As a parent, not being able to feed your children is heartbreaking. Seven years ago, Genet and her daughters were starving. When Genet could not provide food for her daughters, Rahel and Mihert, she felt hopeless. The grief that she experienced was immense, and she stated that she would rather die than to see her daughters starve.
Genet remembers times when she was so desperate for food that she went out on the streets begging for someone to give her just 4 birr (about 20 cents) so she could buy injera for her children.
While in the midst of this hopelessness, Genet’s daughters, Rahel and Mihert, were profiled by Children’s HopeChest and became sponsored at the Merkato CarePoint in Ethiopia. Her daughters’ lives dramatically changed as they began eating nutritious food and were able to reach a healthy weight! They also had access to an education through their CarePoint’s educational support. Her girls are now in 7th and 10th grade and love being able to attend school!
It was not only her daughters who were impacted, but Genet’s life drastically changed as well! With a small business loan from the CarePoint, she was able to join an income-generating program and took out her first microloan of 2,000 birr (about $90) to start making hand-knit blankets and sweaters.
A year later, her business had grown, she had paid off the original loan, and she was ready to take her business to the next level. She took out a new 2,000 birr loan and used the money to grow her sweater making business! She eventually gained a contract to make sweaters for a local school, increasing her profit and creating a steady income.
Genet is an entrepreneurial woman and she did not stop with just one business. Nine months ago she again took out a loan to start her second business making injera! Injera is a traditional Ethiopian bread that is very popular and eaten frequently in Ethiopian cuisine. Genet gets up every morning at 2am and cooks until 6am. She must get up so early because the power is more consistent early in the morning and she has to have her injera ready for the restaurants and shops that buy her injera at wholesale cost. She has a thriving business and, most importantly is able to provide consistent food and care for her daughters.
She dreams of having her own restaurant in the future in a popular business area in her community. She also hopes to use her profit to help support children who are in need, investing back into the community that invested in her business.
From begging in the street for 20 cents to operating two thriving businesses and investing back into her community, Genet’s story is an incredible example of how God is working through Children’s HopeChest! Genet’s story is remarkable, and one of many.
As God continues to renew hope and restore dignity to vulnerable children and their families, we invite you to work alongside us. When you make a meaningful gift to Children’s HopeChest, you are supporting women like Genet, who are able to unleash their talents through a small business loan and create a business that allows them to properly take care of their children. Children’s HopeChest invests in people and their immense potential.
This holiday season, join us in igniting hope.
Donate today to to expand small business opportunities so that mothers like Genet will be able to take care of their children and invest back into their community!