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Despite Horrific Accident, Student Survives and Thrives in Lelt's Programs

Updated: Oct 24, 2023


Yeshi Melaku has faced incredible adversity in her life, and has met it with resilience and tenacity. Born and raised in northern Ethiopia, she married Ayalew at a young age and started a family. After scraping by with very little work in their village, Ayalew moved Yeshi and his three small children to Addis Ababa seven years ago to find a better life. Yet, soon after they arrived, he abandoned his family, leaving Yeshi to shoulder the role of both parent and provider alone.


Yeshi faces many challenges to keep Mekdes, Brehanu, and Serkalem safe, fed, and sheltered. To support her children, she sells a local snack made from roasted grains, called kolo. Although she barely earns enough income to provide her family with essential support, Yeshi and her children have a tight, loving bond that fills them with hope and determination.

Serkalem (10), Yeshi, Mekdes (15), and Brehanu (11)

Tragedy struck the family last December when Yeshi's daughter Serkalem was hit by a truck, sustaining critical injuries to her spine, head, and shoulder. In a moment of courage and bravery, Serkalem's older brother, Brehanu, stepped into traffic to rescue his sister from the scene. He rushed her to Black Lion Hospital where she fought for her life and survived this horrific accident, against all odds.

Yeshi with Serkalem and Brehanu this

Recognizing the immediate need for emergency assistance, Lelt welcomed Serkalem and Brehanu into their programs, ensuring they received medical, educational, and nutritional aid. With the combined efforts of medical professionals and Lelt's assistance, Serkalem has shown remarkable progress in her recovery journey, learning to walk once more with the support of her devoted brother. Yeshi will also have the opportunity to undergo business management training and either expand her existing kolo enterprise or venture into a new small-scale business.

Serkalem (3rd from left) with friends at Lelt's Community Center

Expressing profound gratitude for the comprehensive support provided by Lelt Foundation, Yeshi and her family look towards a brighter future. As Serkalem continues to overcome her physical challenges and rebuild her life, the resilience of this family serves as a beacon of hope, demonstrating the profound impact of compassion and assistance in the face of adversity.

Brehanu (left) collecting school supplies from Lelt's community center



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