Meet Bekelech! Bekelech was born and raised in a town called Shashemene, which is located 255 kilometers south of the capital city of Addis Ababa. Her parents still live there but she left the town when she was 14. Seventh grade is the highest level that Bekelech has completed.
Bekelech now lives with her husband and her daughter Yasmin. They share a one room rented housing. Before joining AJ, Bekelech used to work as a daily laborer in the construction business. Earning a stable income was hard for her due to her poor health condition.
When we first met the family, Bekelech told us she sends her daughter to attend school only on days she can afford packing lunch for her. The family, in general, was surviving on the kindness of neighbors and the occasional support they received from the woreda (neighborhood district). The monthly financial support the family is now receiving from AJ has decreased their economic vulnerability, as well as lifted their confidence because they no more must rely on sporadic support.
Yasmin is now attending school regularly and the increased capacity of the family to provide enough food enabled her to go every day. The opportunity created for Yasmin to come and play at the FEP center is also contributing to her overall physical and emotional health.
Bekelech shared, “Before I joined Addis Jemari, I had problem living with my husband and we were separated. But now we have come together through the support and counseling we received from AJ. We are now leading a good life and agreed to solve our problem through talking. I used to be a high tempered person. But the trainings I received helped me to improve on that and communicate better with my husband.”
Bekelech also said, “My daughter is happy and we are able to feed ourselves three times a day. She loves coming to the FEP center. Overall, our perspective about life has changed and we are feeling hope. We are grateful for everything. Thank you!”
To help Bekelech follow on her health, AJ has given the family the opportunity to be enrolled into a community health insurance. It is our greatest prayer that she will soon see improvements in her health and be able to get back to work. To come alongside families like Bekelech’s, you can become a monthly Family Empowerment Program sponsor for only $60/month ($2/day!) Visit www.addisjemari.org/sponsorship for more information.