Sharing lifts forgotten soul

BY LEULSEGED WORKU

Admassu Kere was born in one of the remote areas of Gojam, in Amhara State. However, it was at his early age, he was compelled to leave his birthplace and came to Addis Ababa leaving his family, his friends, and the village where he had spent lot of unforgettable occurrences and childhood experiences behind.

When life became unbearable at his birthplace, Admassu decided to come to Addis Ababa hoping to get an education in the capital, and lead a better life.

However, when he arrived in Addis, the capital had not welcomed him with open arms. From the moment he arrived, he understood as his childhood aspiration [to have a better life], turned out to be a nightmare.

Leave alone to fulfill his dream, even getting a shelter and support from fellow citizens became unattainable. For that reason, Admassu was forced to sleep in the streets of Addis; and experience all the harshest sides of street life for about six years.

It was at this moment, while he was struggling with the challenges of street life, Admassu met with teen volunteers who had no money; but kind heart, hope and true love.

For Admassu, who was tired of the harshest and the worst sides of life on the streets of Addis Ababa, meeting those young children- Lejochu– who were found in the same age group with him- was a God sent opportunity.

After he met with those young volunteers, life has started getting improved. Those kind-hearted little children, by bringing food from their houses, used to support Admassu and other street children.

Now, it seems that fortune smiles on those street children and things getting better and better. Those bad days have gone for once and for all. Thanks to those volunteer children who knew the secret of sharing, Admassu is now an adult, a father of three and head of different departments. However, the daily struggle to survive in the street was one of the bad memories he still has

Admassu believes that no one knows his/her future. For this reason, we should live a life of selflessness; we should be accustomed to the culture of sharing love with all who need it. “The love and care that I saw from those volunteer children “Lejochu” has completely changed my life and my perspective. It was not only me, but also those whose lifestyle has changed. There are other street children whose life is changed for good. Supporting one another should not be a one season activity or should not be performed for the sake of media consumption or other reason. We should help one another nobly, because we are born to serve others.”

When asked how the society could help the street children, he said that having an organized system that focuses on life changing program should be promoted at the level of government, individuals, and nongovernmental charity organizations as well. Providing support to street children and other impoverished members of the society helps to utilize their untapped potential for economic growth and should be the prime focus of all – the government, NGOs and individuals.

Seasonality that is triggered by external factors will not bring sustainable change. According to him, individual investors’ active involvement in the area should also be encouraged to change the life of street children who are compelled to lead life on streets for various reasons.

Gizachew Ayka, is Head and one among the founders of “Win Souls Ethiopia”. Like that of Admassu, Gizachew has a stand that supporting impoverished members of the society in a sustainable manner is instrumental to change their life and make them productive citizens. This is particularly true for street children and other disadvantaged groups.

According to him, the act of voluntarism and the will to share must be cultivated within the heart of every individual. In this regard, coaching children the secret of sharing should be part of every one’s life. “Children are the reflection of their parents. They mirror the actions and behaviors of their parents.

Gizachew and his friends were born and grew around Shiro Meda, in the capital Addis Ababa, where economic strains are common among the majority of the communities. Despite the fact that Gizachew and his friends were grown in such villages their economic background did not prevent them from sharing what they got with the needy. Despite all the unacceptable characters and improper practices witnessed among most of those street children, Gizachew and his friends are compassionately serving them with whatever they had.

After years of struggle, Gizachew and his friends have enable to support street chiuldren in an organized way. Currently, through the wing of “Win Souls Ministry, Bright Star Ethiopia”, Gizachew and his groups are working aggressively to improve and change the lives of street children, sex workers and other disadvantageous members of the society.

According to Gizachew, helping the needy needs only compassion, kind heart and willingness aside from having money. As volunteerism is not an activity carried out just for personal gain, or fame, but to help others, show belongingness, love and affectionate regardless of any differences, it should not be performed for the sake of media consumption.

Helping others needs pure heart and dedication. “We had no financial source by that time; but my friends and I started sharing what we got with street children. All we had was courage. That was our biggest resource. We should help others to the point we need to be supported. Superficial support does not change the life of individual. We should do what we want to do for ourselves. If going to college or university is our goal, we must support and exert our potential on an individual we are supporting to achieve that goal.”

Our past experiences in the area of education have energized us to work more; invest our energy and time on it. Several street children whom they were once helpless have become independent and responsible citizens because of education. This has totally changed their life. Offering them vocational training and other skill development courses has changed their life.

Feeding or providing clothes for that particular street boy is a first step, said Gizachew. It is not the end by itself. Changing their old and torn clothed or feeding them for some season cannot change their life. As to him, we should support them in a sustainable way and change their lives for real. That is why the organization has given special attention to education and housing areas. When we invest in education and shelter the lifestyle of that particular person will be changed for the better.

The   7 August 2022

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