Rest In Peace Honorable Dr. Abebech Gobena.

July 5, 2021

The virtuous Dr. Abebech was born in a little rural hamlet in Shebel around Showa Province in 1938. After her father died in the second Ethiopian-Italian war, she was raised by her grandparents until the age of nine years old. A year later, courtesy of the obsolete Ethiopian culture, she was married without her consent, but she ran away to Addis Ababa when she had the chance. From there, she managed to get basic education and later worked as a quality controller at a coffee and grain company.

IN 1973, she went to Gishen Mariam, Wollo Province, for pilgrimage. At the time, the area was severely stricken by famine. In a feeding center, Gobena saw a child next to her dead mother. She distributed the only thing she had to other victims, a loaf of bread and five liters of holy water, and brought the child along with another orphan to her home in Addis Ababa. In one year, she brought 21 children to her home.

Seeing the kids she brought home her husband and relatives assumed she was insane. They claimed that the family’s income was insufficient to care for so many people. That’s when she and the kids relocated into a poultry house, where she made a bed out of mud. She sold her jewels, Started preparing and selling injera bread and other foods to support the children.

Gradually she got help in 1986 when her orphanage was registered by the government. The Abebech Gobena Orphanage and School had 200 residents and 482 non-resident pupils when it started out. With the government providing some teachers, AGOHELMA pays school fees for over 1,000 children from poor families at other schools. Over 1,800 benefit from a child-sponsorship scheme. Over 2,000 malnourished children and mothers receive food.

Today, AGOHELMA, the association she founded, provides various services in addition to the orphanage itself, including formal and non-formal education, HIV/AIDS prevention activities, habitat improvement and infrastructure development, empowerment of women, among others.

Additionally, it provides institutional care for 150 orphans. Since its establishment, over 12,000 needy children have been supported by the association with over 1.5 million people have benefited either directly or indirectly from the association in different regions of the country.

In June 2021, Abebech’s health worsened from COVID-19 and she was hospitalized at St. Paul’s Hospital in Addis Ababa. Unfortunately, she passed from complications on 4 July 2021. We’d like to thank her for all she’s done!

You May Also Like…

[et_pb_blog_extras posts_number=”6″ show_more=”off” show_author=”off” show_categories=”off” show_comments=”off” _builder_version=”4.14.2″ _module_preset=”default” header_level=”h3″ header_font=”Averta Black||||||||” global_colors_info=”{}”][/et_pb_blog_extras]