Before joining Ethiopia ACT five years ago, Lawayesh and her husband Kefyalew struggled in many ways. They had many financial and emotional problems, but more than anything because of their HIV/AIDS status, their health was declining rapidly. Once they were accepted into the Ethiopia ACT along with their nine year old daughter Rediet, they began receiving support through food distribution and rent subsidy. One of the most important ways Ethiopia ACT helped Lawayesh and her family was to provide the school fees necessary to enroll Rediet in the second grade. This traditional support structure through Ethiopia ACT requires Lawayesh to travel to the ACT community center and office to receive her monthly support distribution.
Ethiopia ACT staff recently assessed Lawayesh’s status and decided she and her family would be good candidates for the Basic Income Grant support program in which she will receive the total value of her support through monthly bank transfers. This will eliminate the need for her to visit the community center every month for support distribution. Lawayesh has already benefited greatly through the Basic Income Grant support structure and appreciates how simple and efficient it is. She enjoys the modern aspect of this structure and has learned a great deal on how to wisely manage the money she receives for her family’s support. Because Ethiopia ACT carefully monitors the success of this structure, the staff has reported Lawayesh is using the deposited money effectively in paying for her rent, food, and school fees for her daughter. More importantly however, Lawayesh is also using the monthly financial support to purchase vitamin-rich food for her child. With the remaining funds, Lawayesh has been able to start a small business. The income she is making through her business has enabled her to start saving towards the government housing project to which she has been approved.
Because all beneficiaries of Ethiopia ACT are required to deposit money into their savings account, Lawayesh is proud to report that in addition to saving money for the government housing opportunity, she is also able to contribute to her personal savings account, with the total balance being 6,153 birr ($216 USD).
Additionally, Lawayesh’s husband is currently attending education classes and preparing to take the 10th grade national exam. Simultaneously, he works as a bank guard and earns 2000 birr monthly (the equivalent of $70 USD).
Lawayesh’s family is doing very well, and Ethiopia ACT is so pleased to see this structure of Basic Income Grants proving to be successful in her family and in the lives of many beneficiaries!