I do not have leprosy. Ethiopia, Addis Ababa
Free was born and raised in the marginalized community of Kore in Addis Ababa, which is affected by leprosy. She dreamed of becoming a teacher. Nove Onlus is helping her and five other girls from Kore to achieve their goals.
Kore is a ghetto characterized by deep misery. There is no opportunity for education, training or work – particularly for women. Its residents, even if healthy and non-contagious, are excluded from the socio-economic life of the country. This project has helped break the stigma that isolates them, opening a small gap through which six Kore girls have been able to enter Ethiopian society and have the same opportunities as others.
Kure, Banchu, Alex, Tseghe, Mercy and Free, all brave and talented girls, have struggled to escape Kore and attend school. They earned their diplomas with honours, gaining admission to public university. While the tuition is paid by the government, the girls still have to reach the distant university campuses and pay for their food, accommodation and other costs. However, they are too poor to provide for themselves. In 2013, Nove Onlus committed itself to supporting them until they graduated in order to help them become free and independent women. Despite Ethiopia declaring a state of emergency in 2016, Nove Onlus has kept the project running. Four of the girls have completed their studies and are now self-sufficient. Nove Onlus will continue to support Alex and Tseghe until the end of 2018, when they too will graduate.
This is one of the first initiatives of its kind in the country, and is carried out in collaboration with the Federal Government of Ethiopia. In addition, Nove Onlus has contributed to the expansion of the only kindergarten in Kore, which currently hosts 100 children.
Operative partner: Consolata Missionary Sisters (CMS).
For more details, contact the project manager Arianna Briganti