When Sitota found out she was pregnant, her whole world changed. Her boyfriend was adamant that they not keep the baby, but Sitota wanted her child and refused to get an abortion. This led to her and her son living on the streets.
“Usually during the nighttime, I’d stay with a stick since some drunks or some people come and pee on us,” Sitota says of her time on the streets. “Some, they try to rape me. My child didn’t get proper food for one year and it hampered his growth.”
Though life was hard, Sitota saw her son as a source of strength, living each day with the hope of a better future for the two of them.
Soon she was introduced to Convoy of Hope, where she joined the Women’s Empowerment program in Ethiopia. Through this program, Sitota received training — how to prepare food, start a business, and calculate profit and loss — and received startup capital to open her own business. Thanks to the Women’s Empowerment program, she was able to open her own shop selling coffee and tea.
“Because of my business, I was able to start saving money for a new house. It has two bedrooms,” Sitota says. “Now I’m very happy with my life. I can support myself and my child.”
Since the beginning of Convoy’s Women’s Empowerment program in 2010, nearly 17,000 women around the world have been empowered! Women’s Empowerment started in Ethiopia and is now in nine countries — including Nepal and Lebanon, which were added in 2018.
Just like Sitota, Convoy of Hope believes every woman deserves the opportunity to thrive and be successful. Learn more about how you can support the empowerment of women like Sitota at convoy.org/women.