Zemede Admasu has been blind since he was born. When his mother was pregnant with him, his father left their family. His mother struggled to find the resources to take care of him and his three sisters and two brothers.
Zemede did not have the opportunity to attend school at the age of 6. In addition to financial limitations, society also discriminated against him due to his disability. They did not understand him, and never thought to send him to school. The schools in his community were not accessible for the blind. Soon after these events, Zemede was sent to the Wolaita Sodo Boarding School for the Blind. At the age of 7, Zemede began his education. Taking classes and learning brought him great joy. He was finally able to take part in what he had dreamed about. He attended the boarding school for grades 1-6.
Unfortunately after grade 6, due to financial shortage, he was forced to quit his education and return to his community. Zemede was devastated that he had to stop pursuing what he loved the most – his education. During this time, The KIDMIA foundation and Help One Now were operating in his community. Zemede was chosen as one of the beneficiaries of sponsorship and got to receive the holistic support provided.
Zemede was enrolled back in school immediately, and given clothing, food, sanitation materials, educational support and more. He excelled in his classes in grades 7 and 8. Grade 9 brought many roadblocks for Zemede. It became harder for him to learn the material by ear. He felt he needed to read to understand, but none of his books were in braille. Kidmia recognized these difficulties, and contacted the blind federation in Addis, the capital city, and transcribed the books in braille.
When the books in braille were delivered to Zemede, he said with a smile on his face, and excitement in his voice: “Today I have got my sight back.” He added, “I was attending class and trying to understand what I learned only by hearing, but now I will read text books and it will make me a fulfilled person!”
Zemede achieved high grades and many achievements, and was provided with transcribed textbooks for grades 11 & 12. This inspired Zemede to work and study hard in school. He achieved a very high grade on his 12th grade national exam, and was admitted to Hawassa University in 2019!! Zemede is now pursuing a degree in Social Science at Hawassa University.
Zemede is grateful for all of the support, and vows to work hard and achieve what he can so that he can serve and give back to his community when he completes his education. He said, “my sponsorship helped me to become an independent person. I will pay forward what I have received and will make my dream true and make my family, community, my sponsors and my country proud.”
Zemede’s success, and that of so many others, is all due to your committed support for the local leaders working hard every day to make sure the children of Ethiopia have the opportunity of a better future!