From Arnica Rowan, VCS President: I opened a report today, and read a story that I just had to share with you. Determined 17 year old “J”, despite overwhelming struggles and a dangerous life on the streets, has just finished our year long New Life program in Ethiopia. We couldn’t be more proud of her and her fellow grads (shown above.) J grew up in my daughters’ home city, so her success has special meaning for our family. Read on to learn J’s inspirational story.
Since it’s the holy month of Ramadan, we thought we would remind you that Vulnerable Children Society is committed to help kids of all faiths to thrive and succeed in Ethiopia. We are proud that our programs help deserving Orthodox, Protestant and Muslim kids and families. 💗 Arnica
From our partners in Ethiopia: “J” was born in the ancient city of Nekemt in the Western part of Ethiopia. J was born into a Muslim family, the first and only child. Her father passed away when J was still an infant and her mother took care of her as a single mother. J went as far as fourth grade in that town, but unfortunately, life became more and more difficult for J and her mother. They decided to move to Addis Ababa in search of a good work for the mother and a better future for the daughter. But the life they imagined would be waiting for them was only a myth. They were greeted with more poverty and unemployment.
When J was a teen, her mother decided to go back to her hometown and her relatives. She thought it would be safer to have people who care about her around all the time. But J and her mother were not getting along well, so J decided to run away from home in Nakemt, back to Addis. She was fourteen years old at the time. She thought that she would find her old neighbors and they would take care of her. But when she got to Addis, the neighbours she knew had been displaced because of a road construction that was going on. She didn’t recognize any of the people currently living there, and was all alone. J had no choice but to become a street child.
J was on the streets for three years. During that time, she had to sell her body in exchange for food and a place to sleep at night. She says, ‘if you spend one night outside, you would know how absolutely terrible it really is.’
Fortunately, J met social workers from Hope for Children (our Ethiopian partner for the New Life program,) and after several orientation sessions, she came to the New Life Girls’ Group Home in hope for a better life. With counselling, drug rehab and medical care, her life started to come together.
Over the course of a year, J trained in cooking and has now passed the certification of competency exam for professional cooking. This enables her to work in any restaurant or hotel in Ethiopia. A recent graduate, she has just been placed in her first professional cooking job, and is living independently, off the streets.
J wants to thank all of the people who supported her and the other girls in Vulnerable Children Society’s New Life program.
This deserving, hardworking girl now has a chance at a safe and successful life, and we are so very very proud of her. If you’d like to contribute to give another girl a new life, please learn more or donate. Your contribution changes lives.
Give a Teen Girl a New Life
Vulnerable Children Society’s New Life program enables teen girls to leave the sex trade in Addis Ababa and build a new life for themselves. Their year living in our group home, learning a trade, and receiving counselling opens a world of possibilities. It costs $2000 to give a girl a new life… a very good investment!
Learn More about our compassionate, effective program
OR Donate to Help More Girls Leave the Streets