Teacher or Tailor, Plenty of options at home: Ahmed’s Story

Tuesday 9 March 2021

Ahmed (16) lives in Gubalafto wereda. Located in Weldiya of northern Amhara region. He recently returned from a failed migration voyage to Saudi Arabia. Now, he sells garment textiles out of his little shop in the locality which is starting to become the local one stop shop among the neighborhood customers. He plans for a brighter future ahead as he gears up to find success in his hometown.

Ahmed’s story in his own words

My name is Ahmed. I was born in a small town called Lastegerado. It’s about an hour’s walk from here. It doesn’t have any paved road so we usually walk everywhere. I’m a grade six student. I would’ve been in grade seven but I had quit school and recently started. My friends and I always had aspirations to leave the country. Especially me. I came from a family of six where four live abroad in Saudi Arabia. So, me and my friends sought out Delalas (migrant traffickers). We went through Mile and reached Djibouti. We were planning to journey past that into Saudi Arabia but we couldn’t. The climate was very harsh; we didn’t have anything to eat nor a place to stay. After two weeks it was so unbearable that we decided to give up. So we

entered the IOM camp in the area. They flew us back to Ethiopia. It was shortly after that I heard about Save the Children’s project to reintegrate vulnerable children. I attended the trainings and opened this little shop here. I picked the garment retail business because I loved tailoring. I was always fascinated by the cloth making craft and wanted to try my hand at it. I’m taking some tailoring classes so that I can achieve that dream.

I have continued my education I’m excelling at my favorite subjects; Mathematics and English. I plan to be a teacher as soon as I’m done with my high school classes. There are many universities where one can pursue higher learnings to become a teacher but my preference lies with Weldiya University. Leaving my home town, no longer has that appeal for me. I’m quite happy where I am. I’m thankful for Save the Children and International organization for Migration (IOM) because it had shown me a way to be successful here.

What Save the Children is doing for Ahmed and others like him in the region

In 2019 Save the Children Ethiopia and International Organization on Migration(IOM) launched a program that plans for “Sustainable Reintegration of Vulnerable Returnee Children in Eight Woredas in North Wollo Zone (Amhara Region) and East Hararghe Zone (Oromiya Region), Ethiopia” for 20 months. During this period, the project plans to assist 400 migrant returnees and 200 other vulnerable children in these regions. The project provides returnee children and other vulnerable children in the local community access to sustainable reintegration within their family and community through different training sessions, improved protection services, and Income Generating Activities. So far it has provided skills training economic reintegration and resilient support for 150 returnees and 100 vulnerable adolescents in the target areas as well as strengthened Child protection mechanisms and services for returnee children and their families in the project target areas.