11-year-old Sena* was abandoned and trafficked, but is now on a completely different path after participating in lessons at a Hope for Justice Lighthouse.
Sena is happily reunited with his uncle (above) and mother, and he says: “The best thing about Hope for Justice is the education. Education is the best way to be successful.”
After Sena’s father died, life became so difficult that the boy’s mother felt she had no other option but to leave her son, who was eight at the time, on Addis Ababa’s streets.
Sena was approached by a man who promised him work. He forced the young boy into a number of different jobs, giving only bread in return. Sena bravely escaped, but was homeless.
Sena had been on the streets for three years when he was found by police, and taken in by our team. He initially had low self-esteem and struggled to concentrate. We provided counselling to help him recover from his experiences.
Having never had a formal education, his lessons began with tracing letters, numbers and Amharic letters, or fidels. After four weeks, Sena had become an enthusiastic student. He constantly asked the Lighthouse teachers when he would be able to read and write confidently.
Sena also loved playing football, and taking part in arts and crafts at the Lighthouse.
Meanwhile, our team worked hard to locate his mother, who was relieved to hear her son was safe. As well as empowering her with parenting skills training, our team provided small business training and a start-up loan. She will now start a fast food restaurant with Sena’s uncle.
After three and a half months, Sena was ready to leave the Lighthouse, and return home. He is now at school, and is determined to become a teacher.
*Name has been changed to protect the identity of the survivor