April 2, 2013
When you donate to The Fregenet Foundation, we’re sure you are expecting that your money is being used to help people. But it must be difficult to imagine exactly what your contribution might be accomplishing. It is probably even harder to dare hope that your donation might actually transform a life. Please take a moment to read the outlines of a family story, researched and written down by a Fregenet staff member and…well, allow that hope to take root and bloom.
Bereket Getenet, a student at Fregenet School in grade three, is the second child in his family of four. Bereket is eight years old and he has a sister. Both of his parents lost their sight at different times from different causes. His mother lost her sight due to measles (ësmall pox’) when she was 15 years old. His Father Ato Getenet Kasahun was only 22 years old when he lost his sight in an accident. They live in a small ìkebele’ rented house which has one room located in Kirkos sub city, close to Fregenet school.
Both parents live by begging at church gates and on street corners. According to the father, they get 5- 10 birr (equivalent to USD 0.30 ñ 0.55) per day. But the money is not enough to raise two children.
In 2008, Bereket’s mother, W/ro Belayenesh, got chance to participate in a handicraft training organized for disabled individuals at the Kebele. After the training in carpet making she began working for a local handicap association. She earns 200 birr (equivalent to USD 11.00) per month.
Before Bereket was admitted to Fregenet School, his family tried to send him to a government school. Though the school was free, Bereket’s family couldn’t afford to pay for school supplies and the school uniform. So, instead of going to school like his peers, Bereket was compelled to stay at home and help his family cope with daily life. He used to take them to different places where begging was possible. His life was about to change when he got the opportunity to apply at Fregenet School.
The parents applied to the Kebele. After the Kebele officials examined their case, Bereket was selected to join Fregenet School. The parents are thankful since their son now gets a free, good education with food and related services. According to Bereket’s teacher, he was not active in the class and was not sociable with other students, when he first enrolled. But now he is active and studies very well. He plays with his schoolmates and he is healthy. ìIt is so wonderful,” says his teacher, “to see children like Bereket be transformed from weak and withdrawn to strong, playful and promising. It is indeed gratifying to all concerned to watch them change for the better.”
We hope that you are as inspired and motivated as we were when we read this story of a poor family doing their very best to live a life of hard work and dignity as they seek to find a way for their children to lift themselves out of poverty. Remember that a donation of only $25 per month allows a child like Bereket to hope and dream of a better life.
Thank You very much
The Fregenet Foundation