Child sponsorship: a young woman’s pathway to STEM

“The sponsorship program supports not only the child but also the whole family,” Addis Hiwot, a former sponsored child through Canadian Feed The Children explained.

Addis, 22, is a former sponsored child who is now studying computer science

“Without it, my mother would have suffered a lot more in taking care of us,” she adds.

Now, at age 22, Addis is attending university to study computer science. It was a dream of hers that generous donors like you helped make possible.

Struggling in school

Growing up, it was hard for Addis to imagine pursuing a degree in a subject she loves. Her family faced challenges related to poverty, made worse by her father’s death when she was a little girl. Her mother did everything she could to raise her three boys and two girls on her own. She worked many jobs to survive, determined to make sure her children completed their education.

But sometimes it wasn’t enough.

Addis remembers struggling in school when she was younger. While her family prioritized education, lack of funds meant she didn’t have the materials she needed for school. She found it hard to focus on studying, and her grades suffered as a result. Failing at school meant that Addis was at risk of dropping out and being unable to break the cycle of poverty.

“My value for education changed”

When Addis became a sponsored child through CFTC partner CHADET, her whole life changed. She became part of a supportive network that provided for her needs. She received all that she needed for school, like books, uniforms and school supplies. Addis remembers that the simple fact of being supported this way helped change her thinking. She was now determined to use the opportunity to finish her education.

Addis threw herself into school. She joined reading clubs and used the CHADET library service. She turned to her older brother for advice on how to get good grades. Soon, her performance began to improve.

“I think the things I encountered with CHADET changed my understanding about education. Had it not been for the support of CHADET I would have been forced to quit school or repeated a grade.”

Addis’ hard work paid off – she graduated high school on time and was accepted at Wollega University.

The impact of sponsorship

Addis is looking forward to joining a tech company to pursue her career in STEM

Addis is grateful for her sponsor in Canada, whom she credits for her academic success and more.

Now in her second year at Wollega University in Ethiopia, Addis is eagerly pursuing her passion in computer science. When she graduates, she will be one of a growing group of women who are breaking barriers in STEM careers in Ethiopia and around the world.

“I really love to study computers and other technology related fields. I am really happy with my current life.”

A connected future

Addis and her family remain closely connected, and focused on education. Two of her older brothers have pursued degrees. One brother is currently studying for a PhD and lectures at another university. Just like old times, she relies on them for advice: “My brothers support me and help me overcome all the challenges that I encounter studying higher education.”

Addis is ready to achieve her career goals when she graduates. Her plans include moving to a big city like Addis Ababa. She hopes to join a large tech company to work on networking and system installation. She also wants to start a family of her own. But there is an even bigger dream she wants to achieve: “I want to serve my mother and people of my country with my knowledge and skills in the field of Information Technology.”

Thanks to the support of her family and generous child sponsor, she’s on her way.

 

 

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