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Woman stands in field

When Adanech’s husband was sick and unable to work, she didn’t know how she’d support their children. But today, empowered by several timely Gifts of Hope and a community of other women, Adanech is a successful small business owner lifting her family out of poverty!

Not long ago, Adanech sent her three children out the door to school and wondered how much longer she would be able to do so. Her husband was so sick he was confined to his bed, and had been for months. They couldn’t afford medical treatment, and his inability to work was rapidly draining their finances.

“Even back then, I knew that I had the potential to change my family’s life,” Adanech says. “But I had nothing, and we were living in a destitute condition as my husband was bedridden.”

Adanech

Adanech’s family lives in the Shinshicho district, a severely impoverished region in southern Ethiopia. Adanech’s husband worked as a farmer before he got sick, and he was the family’s sole breadwinner.

Adanech was desperately putting off the day when she would have to pull her children from school to save money and have them help earn an income for the family, but it was coming. She dreaded it.

“Even back then, I knew that I had the potential to change my family’s life,” Adanech says. “But I had nothing, and we were living in a destitute condition as my husband was bedridden.”

The Power of Gifts of Hope

That’s when Holt Ethiopia stepped in to help. Adanech was invited to join an economic empowerment program for female-headed households in her community. Through this program, children are matched with Holt sponsors and families participate in a financial savings and loan program. Through Gifts of Hope and other donations from Holt donors, families in the program receive livestock. They also get funds to start a small business, trainings in hygiene and sanitation, business and farming skills, and more. They learn how to grow their assets and save long-term to be able to overcome poverty. The goal is to help women like Adanech become self-reliant so they can support their children and families.  

Adanech learned all she could about starting a small business — methods for saving money and even nutrition and hygiene practices. Soon, she received a small loan that she used to start a business selling spices and herbs. Now she grows and sells herbs like basil, oregano, coriander, mint, thyme, dill, rosemary and other popular plants in her local market for a profit!

Soon after her spice business got started, Adanech began a fruit and vegetable garden using her new skills — and some kitchen garden seedlings that were another Gift of Hope! This garden now gives her fresh, nourishing food for her children.

“I’m very grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change my family’s future for good. I cannot place a value on the support I have received from Holt. Now it is possible for my family to live with dignity. It opened our eyes to possibilities we never knew existed!”

As her business grew, Adanech saved enough money to be able to buy a little calf! A cow is a significant investment for a family, and represents months of hard work — as well as incredible opportunities for the future! Once the cow is big enough, it will provide nourishing milk for the children. They’ll also be able to sell extra milk as a new source of income for the family.

Woman bends down working in garden
Adanech working in her garden

Because of these Gifts of Hope, Adanech stopped worrying about whether she would have enough money to send her children to school. Adanech’s confidence grew so much as she provided for her family that she felt inspired to do even more! She started growing more vegetables in her garden, enough to take to market and sell.

Adanech’s Continued Success

Today, Adanech has a community savings account with a group of other women, where they make weekly deposits. When someone in the group has an emergency, they can borrow money from the fund as needed to take care of their families. It gives them a sense of security, and it helps them all take care of one another. Adanech has grown so much in confidence and knowledge as a result that she recently became the leader of the savings group!

Best of all, Adanech finally had enough money to take her husband to the hospital and get him the medical help he so desperately needed. Today, he is in good health and helps her with farming.

Adanech’s success and bravery has inspired other female-headed households and women in her community. Now, her children will grow up healthy, strong and educated. And it’s all because of generous donors across the world who gave her the Gifts of Hope she needed to change her family’s future.

Woman stands in front of house with her son and daughter
Adanech and her children.

“I’m very grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change my family’s future for good,” Adanech says. “I cannot place a value on the support I have received from Holt. Now it is possible for my family to live with dignity. It opened our eyes to possibilities we never knew existed!”

Little girl holding a baby chick

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