Name: Alemnesh Demisse
Story: Alemnesh Demisse is about 60 years old, and came to Entoto Mountain from a village called Wollo the Amhara Region. She is divorced, and has three daughters and one son, however it is only one daughter who is living with her now. Amelework Gutema is 19 years old, and is no longer attending school due to her poor health as she has sores on her face and vision problems. Alemnesh spends her time taking Amelework from one church to another church in search of Holy Water, and does not have an income.
Name: Atsede Degefu
Story: Atsede Degefu is a 53 years old mother of two and widow. Her children are Simeret Mengistu, 17 years old and in 10th grade, and Israel Mengistu, who is 25 years old, and often works to support his mother and sister. Simeret’s favorite subject in school is English and her favorite color is pink. She enjoys playing soccer with friends at school and in her free time, and when she grows up, Simeret dreams of becoming a doctor!
Name: Sentayhu Desta
Story: Sentayhu Desta is 57 years old, and had two sons that no longer live with her. She suffers from health problems and severe headaches that often force her to stay home. When she does feel stronger, she works carrying firewood up and down the mountain, traveling a long distance to sell the wood in an effort to earn a small income to support herself.
Name: Netsanet Tilahun
Story: Netsanet Tilahun is 5 years old and in kindergarten this year. She lives on Entoto Mountain with her mother, Birke Gemechu, who is 40 years old, and her older sister, Aynalem Tilahun, who is 16 years old and in 5th grade. Birke is divorced from her husband due to a drinking problem and lack of support, and now Birke carries firewood up and down the mountain each day and travels a long distance to sell the wood in an effort to earn a small income for her family.
Name: Elias Girma
Story: Elias Girma is 7 years old and in 1st grade. His favorite subject in school is English and he likes the color blue. He likes playing soccer with friends, and when he grows up he dreams of becoming a doctor. Elias’s father is Girma Kebede, 45 years old, and his mother is Feleku Mengistu, 35 years old. Both parents are HIV+ and live with AIDS, and Girma uses crutches to walk as he was born with a physical disability. Girma is unable to work, and Feleku occasionally works as a daily laborer, but the family mainly resorts to begging to earn an a small income. Elias’ brother is 13 year old Capital Girma who was sent to the countryside to live with relatives as the family cannot afford to look after him.
Name: Shewalem Enda
Story: Shewalem Endais a 50 year old widow and mother of three. Her children are Kelemua Mulatu, who is 16 years old and in 5th grade, Getu Mulatu, who is 16 years old and in 10th grade, and Meselech Nigatu, who is 25 years old, and lives with a mental disability. Shewalem struggles to support her three children and look after her daughter, Meselech. She works carrying firewood up and down the mountain to earn a small income, and often resorts to begging to support her children.
Name: Mistre Yohanes
Story: Mistre Yohanes is 13 years old and in 7th grade. Her favorite subject in school is math and she likes the color blue. Mistre likes playing volleyball with friends at school, and when she grows up she dreams of becoming a pilot. Mistre lives on Entoto Mountain with her mother, Kasanesh Ashebir, who is 34 years old, and is originally from the village of Gojam in Northern Ethiopia. Kasanesh is widowed and lives with HIV/Aids, and she supports her daughter by working as a daily laborer to earn a small income.
Name: Zelalem Siyum
Story: Zelalem is 8 years old and in 2nd grade. He likes playing with toy cars and soccer with friends at recess and when he has free time after school. Currently his favorite color is yellow. He is enjoying his Amharic class in school this year, and dreams of becoming a taxi driver some day! Zelalem lives on Entoto Mountain with his mother, Tsige. His father left the family when Zelalem was only 1.5 years old, and Tsige supports her son as a single mother, working as a daily laborer to earn an income.
Name: Tazita Belachew
Story: Tazita likes playing jump rope with her friends at recess and when she has free time after school. Currently her favorite color is yellow. She is enjoying her science class in school this year, and dreams of becoming a doctor when she grows up! Tazita lives on Entoto Mountain with her mother, Marta, father, Belachew, and 3 year old little brother Israel. To support the family both Marta and Belachew work as weavers and daily laborers in the village.
Name: Selamawit Desta
Story: Selamawit is 10 years old and in 4th grade. She loves playing jump rope with her friends at recess and after school when she has free time. She is enjoying hers statistics class in school this year, and when she grows up, she dreams of becoming an engineer! Selamawit lives on Entoto Mountain with her mother, Bekelu. Her father is not involved with the family, and Bekely supports her daughter as single mother, working as a daily laborer when there are jobs available.