Photo Story - Growing Up in an Ethiopian Slum

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By Joan Ng’ang’a, on assignment from ChildFund Kenya
Posted on 1/11/2012

The slums of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, are a tough place to grow up. But Muluemebet, whose family has benefited from ChildFund’s services, is turning out fine. Join her for an eye-opening tour of her community.

  • Hi. My name is Muluemebet. I am 21 years old. Behind me stands our one-room house in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I live here with my parents and three brothers.

  • This is our kitchen. We share this space with four other households.

  • This is our toilet and bathroom. It serves 10 other households.

  • This place is known as Arada. It’s a slum. It’s very crowded and noisy.

  • The buildings, cars and people squeeze through the little space. Children have to live with all this.

  • There are no play areas for children.

  • Most of my peers did not complete school. So they are engaged in odd jobs such as washing clothes.

  • The boys will often buy or sell khat. Khat is a leafy drug. The boys are idle all day.

  • There's a lot of prostitution in Arada. Every corner has a prostitute’s house. They often light incense at the entrance.

  • I graduated this year with a bachelor of arts degree in accounting. This is my brother. He’s the firstborn in our family and also a graduate. He was a former sponsored child and now works at a bank in town.

  • There are many opportunities for change. And thanks to ChildFund, there is a change because of the community training on health education, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS.

  • Sometimes I feel trapped. Suffocated. Little. But I’m happy about the change.

  • I’m the change I want to see. I want my friends to be part of this change. To be healthy, skilled, productive and engaged.