Eyasu is a 16-year-old Ethiopian boy. He left home because of family hardship and peer pressure and ended up on the streets of Addis Ababa. During his time on the street, Eyasu encountered many challenges including lack of food, shelter, personal hygiene facilities and physical and sexual abuse.
After living on the street for about a month, Eyasu was found by Retrak outreach workers, who invited him to one of Retrak's transition centers. While there, Eyasu received services such as shelter, food, recreational and personal hygiene facilities, counseling, life skills and catch-up education classes.
It was during a one-on-one counseling session that Eyasu revealed his problem to his counselor: he was scared that as a result of his sexual abuse he had contracted HIV.
Eyasu thought that if he was infected, he could not go home as he would be a burden to his family. He kept saying "I am hopeless and worthless." The counselor began working on building his self-esteem by taking time with him, telling him that he did not contribute to the abuse and helping him to visit the Retrak nurse to get further counseling and education on HIV. After repeated sessions and discussions, Eyasu started to show an interest in being tested for HIV.
Following Eyasu's test results, he decided to be reintegrated with his family and to continue his education. He has been attending school regularly and has been promoted to the 9th grade by scoring 97% on the National Exam.
Now, Eyasu is emotionally and physically strong. He's helping his parents by conducting gardening activities and making money by repairing electronic equipment on the weekends.
Your donations to Retrak have made it possible for children like Eyasu to embrace the New Year with hope for a better future. We here at Retrak want to thank you for your past support and urge you to continue supporting Retrak through the coming year and we reach out to more and more children like Eyasu.