Returning Zerihun to family life

Five years ago, when he was just ten years old, Zerihun* lost his father. During these uncertain childhood years, Zerihun regularly helped his mum out with chores and diligently attended school. The happy times made out of a tragic situation eventually ended when spiralling financial struggles led Zerihun to leave home.

The streets seemed like a solution to his problems, or so he thought.

Arriving on the streets of Addis Ababa, Zerihun encountered dangers all too common for children new to the street. A lack of food and nowhere to rest or wash; physical abuse; cold weather…they all took their toll. After two distressing weeks, Zerihun was approached by Retrak outreach workers, who invited him to a drop-in centre.

He was able to eat, sleep, and wash in a safe place, as well as receive counselling and education. After three months, Zerihun was ready to return home and rejoin school.Zerihun

On reuniting Zerihun with his loved ones, we provided small business training for the family to become financially stable. Family counselling was essential to deal with the bereavement of the father in maintaining a normal life.

Retrak also provided enough money for the family to buy a calf in order to generate income.

Zerihun has enjoyed caring for the calf and has been able to continue with school since returning home.

Finishing school is necessary for children to learn skills and find employment later in life. On this day over 40 years ago, children protested for the right to receive good-quality education in their own language. Their struggles have not been forgotten, but achieving this goal worldwide is yet to be attained.

This year, on the Day of the African Child, it’s more important than ever that no child is left behind in Africa’s development. Street-connected children are even more vulnerable to be denied equal education, access to healthcare, and protection from abuse.

We need supporters like you to make this a reality for even more children like Zerihun. Donate here to transform a child’s life.

*name changed to protect identity.