When she was 11, Tarike (18) came to Addis Ababa for work. She was good at school, but about to lose faith that she could return to school. Now she uses all her energy for education to create a better life for herself and for other girls like herself.
18-year-old Tarike became part of the program at SWDA (Siiqqee) three years ago. At that time she had escaped from the place she worked as a maid, and she was all alone. Today she is among the best in her litter.
– Siiqqee came to me at a time when life was very difficult. If I hadn’t been helped – how would it have gone, says Tarike. Everything indicated that she had to quit school, which was her greatest fear.
– I love school! Education is the solution to all my challenges, says the 18-year-old. When she was caught up by the non-profit organization she lived on the street.
After her mother died, six-year-old Tarike was adopted by her grandparents. Already five years later, her grandparents died. Her father was unable to take care of her because of poverty, and Tarike came from rural Oromia region to Addis for work. She was going to live with her aunt. The aunt could not take care of the girl, and negotiated with a family that took Tarike as a maid. In return, they should send her to school. It didn’t happen.
– Even though I worked hard, they gave me nothing. It was in a desperate situation. Then I meet Siiqqee. It was like a dream to me. I got the opportunity to start school again while working as a maid. But when I started in the 8th grade, the family I worked with said that I had to move if I were to continue with Siiqqee. Then I left the house, says Tarike. She got help from SWDA to find a solution. She got to live at the center, she got food and she went to school.
– Education is a key for me to solve my challenges – a way I can live out my potential. In the future, I want to take further education and later work to help other girls like me, ”says Tarike.