For children around the world with disabilities, like 9-year-old Tigabu, the barriers to a quality education often seem so large and difficult to overcome, they feel hopeless.
Tigabu’s parents are subsistence farmers in Shinshicho, Ethiopia and they struggle to afford even basic necessities, like food or clothing. They want their son to reap the benefits of a good education and create a better future for himself, but physical disabilities are heavily stigmatized in Ethiopia.
Many villagers in this region still believe that only a family curse could cause their children to be born deaf. However, this so-called “curse” affects an abnormally high number of children in Shinshicho, and no one is sure why. Regardless of prevalence, resources for children with disabilities are scarce, schools turn deaf children away, and even the tools to independently learn sign language are virtually non-existent.
It’s a heartbreaking reality, and many deaf children have been hidden away, marginalized from the community, excluded from schools, and destined for a life of poverty.
On a stormy, hot day in early September, Tigabu walked two hours for his first day of 4th grade classes at the only deaf school in the region — a school Holt helped to start in 2010 and that you help us continue to support today.
This year, more than 400 deaf children enrolled for classes.
Many are able to attend thanks to Holt’s supporters who provide more than just school fees, uniforms and supplies. The students also have access to medical care, supplemental food and clothing, and vocational training and education for their parents — so families can diversify their income and rely less on farming.
With help from people like you, the students and their families will grow strong, stable and self-reliant — eventually generating enough income to cover all their needs and invest in their future!
When you give a gift to our family strengthening fund, you help stabilize or reunite vulnerable families like Tigabu’s, and not just in Ethiopia, but in more than 11 countries where we work!
Even a small gift makes a life-long impact on the children and families we serve. Even a small gift can be enough to keep a family together and help a child choose a new destiny —and a better, more stable future.
Read more about Tigabu, and how your support is helping children attend school and families grow strong in Ethiopia by clicking here.