Dagimawi’s story

Dagimawi* left home because of family economic hardship and peer pressure. He stayed on the streets of Addis Ababa for a month. During this time he encountered many challenges including lack of food, shelter, abuse and cold weather conditions.

After living on the street for several weeks, Retrak outreach workers found him and invited him to Retrak. After he joined Retrak all his essential needs were met and the work began to help him recover from his experience of life on the street. It was during one-to-one counselling service that he revealed the abuse he experienced on the street made him feel worthless. Then the counsellor started working on building his self-esteem.

After Dagimawi was ready to return to his family and continue his education a reintegration plan was created and a placement implemented. During the reintegration process the social worker dealt with his school so that he was able to resume his education. To help resolve the economic hardship, his parents had small business training and an income generating assistance grant was provided.

Dagimawi has been attending school regularly and has been promoted to grade 9 by scoring 97 per cent on the National Exam, which is an excellent result. Now he is emotionally strong and hoping to overcome his problems. He is helping his parents with gardening activities and making money by repairing electronic equipment on the weekends.

* Name has been changed

Freelance travel photographer