Barely surviving to thriving

“I was one of the poorest of poor in my community and I was struggling to survive with my two children,” Woinshet Tefera, a 34-year-old widow from a small village outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia told us.

Woinshet Tefera feeding her goatsBut my life has changed significantly since I started rearing goats. Before receiving two goats, my income was not sufficient to cover my household expenses and I couldn’t meet the needs of my children.”

Concerned community members connected Woinshet to Canadian Feed The Children’s local partner Emmanuel Development Association (EDA) where she entered the ruminant rearing program in 2012. Since then, Woinshet and her children’s lives have been transformed.

“Since I started rearing goats and earning an income from them, the biggest difference in my children’s lives is that they are now happy and hopeful,” she said. “I am able to provide adequate food for my children and pay for school expenses.”

But Woinshet didn’t stop there. With the extra funds from rearing goats – and with the support of EDA’s business training – she has quickly become an entrepreneur. She has taken a room from her mother’s house and turned it into a retail space from which she sells beverages, supplementing the tea business she had before. She’s painted the walls and made it attractive to customers.

Woinshet Tefera selling soft drinks“I am on a good track and I am growing my business. I sold 10 goats for 6,850 birr, and bought a deep freezer and fridge and started selling soft drinks and beer. Now I am getting an average of 200 birr a day compared to less than 100 birr per day previously,” she explained. “And, in addition to all of this I still maintain 13 goats, which are all in good condition.”

With her success, Woinshet has big dreams for her and her children’s future: “I want to have a big area of land to expand my business and increase my herd of goats to large number. My children’s future is bright!”

By making a small amount of investment in their skills and their dreams, CFTC supporters are encouraging thousands of women like Woinshet to start and grow businesses. With this, women are gaining power and voice and creating a sustainable path out of poverty for their families and communities.