Many of the single moms in our Ethiopia program have started small businesses buying wholesale and selling produce at the local market. But there’s a catch. When the rainy season hits, food becomes scarce and wholesalers simply have nothing to sell them. Spices and other products typically prepared over open fires or in poorly constructed kitchens are rained out.
It’s an everyday occurrence we don’t even think about. However for these moms, it’s a matter of being able to feed their children this month or not… at least it was.
Since being a part of our program, these moms are learning a new way of conducting business. Our staff hosted a seminar this month. Together, we brainstormed how business can thrive during the rainy season. From storing up through the year to accommodate the harsher conditions to changing business tactics during these months, it was a very helpful discussion. Many hardworking moms who have been reaching for what seemed like a dead-end road felt hope again. Beyond that, LSM also provides food supplements and physical support as they learn better ways to prepare for the lean times. This two year support program helps mothers during a difficult season of business without creating long-term dependency.
For moms like Dimka* and her five children, it’s making all the difference.
“Before I came to this project, I had lots of up and downs. I have lived in very deep poverty with my five children since their father died. Thanks to God, but now things have changed. God visited me through these people who came to help, and I believe He shines His face on me. This program has offered many skills, awareness and start-up funds for my business.I am thankful for my children’s school opportunity and provision, food and clothing from the LSM project here in my country. In general, through both Life Skill and Business Skill trainings I have learned the importance of initiating work opportunities myself, persistence, time management, saving culture/trend without scarcity or shortage of money, business skills, and how to handle my business.”
Because of simple things like learning how to manage a business in a rainy season, this family is beating the odds.
Odds they never imagined they’d be capable of reaching. With the support of people on the other side of the world, Dimka’s children are well fed, educated and learning this important truth: “If you work hard and lean on God’s help, you can do great things.”
Your life in the U.S. can have a powerful impact on another person’s life halfway around the world. Sound impossible? Here’s just one of the countless examples how this can happen every day.
Ammet is a single mother in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She grew up in hopeless poverty with no food to eat, no school to attend and no peace in her life. Her father was an abusive alcoholic. She was just 12 years old when she ran away and stayed with her uncle, hoping to finally be able to go to school and have a chance at a better life.
Quickly, though, Ammet found herself the forced personal servant to her aunt, who severely abused her. Finally, she escaped, and married a young man, grasping once again at hope for a better life. But things rapidly spiraled further downhill. Ammet suffered more abuse, this time even inflicted upon her child, Aben. To save herself and her son, Ammet fled to the city, forced to forge a way for both of them. Which often meant simply surviving from one day to the next.
It wasn’t until LSM found Ammet and started working with LSM that a flame of hope was struck in an otherwise dark life of desperate survival.
Ammet received small business training so that she could provide for Aben. But the support from LSM was more than the chance at earning a dignified, living wage. More even than having people surrounding her who proved to her that she was worth it. Is this:
“Because of LSM, I am now receiving Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. It’s the biggest blessing in my life. One I can pass down to my son.”
Here are three things you can do right now to help Ammet and Aben succeed as an independent family filled with dignity and hope:
Pray for success in Ammet’s small business and confidence in her heart as she leads her family with dignity and hope. Pray for Aben and the life-changing opportunity he has to attend school. Most importantly, pray for his salvation and that his mother would continue to grow in her faith.
2. Join us at Seeds of Hope.
Join us on July 8 to hear more about Ammet and other vulnerable families at our SEEDS OF HOPE event. Learn more here.
3. Become an Ethiopia Family Sponsor.
Become an ongoing Ethiopian Sponsor and change the futures of many families like Ammet and Aben with us! You’ll receive powerful updates like this on a regular basis and see the transformation coming to a new generation in Ethiopia.
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.