Birtikan Gobeze is 40 years old and lives in Wolaita Sodo, Ethiopia. She is married and has two children, as well as a foster child. Her husband works as a security guard, and the family had little income. Birtikan recently joined the Family Empowerment Program and has since opened up a mini-shop, selling injera (local bread), vegetables, spices, and other household needs.

Prior to empowerment, her income was 400 Birr ($14.50) per month, with no savings. Now, her income is over 3,500 Birr ($127) per month! She has been able to take care of her family and provide for all of their needs, and she has even joined a community savings group where she contributes 600 Birr per month to help other struggling families. Birtikan is moving toward a goal of expanding her business, with the intention of building her own home and shop. She is very proud of her business and grateful for the opportunity she has been given. When asked how she felt, she said “I am strong and I always want to work and to change my life!”

We got to ask Birtikan’s family a little about how empowerment has changed their lives as well, here is what they said:

“Our life is changed in so many ways, for instance, our nutrition pattern is
changed. We used to eat once a day but now we are able to eat three times a

“I see that my wife is strong and brave. Because of this business, she changed
her life as well her family’s.”

“I noticed, she started building a strong social life, positive self-image, self-
confidence and she created a happy and self-sufficient family again.”

“We are now able to work diligently to help our children attend their school attentively and to achieve good grades. We help them achieve their dream and become productive and constructive citizens.”

Because of your generosity, this will not be the only story of success! Even more families like Birtikan’s will grow and thrive because of empowerment. We are so grateful for your support and we can’t wait to share more stories like Birtikan’s with you!