Biniam, age 14
Biniam is 14-year-old boy from Gondar, in Ethiopia. He was living with his father and elder sister. He also has an elder brother who is living independently. His mother divorced his father and remarried another man.
Biniam lived a life of neglect and poverty, and was encouraged by his friends to go to Addis Ababa to find a job. But when he came to Addis, it was not as he expected. It even became challenging to get leftover food. Through these days on the streets he rarely had food to eat and went to sleep hungry most nights. After being in this difficult situation for a week, another street boy told him about Retrak and he was able to join the drop-in center.
After joining the drop-in center he said: “if I hadn’t come to Retrak, my life might have ended on the streets.” During his stay at Retrak he received education, clothes, shoes, recreation, life skill trainings, and meals, all of which made a big contribution to changing his behavior and attitude.
In the beginning, Retrak couldn’t trace his family and he wasn’t keen to return to them because of the neglect he had experienced. Therefore he was one of the foster program candidates and lived in the hostel.
However, eventually Retrak was finally able to trace his elder brother and get his father’s telephone number. After talking to them, it was clear that they wanted Biniam to come back home. So, after staying 11 months with Retrak and receiving on-going counseling and support, Biniam decided that he would like to return to his family. His brother also wanted to take Biniam to his parents and he clearly understood Biniam’s situation. So, with support from Retrak and his elder brother, Biniam has now returned to live with his mother, with his elder brother living nearby.
On behalf of Biniam and the other children in Retrak's programs, we would like to thank you for your support.
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US Country Director