Many Ethiopian women continue to struggle to gain reliable employment in order to make ends meet for their families. The need to care for their children, limited jobs, poor access to health care and the prevalence of girls not receiving education means that securing employment is a challenge faced by many women.
These challenges sit at the forefront of issues being addressed by organisations like the Brave Hearts Foundation. By sponsoring children to receive education and helping mothers to provide a safe home for their family, whilst actively supporting their path to reliable employment, Brave Hearts are helping to create a sustainable future. We’d like to share with you an interview with one of the mothers called Lady B as she tells her story. Her and her son, Yebeltal, are being supported by the Brave Hearts Foundation.
Tell us about the challenges you were experiencing before receiving support from BH?
Lady B: Life was hard and I could not state it in a few words. There were times that we slept hungry as we did not have money to spare for our dinner. We had poor clothing, shelter and life was as horrible as you could imagine. My son used to get sick all the time.
How had the life of your son changed since being supported by BH?
Lady B: He has got love and support from everyone at Brave Hearts, he has his meal properly, goes to school with happiness and his health has improved significantly.
How has your life, and that of your family’s, changed since being supported by BH?
Lady B: We are no longer worried about our next meal. We get all the assistance we need and We are very happy.
Tell us about your experiences of the IGA program. Do you have any business goals you’d like to share with us?
Lady B: After I got the funding from Brave Hearts, I started a small business, selling vegetables. I believe I am doing well since I am now self sufficient and I am hoping I will make the business grow so that it can create some employment opportunities to the others. The Income Generating Activity program is the main reason that I started my small business thus improving our life.
Do you feel any economic improvement in your life since going to BH?
Lady B: Of course yes. Both my financial capacity and my life have improved significantly when I compared it to previous life – the difference is as far as the sky and the earth.
How important do you feel education is?
Lady B: I believe education is the key to change people’s lives and it helps in every step of the journey in order to fulfill one’s life goal. I am confident my child will change himself and reach to better level in the future.
How do you feel about you and your son’s future since joining our program?
Lady B: I feel my son and I have a bright future. I can see light and no more darkness. I feel that joining Brave Hearts is the best thing for us.
*This interview has been marginally edited with the intention of translation clarity