POSTED February 1, 2021
How a former sponsored child’s dreams came true
Join us as we catch up with Redeat who’s grateful for the Children Believe sponsorship support she received in her childhood
By Gezahegn Gebremariam, monitoring, evaluation, learning and knowledge sharing coordinator, Ethiopia
Gazing out her sunny office window in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Redeat Tilahun sees a bustling city with mountain ranges in the distance. It’s a long way from the shantytown where she was born to a poor single mother.
Redeat smiles with pride, reflecting on how hard work and help along the way, made it possible for her to achieve her dream of having a career where she can advance gender equality in society.
“Poverty is among the key barriers to education, especially for children from low-income families, and without the support of Children Believe throughout my schooling, my life would have ended in misfortune,” the 22-year-old explains.
Redeat is the communications manager for Akaki Sub-City in Addis Ababa, overseeing communications for the local government.
Akaki’s slums are where Redeat’s mom raised her, a significant feat for a woman to be the sole provider in Ethiopia. Her mother wanted Redeat to enjoy a life beyond poverty, so she was eager to accept the help of social workers in 2002, who explained Children Believe’s program.
Redeat completed all levels of schooling, including a university degree. Sponsorship provided schoolbooks and materials, medical and nutritional support, counselling and financial assistance for nearly 6,000 girls in Ethiopia last year. Without it, Redeat says her dream at age 12 to have a fulfilling career would never have entered her mind.
“Education saves and improves the lives of girls and women, ultimately leading to more equitable development,” Redeat says. “An educated woman has the skills, knowledge and self-confidence needed to be a better parent, worker and citizen.”
After university, Redeat’s career began fruitfully as a team leader for the Akaki women, children and youth affairs department. Along with promoting gender equality, Redeat advocated to end gender-based violence, including sexual, physical and emotional abuse against women.
Through child sponsorship and access to education, Redeat was achieved the extraordinary. “I’m so grateful, I made it. My dream came true,” concludes Redeat, her eyes teary with emotion.
ABOUT CHILDREN BELIEVE (formerly Christian Children's Fund of Canada):
Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60 years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.
About ChildFund Alliance:
A member of ChildFund Alliance, Children Believe is part of a global network of 12 child-focused development organizations working to create opportunities for children and youth, their families and communities. ChildFund helps nearly 23-million children and their families in more than 70 countries overcome poverty and underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential. We work to end violence against children; provide expertise in emergencies and disasters to ease the harmful impact on children and their communities; and engage children and youth to create lasting change and elevate their voices in decisions that affect their lives.