This is Desalegn. When he was 11 years old, a child trafficker took him from his home in the Ethiopian countryside and sold him to a family in Addis Ababa.
They forced him to weave clothing on a wooden handloom for the family business. The family’s children went to school, but Desalegn stayed home to work. He had no friends, no family, and no education.
When Lelt Foundation’s directors heard about Desalegn, they visited the family and explained Ethiopia’s child labor laws to them. Desalegn was released into our custody, given shelter, and enrolled in school. Lelt gave him a new school uniform and the first pair of shoes he ever owned. Over the next 7 years, Desalegn became a model student, scoring well in school and growing into a responsible young man.
This summer, Desalegn was married! Turning his traumatic life experience into something positive, he started weaving as his profession. Now he and his bride are living in their own home in Karakore while he sells his linens at the local market.
This is the work that Lelt Foundation does. We empower marginalized children to reach their full potential and pull themselves out of cyclical poverty, permanently.