Enaye's story: A victim of abuse changes her future with the help of Lelt's programs

Enaye came from the Jima region of Ethiopia, where she felt that women and girls are given little respect. Her own family treated her as a second-class citizen; they forced Enaye to quit school and marry when she was still a girl. Although she was too young to wed and nervous about the arranged marriage, she had to obey her parents.

Enaye's husband turned out to be a violent alcoholic. He angered easily, often hit her, and threatened her life. Despite this, she dutifully stayed with him for 13 years. Then, when her infant daughter died shortly after she gave birth, Enaye made a desperate decision: she took her son, Getahun, and left for Addis Ababa to find a better life. The odd jobs she found couldn't support them and they often went hungry. Things seemed as desperate as when they lived in Jima.

Then three years ago, an American teacher and her students sponsored Getahun through Lelt Foundation's Child Sponsorship Program. Getahun started receiving lunch everyday, which helped him to concentrate in school. His grades got better as he went to Lelt's tutoring classes every week. He no longer struggled in school as he had before.

Lelt also helped Enaye start her own sheep farm. Two years ago, she went through Lelt's business creation training program, which taught her how to run a business and manage money. Lelt gave Enaye a loan to start her farm, which she has nearly repaid. When she expands her business this year, we will give her a second loan to help cover the costs.

We asked Enaye how her experience in Lelt's assistance programs has impacted her life. She said, "When I look back at my years in a very bad marriage and the sadness of losing my daughter, I almost can't believe how my life has changed. If that American class had not believed in my son, we would still be living hungry. Now I am strong enough to change the future for me and my son."

Make a difference for an Ethiopian family. We have 17 children in desperate need of support on our Child Sponsorship waiting list. Please consider a sponsorship today.

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