The school year is about to start in Ethiopia. As everywhere else in the world, some children are excited and some are dreading the end of summer. But, in Ethiopia, most children look forward to school. They see it as an opportunity to make their life better. It is a privilege to attend school here, not something that everyone is able to do. Some children may have to stay home and help around the house. Or on the farm. Others may not live close enough to a school. And some families are not able to afford the basic supplies that the children need to attend school. So, next week, the children who are lucky enough will likely be quite excited to get back to their studies.
There is a group of children who are especially interested in starting up school. These are the children of some of the women who we are helping to escape a life of prostitution. We are buying the children their school uniforms, exercise books, pens, pencils, erasers and backpacks. We are also paying their registration fees. We are very excited and honored to be able to help these children in this way.
It will especially help to break the cycle of prostitution that is going on in the part of Addis Ababa that we are working. What often happens is that the children of these women will get involved one way or another in prostitution. Especially if the child is a girl. If a woman working as a prostitute has a daughter, chances are that the girl will start working as a prostitute herself before too long. The reason is that there is no other choice given to them. The mother will often die quite young from HIV or other diseases and the young girl is either kicked out onto the street or has to start working as a prostitute to feed herself and any siblings that she may have. This may even start as young as 7 years old and it is very common to find young teenage girls working as prostitutes here. The situation is heartbreaking. But by offering these children an education they will be equipped with the tools that they need to break the cycle. They will be able to continue their education and start another line of work. It is very exciting and I cannot wait to see what these children will do with their lives, they each have so much potential and I am sure that great things will happen.
I will be taking pictures of these children next week and will post them on this website, so please come back and take a look.