Supporting Sisay to train as a teacher
Sisay was not yet four years old when his mother died, just a week after her husband.
He went to live with his grandfather in Addis Ababa, where Sisay studied hard and did well at school, despite the family’s poverty. At the age of 12, Sisay contracted tuberculosis. “My grandfather didn’t earn much money for food, let alone to get me medical treatment. I was very sick with tuberculosis for a long time, and I couldn’t continue my schooling. I was lying ill in bed when an Islamic Relief social worker came to visit me.”
Sisay was registered on our one-to-one orphans sponsorship scheme, which provides vulnerable children with a regular allowance. This covers their basic needs and enables them to go to school.
Support came at a critical time
“I needed a balanced diet and was instructed by the doctor to eat eggs and drink milk. We couldn’t have afforded these things before. We used to eat one or two times a day at the most. Once the sponsorship started, everything got better. We started getting enough food to eat.”
“If Islamic Relief hadn’t reached me at the time, I don’t know what I would have become. There was a time I ran away from home, thinking I could earn my a living by carrying stuff for people, before my uncle found me and brought me back.”
A bright future for Sisay
Sisay stayed in the sponsorship scheme until he was 18, when he was completing his teacher training at college. Now qualified, he teaches mathematics at Gofa Primary School, in one of the capital’s sub-cities.
“I want to be able to support my family. I wish to make my brother and especially my grandfather happy. I am saving money to buy a laptop, which will aid me with my work and studies. I plan to continue my education to masters level in engineering or mathematics.
“I believe I wouldn’t have achieved what I have, if it weren’t for Islamic Relief. God led them to my house, somehow.”
Islamic Relief’s one-to-one sponsorship scheme provides a lifeline for orphaned children in 24 countries across the globe. Around 37,000 vulnerable children are currently enrolled in the programme.