Starting anew and on the path to a better future; Beritu's story

Wednesday 2 June 2021

Beritu,18, a recent returnee of a failed migration attempt to Saudi Arabia Starts her life anew. a third child and an only daughter to her parents, she sells tea and coffee to her customers in Deder town of Oromia Region where she lives with her parents and her three brothers. 

Beritu’s story in her own words (quotes):

My name is Beritu. I am 18 years old. I have three brother. two older and younger one. Ever since i was little, we led a hand to mouth living as My parents we're day laborers and they earned a meagre money which provided them with something that was a far cry from a comfortable income. 

So, about two years ago, i decided to go to Saudi Arabia in search of a better life for me as well as my family. I dropped out from the seven grade and made my plans accordingly. However, all my plans were for naught as my journey was full of inumerable suffering and abuses. I barely survived the journey as i finally returned home with the support of my parents. 

When I returned home it was back to square one for me. I was unemployed, i looked for additional incomes and jobs with a minimum amount of success. Things were turning grim for me when I heard about an opportunity from the local administration office. Save the Children was recruiting unemployed youth for entrepreneurship and basic financial skills trainings. I leapt at the chance. My friends and i managed to enroll in the training after we passed some preliminary procedures at the local administration office and Save the Children. 

The training was a welcome chance for me as it showed me the values of work. It gave me the skill set on how to manage and handle my customers. It further gave me basic knowledge on how to better handle my monetary affairs. I now run my own small business. I earn a modest income by selling coffee and tea on the side of the street. Overall, i had learned on how i should effectively manage my business, increase my customer base and improve my savings. 

Apart from the training that it provided us, Save the Children also gave me a startup kit, which came with a full set of materials such as coffee beans, sugar, kettle, stove, chairs and table to start my business. On a good day, I earn up to one hundred and fifty birr from coffee and tea sells. I use some of the income to support my family and myself while I save the remainder. My money worries had significantly lessened and i grew confident with each passing day. I am now able to support myself and my family. 

I don't plan to sell tea and coffee on the side of the road for the rest of my life. I plan to upgrade this modest establishment of mine into a large cafeteria where i can comfortably support myself and my family. My advice to my peers is this. Take advantage of training opportunities like this, use it as a springing board to start your own business like i did and you'll see the difference in no time at all. 

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Save the Children and its partners on behalf of my friends and i. I'm grateful for their support and hope that their presence will continue in the future until we successfully manage to stand on our own two feet. 

Project background:

Through its IOM funded Sustainable Reintegration of Vulnerable Returnee children project in Eastern Hararge zones of Oromia Regional State, Save the Children supports Beritu and young people like her through preventing and illegal and risky migration or supporting those that returned home in collaboration with the woreda youth, children and women affairs office.

As part of strengthening the child protection system in four of the target woredas, Save the Children provided training to 55 community facilitators and para-social workers on case management and referral system. As per the case identification done by the case managers,350 returnees and vulnerable children were provided training on financial literacy skill and business entrepreneurship skills that enabled the target youth to start their own business.