Testimonies and Success stories
Tesfanesh Kassie is one of the mothers registered in our pilot project last year. She is a 33 year old single mother who has two children. She has her own small private house in Nefas Mewucha. Both of the children are in our project; Frehiwot Yimer and Mingot Yimer are attending our preschool. Tesfanesh is also actively involving in one of the mothers’ Income Generating Activity Groups (IGA), the Bread baking and Selling Group.
She is divorced and lives with HIV. However Tesfanesh is strong and hard working. Her children are healthy. She is enjoying all the project packages (Children’s preschool; Mothers’ IGA; Food, Clothing and Medical Support for children; Parenting Skills and Health Education).
We forwarded a question what is her reflection about her experience in Beza Mother and Child Project. She started saying, ”When I knew my health status I was shocked and very much concerned for my children’s fate; thanks God, I joined Beza who is caring about me and helping support my family. The preschool education, snacks/school meals, access to free medical support and clothing provision for my children is changing their lives and bringing hope to my family.”
Tesfanesh said ”Since I start working with my friends in our bread baking group, I am renewed and feeling confident; now I understand I have hope to live and support my children.”…”I am very happy and thankful to Beza which came to me and opened my eyes to see my life differently; I am determined to work hard to bring hope for my lovely children.”
Asinika Liyw has recently joined the project, she is a 28 year old single mother with 2 children under the age of 6. She has had no formal education. She divorced over a year ago and she is the single provider for her family. She works as a daily laborer – working long hours sorting beans where she earns 200 birr per month (£6). She rents her home, paying a fee of 40 birr (£1 per month) for a single room in a shared home. She has little money to provide for the rest of their needs. She is able to feed her children 2 meals a day with basic nutrition e.g. injra (soured pancake), bean stew and potato. Because she works daily her eldest son Dagnew (5y) has not been able to go to school, as he is the main carer for his 2 year old sister Meta. Meta is showing signs of moderate malnutrition.
Asinika is happy to benefit from our project package. She says “in the future I am ready to join BEZA Income Generation Activities, I am ready to work hard to improve my livelihood and also my family’s life”.
Aster Setie joined our project recently with her baby boy Bekalu Abebe. She is a 24 young single mother. She has two boys; the younger Bekalu is 2 years old and his elder brother is 10 years old. She lives in Nefas Mewucha Town in a rental house.
Aster was born from a rural middle class family, her parents arranged her marriage when she was 10 years old. Both Aster and her husband continued to attend school. Unfortunately, when her husband reached grade 7, he dropped out and joined the army. She testified that she was determined to pursue her education however; she gave birth to her first child when she was 14 years old.
Assisted by her parents, she continued her education and was enabled to join Debre-Birhan University in 2010 to study in the field of management. But, because of a chronic health problem she couldn’t continue her course. Being courageous Aster returned home and rejoined Nefas Mewucha Technical and Vocational College and obtained a diploma in Computer Technology in 2013.
Unluckily, she divorced when she was attending the college. Due to the difficult work environment she has not been able to find employment after graduation. Now Aster is taking care of her two children with very minimal support from her family (about 200 ETB or £6 GBP per month).
The Coalition Committee for Care and support, the government representing body, selected her to be registered in our project. During registration and house visit, we asked her feelings and expectations to be part of Beza Mother and Child Project. She replied, “As an educated young mother, I was trying many ways to change my and my children’s life, but I didn’t get any opportunity; rather, I faced so many challenges one after the other. Now I hope I will make a difference with Beza because, I am informed from other BEZA mothers that they are changing their life by holistic development support”
Tizalu is a 28 year old single mother with 3 children, the youngest child is 2 years old and a BEZA beneficiary. Tizalu expressed her happiness about the privileges given her by the program. She has not experienced such a supportive approach by any other agency.
She learned much information about health education and how to care for her children during the project year. Additionally she has learned love and tolerance towards members of the group, and she has developed a good social network.
She is happy with the progress in her IGA spinning group. She is the elected leader of this IGA. Within the IGA program she has learned how to save this year (81 birr/approx £2.50 ). Additionally she has helped coordinate other group members for good follow-up (1 supervisor for 5 members). She says “I have great hope we will progress because of BEZA’s encouragement, advice and follow up, BEZA please continue your support”.
Her child gets good medical support from the project. When Helen was unwell and malnourished she was linked by BEZA with the health centre to receive food supplements. She said “my child gets clothes, shoes, sanitary materials and snacks of tea and bread. I am so happy about this project”. She expressed her desire to be successful with her friends – she has a hope that she will change her life.