Bellame* is a single mom, who struggled for far too long to provide for her children and give them a better life than she’s ever known. Her self-sacrifice is evident.
She was there when her best friend died in childbirth. In that moment, she didn’t think twice about taking the baby as her own, knowing that if she didn’t the baby would not survive. Her selfless decision is even more incredible considering she was still grieving the loss of her husband, who had just died. Cradling the child in her arms, she had no idea how she would feed this new baby and her other children.
Her decision to give when she had nothing in herself took great courage.
Through the coming years, as her three children grew, the struggle to put food in their hungry bellies became harder and harder. But Bellame did not give up. She worked in horrifying conditions, started small businesses trying to make ends meet and made the best of the dung-wall loft with a tarp-roof they called home. Coloring book pictures lined the brown walls and a single tapestry covered the single mattress they all shared.
But Bellame’s story doesn’t end there. Far from it.
Help came in the form of some incredible Ethiopian staff at LSM.
Today, Bellame is starting a new chapter in life. She lives in a furnished apartment with her children who go to school each morning thanks to the support she receives through LSM. Bellame knows that she can withstand great trials and thrive. She knows she can teach that courage to her own children—and that they can break a cycle of desperation that has crushed her country for far too long.
TODAY, ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, WE CELEBRATE ALL WOMEN!
Children around the world are being raised by courageous women just like Bellame, who are building up their families and giving everything they’ve got to make a better world for the next generation. Others are finding friends, mentors and business leaders in women who have overcome great odds with grace, dignity and hope. These women inspire us to live well and help them succeed.
*name changed for privacy