She is living proof that our program works and that kids can be all they want to be, with the right guidance and support.
This wonderful young woman is 19 years old and has graduated from college as an accountant. She is ambitious and hard-working, doing stage and film studies hoping in the future to become an actress, with accountancy as her ‘day job’.
Born in Lalibela in Ethiopia, Rihanna was an orphan by age 12. When her parents died, Rihanna’s brother took her to Addis Ababa and although he couldn’t support her fully, he helped whenever he could. She found work washing clothes at the weekends, but it wasn’t enough to live on, and she had to drop out of school.
Beyond the Orphanage programs are designed exactly for children like Rihanna. We learned about her situation through the community, and took her on board. Over the last seven years, she has worked hard to get herself into college and the accountancy job she’s in now, and she now enjoys teaching drama to the other Beyond the Orphanage children.
In Rihanna’s words: ‘Beyond The Orphanage is my life. Without it, I would have no life. In the future, I can do everything.’ What more inspiration could we need?