During Almaz’s youth, there were times her future looked bleak.
Almaz’s family barely survived in a one-room house without electricity, plumbing, running water or furniture. She and her siblings were ill frequently and never went to school.
Their single mother had no money for medical care or education -- she struggled to support them on her meager income from irregular part-time work.
But when Almaz was seven years old, she became so sick her mother turned to ChildFund International for help. Almaz was enrolled in our program in Ethiopia and began receiving medical care.
After her health improved, Almaz was able to begin school. With essential supplies such as books, pencils and a book bag, Almaz enjoyed school and became an excellent student. She talked about her hopes of graduating high school, securing a job and taking care of her mother and family.
Those dreams seemed impossible for Almaz on what she recalls as the “darkest day in her life,” the day her mother died. Almaz was only 16 and was forced to become the head of her household. She suddenly had no home, no income and four young siblings to support.
Ever resilient, Almaz turned to ChildFund for support and counseling for she and her siblings. She also was helped with housing, food clothing and transportation so they could attend school.
Despite the incredible odds stacked against her, Almaz not only graduated from high school, she continued on to graduate from the Kotebe College of Teacher Education.
Today, she is a teacher in a government school and is able to support herself and her siblings. Almaz overcame overwhelming odds and is now in a position to help other deprived, excluded, and vulnerable children living in poverty.
ChildFund believed in her ability to achieve her full potential -- we didn’t give up on Almaz and more importantly, she did not give up on herself. ChildFund’s mission is to support children when they are most vulnerable, especially when extraordinary circumstances threaten their chances for a bright future.
At ChildFund, we want success stories like Almaz’s to be routine. When the children we help become leaders and advocates for others, we will have replaced the cycle of poverty with a cycle of empowerment.