Stories

Mini-media club: Two girls speak about gender equality at their school in Ethiopia

“I use literature to raise other students’ awareness on gender equality”, says Meron Shegene, as she folds up a piece of paper with poems she wrote on the role of women in society.

Meron, aged 17, is a student at Chagni Secondary School in Ethiopia. During school breaks, she reads works of literature to her peers via the mini-media club to foster understanding about gender equality at school and in society. Eden Muket, also aged 17, has been involved in the club with her friend.

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Boys and girls make menstrual pads at their school’s gender club in Ethiopia

Tenaye Ashenafi’s first experience with menstruation did not go very well. She ran back home after being ridiculed by her peers at school, and showed her blood-stained clothes to her mother.

Her mother gave her pieces of “gabi”, a traditional cotton blanket to use during her menstruation period. “Even my mother did not know about sanitary pads”, Tenaye says.

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Mindset of Africa

Africa is often referred as a broken, devastated continent. Researches, books and reports always enlist reasons causing the devastation of the continent. In order to solve problems that affect Africa, it is important to understand the roots of the problems. However, I believe that much time has been wasted in studying and investing on what seems to be the roots of Africa’s problems such as: colonization, lack of democracy, bad governance, corruption, human rights violations, ethnic tensions, war, famine, drought, diseases, infant mortality, among others. I believe these are mere manifestations, and not the roots of Africa’s problems.

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The legacy of Alfred Ilg, Menelik’s trusted advisor

Swiss engineer Alfred Ilg stood before Menelik II, the emperor of Ethiopia, perplexed by his accusation. The emperor had summoned Ilg, saying, “I have heard something about you, that was very bad of you and of which I surely would not have believed you capable. At the same time it is so ridiculous, so improbable, that I would not have believed it at all had I not heard it from trustworthy people.

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The Life of a Truly Extraordinary African Artist

Lost, confused in a foreign British airport of England is a 15 year old boy, with no money in his pocket. Hoping people from the Ethiopian Embassy will soon show up, he waited fervently to no avail. He just landed off his first flight, his first travel overseas be it on land, water or air. He waited on and on at the airport where only white and foreign faces walked past without even noticing him.

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So that no child be born with HIV: Ethiopia

“Some years back there was no one to teach us, so we gave birth to HIV-positive children. But now we can teach others so no child will be born with the virus,” says Jember, a mother mentor at Korem Health Center in Tigray, Ethiopia. Four HIV-positive women, Teberih Tsegay, Almaz Haile, Jember Alemayehu, and Yeshi Derebew, envisioning that no child be born with HIV in their town, started to work as mother mentors at Korem Health Center to achieve their vision. Korem Health Center is one of the health centers supported by the USAID Ethiopia Network for HIV/AIDS Treatment, Care and Support (ENHAT-CS) program, a US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funded initiative led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH).

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Note: Through the submission of this story, Teberih Tsegay, Almaz Haile, Jember Alemayehu, and Yeshi Derebew have been recognized as recipients of The REAL Awards for their lifesaving work as mother mentors. 2014


A life transformed at Fatsie health center, Ethiopia

“Abeba’s partner left her when she told him she was pregnant with their second child. Soon after, she went to a nearby health center for antenatal care and discovered that she was HIV- positive. Without a source of income or her partner’s support, Abeba asked her family for help, but they refused her. Abeba eventually could not afford to feed her young daughter, and overcome with despair, she tried to end her life more than once. When her friends learned of these suicide attempts, they were concerned for her safety and recommended that she visit Fatsie Health Center for health services and psychological support. Having nowhere else to turn, Abeba and her young daughter boarded a bus to Fatsie.

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From 10,000 Skulls to 10,000 Missionaries

“I can’t see!” Mayo screamed, fumbling through her house to her parents room in their house in Nagaland, India. Her father roused himself from a drunken sleep and ran to her. When his arms wrapped around the body of his six year old daughter, she fell, unconscious, into them. They took her to a doctor, but he couldn’t diagnose her condition. Strangely, by morning, she could see again, so they went home. That night, once again, they heard their daughter’s cries as she came sobbing towards their room. Another doctor, but no answer. Mayo woke every morning with her sight, but as the sun set, blindness struck her.

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How Porn Attacks Artistic Children

The swing squeaked slightly as the little girl rocked back and forth. She held a book in her right hand, an erotic romance novel she had found lying about the house. Her other hand tightly held onto the chains of the swing. Little did she know the kind of chain that was winding its way around her young mind. Just a few feet away, some women chatted.

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