17-year-old Jemila lives in Ethiopia with her mother and her nine siblings. Their three-roomed rented house has no proper sanitation facilities. Jemila and her family are forced to cook in the open since the house has no space for a kitchen. Her mother is the family's breadwinner. She sells tella-local brew- to support her children. Their vulnerable economic situation put Jemila at risk of exploitation.
Jemila dropped out of school when she was in the sixth grade. She lacked scholastic materials to support her education and had no choice but to look after young children instead. She earned about 4.65 Euros which enabled her to buy clothes and some school items. When she was 13, Jemila was exposed to sexual exploitation, a situation that went on for a period of one year, causing her misery.
In the area Jemila lives in, vulnerable people like children, the elderly or persons living with disabilities are selected every year to receive support. Jemila was identified as one of the beneficiary students in 2015 by the Kebele Community Care and support Coalition (CCC) committee. Fortunately for her, she was aided by the Paths to Paths Safer Childhood Project. Since 2015, Jemila has been receiving aid to enable her to finish school. At the start of every academic year, she receives scholastic materials that enable her to pursue her education with ease.
¨Before the intervention of the project, getting scholastic materials was a problem and my school performance was low. With the support I received, I was the 5th best student among 66 others in the previous academic year. I am grateful to ANPPCAN-Ethiopia and TdH-NL.¨ The project officer frequently visits Jemila at home. During these follow-up visits, Jemila is counselled and advised on how she can achieve better grades.
Jemila´s mother was also supported by the project by linking her to a self-help group. She received business skills training as well as parenting skills and child protection training. Through the self-help group, Jemila´s mother has been able to save money as well as receive loans to help her expand her business. This in turn has helped her grow her income so as to support her children.
As for Jemila, she is in her final year of high school and studies day and night in preparation for the same. She says ¨I want to be a well-known accountant and reach PhD level in the accounting profession.¨