A Child's Dream Iron-Willed to Success

Jun 10 , 2023
By Eden Sahle

Ye-Amlak Fikir was an extraordinary child with the vision to help children on the street. It was inspiring to see a young child with such a big heart and a desire to impact the world positively as he wrote the details of his plan at 10 years old and read it to his parents.

They recognised and encouraged him to pursue his dream. But it never crossed their minds that Ye-Amlak's life would be cut short at 23 before he got a chance to change it into reality.

Despite their grief, his parents, Tsigereda Robbi and Fikir Alebachew, became determined to help children from the street in his memory. They wanted to turn their tragedy into a good cause that could give hope and a future to others.

The foundation, named after their late son, Ye-Amlak Lijoch, has received an outpouring of support from their close friends, who are willing to give their time and money to the cause since its establishment three years ago.

The organisation has significantly impacted over a hundred young mothers and their children ever since, by providing financial and mental support while helping them bond. When families are identified, the organisation reconciles to ensure a stable and loving environment for the child to grow up in while they support mothers until they are able to work. They were equipped with handy skills to navigate through life.

I visited the centre located at Nefas Silk Lafto last week with my family. For an observer like us, the institution's welcoming and nurturing atmosphere, along with strong relationships between the staff and residents, created a sense of community and belonging. It felt like a big happy family.

The smile held by complete strangers was warm and welcoming. It is a joyous, safe haven for those who suffered unimaginable life tragedies. The staff members work for free and invest their own time and money to raise funds and gather items for the deprived. Their incentive is the delight of witnessing families' enthusiasm for a future.

I learned that the adolescent mothers who dropped out of school due to poverty and the loss of a parent were searching for greener pastures in Addis Abeba but encountered tragic ordeals instead. Many were victims of rape or abandonment by their child's father. Helplessness and entrapment are too familiar feelings, let alone the overwhelming struggle to cope with parenthood: a reminder of the gruesome trauma they had to withstand.

The women said a glimpse of hope trickles down when the medical practitioners that partner with the organisation hand them a bag of free vital supplies and small cash before being referred to the life-changing facility.

They were welcomed with a profuse celebration offering various activities and gifts to make the day special. The organisation has provided them with a bed, crib and toys. It was a wonderful opportunity for mothers and their infants to feel cared for and appreciated.

The environment has eased the burden of loneliness through connections with others in similar situations. They seem grateful for the emotional and physical support to consider their children a blessing.

It is a heartwarming gesture to show these mothers that they are not alone and that their community supports them. It has profoundly impacted their lives, providing them a sense of community, support and empowerment. Through the organisation's programmes and services, these women have been able to transform their lives and become confident, capable, and resilient. Their experiences serve as an attestation to the power of community-based organisations to foster positive change and create opportunities for individuals to thrive.

Despite his untimely demise, the improbable mark that Ye-Amlak has through the efforts of his parents and their friends abides. His wish to assist others has been fulfilled. He continues to make a difference in the world, as his legacy is one of intent and pride for those who knew him and those who continued his work.

The childhood dream was foolproof that helped parents and their friends overcome grief and inspired them to continue to change the lives of many for the better. They strive to raise more funds to provide many mothers and children with a loving home. It is a reminder to us all to strive to make a difference in our own communities.

PUBLISHED ON Jun 10,2023 [ VOL 24 , NO 1206]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at edensah2000@gmail.com.

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