Monday, 16 May 2016

Reach for Change Marks International Day of Families

Reach for Change Marks International Day of FamiliesMay 15 is the International Day of Families, a day that draws attention to issues that families face and offers opportunities to examine the social and economic factors that affect families’ well being. Reach for Change Africa is marking this occasion, along with families all across the continent, by celebrating the work of the social entrepreneurs who work to strengthen families, which in turn increase the likelihood that children will be raised in happy, healthy environments. 

“Social entrepreneurship is a powerful tool that can be used to address the most pressing issues that African families face,” said Amma Lartey, Reach for Change Africa’s Director. “Through social entrepreneurship, local innovators can provide solutions for issues that families face and are able to provide their solution through a sustainable business model. This is increasingly becoming the new face of development in Africa: social entrepreneurship’s strength is that it is designed to provide long-term solutions for those who need it most, through local innovators who best understand the challenges their communities face.”

Reach for Change Africa supports social entrepreneurs with innovations that improve the lives of children, women and youth. Through its Incubator program, Reach for Change Africa provides exceptional Change Leaders with mentorship, trainings and helps them develop the skills they need to operate successful, sustainable social enterprises that create wide-scale, positive impact in society. Many of them provide solutions that directly address issues that families face.

As social entrepreneurship continues to expand across Africa, social innovations - like those described below - will increasingly require support to grow into lasting solutions that respond to families’ most pressing needs. (The names of beneficiaries have been changed due to the personal nature of the stories shared.)

Ethiopia: Tesfanesh Tadesse addresses economic challenges and provides hope for young, single mothers and their children
When Deraretu tried to escape an arranged marriage, she was trying to make a better life for herself. But after fleeing her home in rural Ethiopia and moving to the capital Addis Ababa, the teenager found herself alone, vulnerable and just when she thought she had found help, she was raped by a man who promised to find her accommodation.

Pregnant and terrified of what would happen next, Deraretu had lost all hope and was contemplating suicide. It was at this point, crying outside a church in Addis Ababa, that she met Tesfanesh Tadesse, who offered to help her. Tesfanesh is an Ethiopian Change Leader supported by Reach for Change Africa who helps young mothers living on the street with counselling, skills training and employment through her organization, Akinbalo Trading PLC.

Deraretu joined Akinbalo and was provided with emotional support and was trained to bake ‘injera’, a traditional Ethiopian bread. Having mastered this skill, Deraretu was able to earn an income and prepare for the arrival of her child.

Three weeks ago, Deraretu gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Tamer, with Tesfanesh by her side. Thanks to the support and skills provided by Akinbalo, Deraretu is now able to afford a home for herself and her daughter and will be moving into the new home in June. Empowered and feeling more hopeful than ever, Deraretu has the tools to be the mother, and the family, that her daughter needs. Read more.....


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