Transforming lives in Ethiopia

Meet Tomas and Maria

Reading time: 2 min

Tomas has a learning disability coupled with physical challenges. He has no speech and is unable to stand or walk unaided. His mother Maria is raising him alone at their home in a small rural town in Amhara, where they recently moved to escape the stigma and isolation she felt in her old village.

Life as a single mother is difficult. It is even harder when you are unable to earn an income and have a child with multiple complex needs.

Before, Maria was unable to work, as Tomas was completely reliant on his mother for everything, and she worried that he would not cope with being anywhere else. Maria and Tomas were only able to eat because kind neighbours shared what little food they had.

Now, the Cheshire Services Ethiopia team visit Tomas and his mother regularly. At first, Maria was shown how to help Tomas with his exercises to build his muscle strength and encourage him to walk. Tomas and his mother were also given four sheep and trained in their care. Maria has already fattened and sold one at the local market for a good sum. It has been life changing.

“The project has enabled me to raise more income and take good care of my son”

Maria can now afford to buy food and cook nutritious meals. She has worked hard to make her sheep fattening business profitable. Considering the challenging living conditions for her and Tomas she saved up and paid for tap water and electricity to be installed to her house from the municipality. It has transformed their life. Maria proudly tells me she now has over 8,000 Birr (approx. €157) in her savings account and is planning to move from raising sheep to fattening cattle.

Just like any other child, Tomas wants to make friends and play.

Tomas’ health has improved, he is walking with the aid of a stick and he is now able to use the toilet unaided. His physical and learning development has greatly improved and he is now enrolled to start school.

Please donate today to help families just like Maria and Tomas.

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