Sponsored boy with his mother

Perseverance After COVID

Befikadu Ayanew was five when someone began to sponsor him through Hope In View–almost eleven years ago. Both his parents were HIV+ and had other health problems as well. They were desperately poor.

From the beginning, his family situation began to improve. His mom, Almaz Tilahun, joined a self-help savings group and began to experience the love of the group. She learned how to take care of her health and the health of her husband better. She learned how to manage money.

Over time, as she saved a few birr every week, she was able to take a loan from the group, with which she bought mobile phone cards to sell to passersby. As she took and repaid five separate loans, each bigger than the one before, she became a good business woman. She started selling vegetables on the street in addition to the mobile cards. She and her husband finally built a small mud house for their expanding family on some unused ground near a river.

Then trouble started. COVID flattened her business. Tuberculosis flattened her health. The city government flattened their house because it was not built legally.

She and her husband found a small room they could rent for their family of five, but it swallows most of his meager salary as a day laborer. She has continued to learn from the Bible studies in her self-help group that God loves her and has not left her. As her health has improved, her small group leader, who is a street sweeper, has managed to get her occasional work sweeping streets with her. Her self-help group and the child sponsorship staff have brought them badly needed food. Besides counseling and encouraging her, these friends have also started talking with her about various options for starting a new business. No longer stuck in despair, she is again thinking about possibilities. Thanks to her self-help group, she now has a mechanism for getting those dreams fulfilled.

Meanwhile, the sponsorship program ensures that Befikadu continues his schooling, meeting his basic health, clothing and nutritional needs. He is a bright and strapping 9th grader who is becoming a fine young man!

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