Ellilta - Women at Risk (EWAR) is one of the Ethiopia based organizations that Arukah Global partners with in Nazret. This 20 year old non-profit rescues women from prostitution and rehabilitates them while caring for their children.
Below is a letter written by the Director of the EWAR program as she had "Beza" share her story. Names have been changed to protect confidentiality.
NOTE: The first day of our 2015 visit to Ellillta, I was sitting on a step during a traditional coffee(buna) ceremony and the little one in this story crawled up into my lap. This is the real deal folks!
Beza is a mother of an adorable 5 years old son, Dawit. She is one of 20 former prostitutes who joined the Ellilta-Women at Risk(EWAR) program in October 2015. Beza was a prostitute for 16 years. She was born and raised in Boffa a small rulal village 30 km away from Adama(Nazret). At 5 years old, she was living in extreme poverty with her parents and her younger brother. Both parents died within a year of eachother. After a sudden death of their parents, Beza and her younger brother were taken in by an Aunt to live with her family.
Like other girls in the village, Beza would help support the family by collecting fire wood for the household, and each day would fetch water from a river far from their home.
Girls from the village were not allowed to go to school even though there was one elementary school in the community. During one of her busy days collecting fire wood far from her home, now an 8 year old Beza encountered a man she had not seen before. Though he asked her to go with him, she refuse.
As she tried to run away, he caught and beat her...raping her many times over a period of time.
Eventually friends and family found and took her home. She stayed at home without any treatment for a month. After being raped, she was no longer accepted in her community and her aunt started to treat her badly.
At 11 years old, after being completely neglected by her family…and after many sleepless and painful nights, she decide to leave her village for Adama(Nazret) - a city never she had never been to, but heard about from others.
When she came to the city, it was very difficult for her because she did not know anyone...so she ended up living in the streets.
Eventually, while wandering the streets, she met a woman who took her in to be a maid. Getting paid only with food, she worked there as a housemaid for two years.
After being constantly approached by a pimp with the promise of good money, she gave in and began working as a prostitution.
Soon thereafter she started using drugs drugs and alcohol to numb herself to the hopelessness and shame she felt in her heart. Eventually, she contracted the HIV virus.
She would eventually start the program at EWAR, but quickly dropped out because of her addiction and she didn't fully understand all the dangers of prostitution.
It was 5 years later when she eventually saw more deeply the destructive direction in which her life was going, she came back to EWAR to ask forgiveness. She shared the truth that her soul had been greatly injured throughout her life. The EWAR counselors discussed with the administrators...and a second chance was given to her.
Beza and her 5 year old son, Dawit are now safe and in the rehabilitation program run by EWAR. She is taking anti retro viral treatment (ART) to control the HIV and she is training to be a tailor.
When she returned to EWAR, her son had a serious wound on his head and Beza admitted she could not care for him because of her addictions and prostitution. The EWAR Nurse took the child to the hospital and he was treated. During that time, it was also discovered that Dawit was HIV positive. He is now on medication and is a very happy boy in great health as he learns in the pre-school class.
Today, Beza is a new woman, is free from addiction and prostitution, raising her son and training for a new job as she washes clothes in order to create some immediate income. She has also reconciled with her family by asking forgiveness from her past behavior as an addict and prostitute.
In 2015, your partnership helped Arukah Global fund a year's worth of schooling for 50 children like Dawit ($9,000). This year our goal is to cover the cost of 70 kids ($12,600). Please consider helping us fund school for these children. We literally cannot do this without your partnership. Click HERE to donate. Fill-in the DESIGNATION space with "180kids" (it costs $180 per child, per year for school and supplies)
Thank you for your prayers and support.
Founder | President