STREET CHILDREN & YOUTH EMPOWERMENT
The Youth Empowerment program rescues children off the streets and provides them with education, emotional support and the opportunity to change the course of their life. HCE has three programs dedicated to youth empowerment: Lighthouse Boys, New Life Girls & Street Youth in Vocational Training.
The Lighthouse Boys is one of HCE’s longest running projects. This three-year program takes boys off of the street and provides them with education, life skills and stability.
NEW LIFE GIRLS
The New Life Girls project rescues teen girls from forced prostitution. This year-long program focuses on holistic care. The girls are given the choice of career training in hairdressing, food preparation and handmade leather products. In addition to this career preparation, the girls are given life skill training, mentors and a chance at a new life.
STREET YOUTH IN VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Street Youth in Vocational Training is a year-long program. Each year HCE recruits a group of 10 boys for vocational skill trainings in construction finishing works, a skill that is currently in high demand in Ethiopia. The project aims to help the boys start a new life and become self-sufficient citizens.
Helina Teka was brought to Addis Ababa by her aunt from her home region of Oromia. While her aunt promised to send Helina to a better school once she arrived she treated her as a house maid. Knowing she would never send her to school, Helina ran away from home and ended up on the streets of Piassa, Addis Ababa. While on the street Helina suffered from hunger, sexual abuse and drug addiction. One day a friend told her about HCE and shortly after she was accepted into the New Life Girls project.
'Getting the privilege to live in the girls’ home is a very big deal for me,' she says. I am determined not to take it for granted.'
Helina meant what she said. After joining the New Life Girls Helina quit using drugs and is currently enrolled in food preparation and hair dressing skills training. When she graduates Helina wants to work as a chef in a restaurant and live on her own.
Helina TekaNew Life Girls
Tameru migrated to Addis Ababa from Gondar, a town in northern Ethiopia, because he thought life could be better in the big city. Expecting to find a job and become a rich young man, he wondered around the city to find a job until he opened his eyes to the ugly truth that life isn’t as simple as he thought in Addis. He didn’t have anywhere to go so Tameru adopted the life on the streets and suffered for more than three years from the cold weather, addiction, abuse and neglect until he was rescued by HCE.
'I consider myself lucky to be accepted at HCE,' Tameru says. 'If I didn’t get this opportunity, I might still be suffering on the streets. I now live in a rented group home with others like me. With the support we get, we can eat three times a day and wear clean cloths and keep our personal hygiene.'
Tameru just finished vocational training in gypsum construction finishing.
TameruStreet Youth in Vocational Training