by Mesfin Agonafir, ChildFund Ethiopia
In Ethiopia’s poorest communities, many unemployed youth are struggling to obtain the basics of survival – food, shelter, clothing.
Mister, an energetic young woman of 21, knows the struggle well. Yet, she refuses to give up on her dream of becoming self-reliant.
Although Mister and her close friends successfully passed Ethiopia’s national examination in grade ten, they lacked the resources to enter technical or vocational schools. Instead, they became jobless.
“Because I am from a poor family background, I was disappointed and was helpless and dependent on my sister,” Mister recalls of that difficult time in her life.
Then she and her friends learned that ChildFund was offering training in hair dressing and beauty salon operations. After completing training and being equipped with necessary materials, Mister and six friends started work in a beauty salon of their own, constructed with assistance from ChildFund in 2008.
“God has helped me, bringing ChildFund to my assistance to open this beauty salon,” she says. “I have made lots of progress in my life since then. My fate would have been a house maid, but ChildFund enables me to be self-reliant.”
Mister and her friends are now assessing the market to expand their “Sisters Beauty Salon” business to a second location on the other corner of Debre Berhan Town.
One day, soon, Mister plans to open a hairdressing training center. “My vision is to live a better life than this. I am planning to open my own business and employ many disadvantaged girls in the town.”