Merhabete Update, 2016
Each school has a steering committee made up of officials, members of the community, and girls in the program. When it is impossible for Becky to travel to a community, the committee will document and provide information on each of the girls. This all-volunteer committee in the woreda of Merhabete is made up of a member of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, two school directors (one from the high school and one from the preparatory school), two teachers, and two Trampled Rose girls.
The Rose Buds is a group of 47 girls in Merhabete:
• 10 juniors who are now are seniors
• 16 girls who passed National Exams to continue on in tenth grade
• 13 girls who are starting ninth grade
• 8 new juniors who also passed the National Exam for tenth graders (Their stories are below.)
♥ Beletu Wldsmat – Beletu says she doesn’t even know where to start talking about her “bitter and miserable life”. Her parent’s died before she can remember and she has been alone ever since going from family to family as she can to find a place to stay. In spite of this, she made it to her junior year but felt ready to give up until she had our support to continue her dream of becoming an engineer.
♥ Benatfant Tages – Benatfant’s parents died when she was in the sixth grade. Her relatives helped her through the eighth grade but now they feel she has had enough education and is old enough to drop out and work. Benatfant has been alone since then and still believes in her dream of becoming an engineer.
♥ Eden Adefrs – Eden is currently a servant cleaning houses. Her parents died five years ago and her grades keep declining because she has no one else to help her. She dreams of becoming a banker.
♥ Egigayehu Melesew – Egigayehu’s parents are elderly and both bedridden. On top of this, they don’t believe a girl needs an education and forced her into an early marriage. Her husband tried to force her to give up school and stay at home and only bear children. She ran away but strives to do her best.
♥ Getenesh Yilma – Getenesh and her mother have been alone since her father died when she was in the third grade. Now her mother is elderly and just became sick. Getenesh worries about her all the time and had almost given up her education. Now, because of her acceptance into TR, she and her mother again have hope that Getenesh can fulfill her dream of becoming an engineer.
♥ Rahel Abitew – Rahel was forced into early marriage by her elderly parents who love her but felt they had no other choice. After she became a young mother her husband tried to force her to drop out of school. After she refused to give up her education, he divorced and left her. She wants to be any kind of manager.
♥ Yemaramnesh Balkew – Yemaramnesh’s father died leaving her alone with her blind mother. On top of this she was forced into an early marriage and now has two children. Her husband divorced her after she ran away with her children because he wouldn’t let her leave the house and continue her education. She has been trying not only to support herself but also her two children by baking injera. Now she has hope for a different future!
♥ Zenebech Gedilu – Zenebech’s parents are elderly and bedridden. They believe education is Zenebech’s escape from poverty but can’t even provide food for themselves. Zenebech supports her parents and herself. She had already given up on continuing to preparatory school even though she passed the exam because she couldn’t come up with the $15 to purchase her uniform. Now with TR help, she continues her dream of becoming an accountant.
This is a total of 47 girls in Merhabete who have a new chance at life because of the magic that happens when we all work together.