Among the different success stories DOW has chosen to share the story of Hadas who lived in Addis Ababa for one year and is currently living in kebelle May’Genet and serving as the chairwoman of one of the three water points, GerebChaham. The story is taken from what she shared to a staff member of DOW and five volunteer students.
Hadas is not originally from the kushet, Adi-Gogon, kebelle May-Genet. She was born and grew in a village located inHinataloWajera, four hours walk from tabaiMay’Genet.
She has attended primary school up to grade eight. Her dad was a famous priest and teacher at the religious traditional Ethiopian education system—it is known that in Ethiopia, the expansion of modern education has a history of only one hundred years; in a country with a history of more than three thousand years; education has been in the hands of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in its own distinct education system focusing on spiritual teachings.
Hadas recalls that her dad was so keen to see her in higher educational institutions and pursue her academics. Unfortunately, her dad passed away while she was 17 years old. Her life could not be as rosy and bloomy as it used to be. She said that she was heartbroken and lost all her sparks of hope and aspiration. In the middle of her hopelessness, her uncle came to take her to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, gave her a new hope and opened her eyes for a new way of life with a better living standard.
Hadas stayed in Addis for one years and went back to school. However she couldn’t stay more and enjoy her life in the capital. Arranged marriage, which used to be a common practice in the rural areas and is still common in some areas, hunted her to be back to her original rural life. She was forced by her families to get married to a man from kebelleMay’Genet. She couldn’t say no to her families. She just started to embrace and deal with all the challenges of rural life that she was born in and grew up. She is now a mother of two kids.
Hadas said that access to clean drinking water was one of the main challenges which were hard to bear. Hadas, happily and proudly witnessed/said that “if it was not for DOW, I had to walk 30 minutes to a river which usually dries in March and fetch water for drinking and cleaning together with cattle and livestock which came to quench their thirsty. In the months from March up to June or beginning of July, I had to walk two hours to a “relatively” all-seasoned river nearby a large irrigable land and fetch water which is usually polluted and contaminated by the kerosene and oil from the generators used to pump water for irrigation. As I had a relatively better exposure, I am well aware of waterborne diseases, especially diarrhea used to be common in the village including my family; my kids used to suffer a lot. But now, after we start to get clean drinking water from our water point, no one has got sick and my family is much healthier now….that is why I have a heartfelt gratitude to what you DOWs have done and are doing in my village.”