Thanks to Hope Enterprises thousands of impoverished children and young people are able to continue their education every year. Founded in 1971, it began with the feeding and educating of street children living in doorways, bus stations, and makeshift shelters in Addis Ababa. Today more than 4,000 children and young people are attending a Hope Enterprises’ school or vocational training, across 5 regions of Ethiopia.
Hope Enterprises call their approach the ‘Ladders of Hope’ and it all starts with feeding over 850 street children every morning at their feeding centres. By removing the constant pressure of finding money for food, the children are given time to learn and progress into education.
Tamrat is 18 years old and studying General Metal and Fabrication Assembly at Hope Enterprises’ vocational training branch in Addis Ababa.
Since the age of 5 years, Tamrat has been a pupil at Hope Enterprises. His parents didn’t have to worry about finding the money for school fees, uniforms, lunches or materials. Hope Enterprises ensure that every child, and their family, is supported so that they can complete their schooling.
Hope Enterprises’ schools provide for pupils from kindergarten through to vocational training. For students like Tamrat this is an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and have hope for a better future. Vocational training offers the skills and qualifications needed to get a job and become financially independent. Places are highly sought after with courses in metal fabrication, furniture making, industrial electrics, tailoring, catering and housekeeping. Hope Enterprises link up with government and industry leaders to ensure that training is specific to the jobs on offer.
Tamrat says that the best bit of the course is its relevance for employers. He has a strong sense for business and eventually plans to set up a self-help business group with five of his friends. His future is looking very promising.