Ayana was one of the 165 orphans who found a new life through JeCCDO’s New Chance program in 2013. At the tender age of eight, Ayana found herself wandering the streets of Dire Dawa after losing both her parents, who had been farmers, to famine
After losing her husband to illness, Mamitu was forced to beg on the streets just to buy food for her three children. The future for Mamitu’s family looked bleak until she was approached to take part in Yenege Tesfa’s agricultural program for single mothers. She was given seeds, taught how to prepare her land, and given continuous advice on harvesting and pest management.
Sadly, due to war and illness there are many children in Bishoftu growing up fatherless. Mothers has been left to provide for their children without any government support and as a result, many of these families had to forgo the basics of life we take for granted such as food, shelter and education. But the Bishoftu Community Project has changed all this.
Ifrah grew up on the outskirts of Gondar. Her father left shortly after her birth, leaving her mother to work long hours as a cleaner to provide for her family. But a cleaner’s salary was never enough, and so in a desperate attempt to provide food for her daughter, Ifrah’s mother moved into a profession too many young Ethiopian women become trapped in – prostitution. Devastatingly, in 2012 Ifrah’s mother contracted HIV and passed away shortly after.
Makeda was 20 years old when she became pregnant with her first child. Unfortunately, her childbirth suffered complications. Makeda walked for three hours to her nearest health centre, only to learn that they could not help her. After a prolonged labour, Makeda was left devastated when her baby daughter was born stillborn.
Twenty years ago, Tigist went in to labour with her first child. She had grown up in rural Gondar in Northern Ethiopia. A daughter to poor parents, bouts of malnourishment went continually untreated, stunting her growth. This situation prevented her pelvis developing and maturing, which is crucial for a safe childbirth. Her labour quickly turned into a mother’s worst nightmare. She experienced excruciating pain for four days, but could do nothing to successfully deliver her baby. On the fifth day, her family begged a neighbour to drive her to a health centre, but by the time she got there, it was too late.