Beza's Women's Empowerment Program
Tirzah International's Partner in Ethiopia
“Life is very difficult, especially for uneducated women. It is difficult to manage your family.” These words were spoken by Winta, a woman in Beza’s Women’s Empowerment Program which gives business training and support to women on Entoto Mountain near Addis Ababa. Winta* is the first to volunteer to tell her story on this day. No small act of courage, given the twenty-one women and seven staff members filling the crowded room.
Winta told the group that she wanted to die before joining the program because of all her struggles. “In Ethiopia, the biggest responsibility is carried out by the women - teaching, feeding, clothing the children - all of this the women have to do. We suffer from different diseases. God bless Beza! They brought us into their program and we began changing our lives. We have changed ourselves - we have self-confidence. I had not worked before coming to the Women’s Empowerment Program. Now I sell charcoal and spices. I earn money and I save money weekly. I am stepping forward! I’ve taken the first steps. Praise the Lord I am here with you.”
Winta’s new home has sturdy clay walls and a tin roof. Her old home, made of branches and plastic, was lost when the rains came. Winta used part of her business earnings to build her new home. “For the sake of one’s children, one must work hard. We don’t work just for ourselves, we work for our children,” says Winta.
* Not her real name.