hero and the reasons of why she is my Hero, I have to talk a little about her life.

Ann was born in 1942 in Wichita, Kansas, USA. Only child, with her parents grew up in Hawaii. In university, her passion for culture started. She studied Anthropology and showed interest in the citizens rights. Short time after, she fell in love with an African student and married him in 1961. The same year, the 4th of August, Barack Obama was born. A happy family in the beginning. But, one day, Mr. Obama went to Harvard to give a speech. He never came back to Hawaii, and left directly to Kenya, his native country. He abandoned his wife and his kid, with only 2 years of age.

For Ann, being alone was like being without air.

In 1967, at age 25, she fell in love and married again, this time with Lolo Soetoro, who came from Indonesia. In August 15 of 1970, was born Maya Soetoro, Obama's sister. In the first 2 years, the family lived in Hawaii, but at the third year, they moved to Jakarta, Indonesia. It was here the first time that she faced the hard reality some families have with extreme poverty. Ann helped everyone who knocked on her door. She divided her time between English teaching at US embassy and the support to social projects and community actions, destined to improve families' lives.

Lolo got a job in a petrochemical company and he was promoted to a great position. They moved to a better place to live and they were of the high society. Ann' husband was becoming more and more seduced by the money and she was more involved in the Indonesian culture. After 6 years of marriage, she decided to separate.

In any moment she complained about her lifestyle or her fate and she always tried to maintain her kids safe. She was thankful for the beautiful children life had given her.

Ann came back to USA with her kids. She later left them to continue her work in Indonesia. She continued involved in social projects for the world. She said she was citizen of the world because she lived in more than 13 countries. She created a multiethnic family, with equality for everybody. In 1995, Ann interrupted her activities in Asia to take care of her health. She started to feel a strong stomach ache. Doctors diagnosed cancer and the 7th of November of the same year, she died.

Ann Dunham never had fears and she was very determined with her decisions. All her life she worked in social actions of any type, but especially in the ones that help the poor people.

She felt love for her kids, to whatever thing she did, to whatever thing she had...she felt love for life.

And she always dreamed of a better world, with equality, solidarity and justice.

Page created on 3/2/2009 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 3/2/2009 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.