Beza's Women's Empowerment Program
Tirzah International's Partner in Ethiopia
There’s a saying in the States these days that age wise 30 is the new 21. Many 30-year-olds in the US feel life is just beginning and are excited by the possibilities. Alitash,* a 31-year-old woman living in Addis Ababa, has already seen more of the harsh realities of life than many Westerners her age can begin to imagine. She has five children, no husband and she is HIV positive.
Alitash felt hopeless and helpless, believing there was nothing she could do to change her life. Alitash was not helpless, she was just without help --but help has come to her through the Women’s Empowerment Program. Alitash is one of the new students in the WEP’s business training program. The program, run by Tirzah’s partner in Ethiopia, the Beza Community Development Association, provides holistic support for poor women living with HIV.
Alitash’s business plan is to buy and resell 2nd hand clothing. As a student in the program, she will receive all the support and tools she needs to see her business dreams come true and be a productive member of her community. Alitash’s children are also benefitting from the program and three of them are enrolled in the BCDA programming for children. In fact, her children are the ones who first told her about the women’s group.
This 31-year-old has the support and encouragement of the other women in her group and the staff of the WEP. Like other young people her age, she is beginning to see bright possibilities for the future.
*Not her real name