I do not have leprosy.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Project closed in 2018.

Free grew up in the marginalized community of lepers of Kore, in Addis Ababa, with the dream of becoming a teacher. Nove Onlus helped her and five other Kore girls to realize their projects.

Kore is a ghetto where there is only profound misery. Opportunities for education, training and work are lacking, more than ever for women; the residents, even if healthy and non-contagious, are excluded from the socio-economic life of the country. This project broke the stigma that isolates them, opening a small breach through which six Kore’s girls were able to enter Ethiopian society and have the same opportunities as the others.

Banchu, Alex, Tseghe, Kure, Mercy and Free, girls who are brave and full of talent have struggled to attend school. They managed to graduate with excellent grades, and had earned the right to attend a public university. The tuition was paid for by the government, but the girls had to travel to the university, as well as pay for their food, and other costs. They were too poor to manage it, and in 2013, Nove Onlus pledged to support them until graduation, so that they could become free and independent women. Despite a state of emergency being declared in the country in 2016, Nove Onlus managed to continue the project. Four girls Alex and Tseghe, have completed their studies or have achieved economic self-sufficiency, and have chosen a longer university path than the others, and they graduated in 2019.

The project, one of the rare initiatives of this kind in the country, was carried out with the agreement of the Federal Government of Ethiopia, and also contributed to the expansion of the only kindergarten in Kore, attended by 100 children.

Operative Partners: Missionary Sisters of the Consolata (CMS).

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