Initiative Update

We need to reach where you already reached

Lily Habesha
Posted June 8, 2017 from Ethiopia

My uncle from the village called me the other day.

"All the girls want to come to you when school is close."

Said my uncle.

I was alerted. "What will they do here in town? They can come and spend the winter here." I said. Summer for western countries, is winter for Ethiopia. It has already started to rain.

"The girls determined to reach where you reached. they want to be like you. That's what my daughters said."

I repeated the question for myself.

"Where did I reach?" I said. "Who am I?"

I'm the daughter of this man's late sister. I went to school, complete high school. By then , Ethiopia had only four Universities. If we were the best students or not, we'd to sit at home. They just pick few students according to the four Universities capacity, the other'll be given false results and had to cry as long as we wanted.That was me.

My friends , who had relatives from abroad or who had rich families went to abroad to educate themselves.

I tried to produce clothes, but never found a buyer. I did a lot of crafts, but ...all...had no positive result.

I traveled, came back home so many times.

I worked as a principal of an Academy for one year, but almost every teacher was corrupted. I revealed that and brought a lot of change.

I worked in a printing press as a secretary accountant. The owner was a bully and con artist. When he saw me I was not a person he can work with he tried to tell me.....

He said one negative word while the janitor was cleaning my office. I sat him and told him who he was and who I am. I said good bye.

I wrote my first book andthen more four books. When He tried to mistreat me, I was just inspired.

I work as an export manager for a leather Industry. The son of the owner was using almost every female who works there.

He tried to threatened me for coming late.

"I signed agreement to be here by 8:30 am. But, I come at 7:30...or earlier. Today, I didn't get a cab but am here at 8:15 am. I'm not late." I defended myself.

He warned me, " If you're not coming at 8 am from now on, I'll deduct your salary."

I pushed him aside and went to the office to speak with his father. he followed me.

"Mr Bekele, I signed for you 8 months ago to work from 8:30-7 pm. Your so is accusing me for coming late. And he's telling me he'll deduct my salary. Just after i was hired, your secretary went on maternity leave and the export manager fought with your son and quit. I was hire as a sales person. Now, I'm doing three jobs. I'm your secretary, sales and export manager. Did you pay me one additional penny for the additional work? Who's your son to deduct my salary?" I blasted the owner. The son was there in front of me.

"It's ok my daughter. That's a child's way of talking to you."

If he's a child, let him sit in his house. why was he there to date the female workers and keep firing them when he's done with them?

I gave them a ten days announcement, because I was not going to work with them.

The following month, I started producing the leather bags.

The most beautiful hand made leather bags I made.

Before two weeks, my partners tried to complain about my disappearance from office. I was sick as bad as I can't explain how. None of the partners came to visit me. I even traveled , one of them dropped me at the airport, but never came to see me. They don't call me. They refuse to take my calls and refused to reply my text.

i tied my legs and went to office, that annoyed the three ladies. They want to close down the business, and I was told i can collect what I have there.

I went straigh home. I slept.

next morning, I feel like painting. I went to stationary , bought my colors, and all the materials i need. I paint so many beautiful pictures. All are beautiful women's portrait except one.

The exceptional is; "Mandella's "

When the internet is better, I'll post some of the paintings.

I don't know where I'm. I don't know where I'm. I've no answer for that question.

I don't even know what those village girls saw in me.

They only want to be like me.

For this winter season. I'll train them how to make dress, cushions and....bags. They can sell those and make money when they go back home on September.

Comments 9

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Anj RS
Jun 08, 2017
Jun 08, 2017

Hi Mulatwa

As I read your story, I see and admire your resilience. You never gave up and kept trying. Keep going and all the best. This training that you will put in place for the girls sounds like a good opportunity for them and for you to pass down skills. Goodluck!

Lily Habesha
Jun 09, 2017
Jun 09, 2017

Hello Anj,

How are things in Mauritius? Good to hear from you.

People can see what we can't see about us. I'm welcoming these girls to my house. and I'll give what I can offer.

In Ethiopia , some young people cote.

" To help human beings,

It's enough to be born human."

It doesn't need a lot of money, no huge big name or what....

only BIG HEART. If you've a kind heart, you can help anyone you want.

Thank you


Susana Khabbaz
Jun 09, 2017
Jun 09, 2017

Dear Lily,

Your story touched me... I believe those girls are seeing themselves into a mirror.  You're a winner..., you've never betrayed yourself... you've kept on... you've respected're un example to follow...

There should be more people like you around the world to make it a better place to live in.

I admire your strenght and determination...

I send you love,peace and colors,

Susana Khabbaz.

Lily Habesha
Jun 13, 2017
Jun 13, 2017


Thank you so much for your love, color and encouragement. There are so many wonderful women who can bring a lot of change.


Many kisses and hug

Hopefully, we will find them soon.

Jun 10, 2017
Jun 10, 2017

We live not just for ourselves but for everyone around us. Thank you for living an exemplary life. Surely you will be a good mentor to those children. I wish you well, dear Lily Habesha. Don't be afraid to take on the role.

Lily Habesha
Jun 13, 2017
Jun 13, 2017


Thank you for reading my story and took time to encorage me.

Hopefully, we will all be good examples.


Dr Rejoice
Jun 14, 2017
Jun 14, 2017

Moving story, thanks for sharing. I can relate to some of the things that you write about. It is tough to be a woman sometimes :(

Molly Gates
Jul 13, 2017
Jul 13, 2017

You are a determined and resilient woman! Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your journey so we can be inspired by your passion and achievements despite many road blocks. Keep going Lily! You are not alone on your journey. 

Anne McCaw
Jul 13, 2017
Jul 13, 2017

Lily, I cannot believe how courageous and determined you are... and I am so inspired that with all the adversity you have faced, you turned to art.  You are role model for us all.  Girls are lucky to have you to model after.  Please keep writing and painting and making beautiful things... and call out the injustice!