Sebel Siraj – Fitche, Ethiopia

Sebel Siraj

Seble Siraj, 25, came to Fitche, Ethiopia from rural area six years ago when her parents died. Since she started to live in the village, people who knew her parents helped her get food and clothing. She lived in rented home with her two-year old child. As she couldn’t afford paying the rent, she got support from other people. The one-room home was extremely deteriorated, with dirt floor and broken walls and roof which put her and her child’s health and safety at risk.
Apart from living in substandard house, Seble suffers from multiple problems. She has disability caused by polio which severely damaged one of her legs and she walks using crutch. She got some treatment and body support(crutch) from Fitche CBR/CBM. She does small hand craft such as sawing to get money but the income is insignificant and doesn’t cover daily bread and house rent. Seble would be evicted from the rented home if she can’t get support from other people.
Seble gave birth to the child after being raped by a man who abandoned her and doesn’t recognize the child. She has the responsibility to raise and educate the child. She said, ‘’life is very difficult, living in such kind of house with disability, raising a child without income, only waiting support from others.’’

‘Now my child and I live in freedom’

Seble Siraj moved to the new house with her child. ‘’I do not have words to explain the big change I see. It is not only getting new home but it the beginning of new life,’’ Seble said. Seble explained that the old house was with dust floor and broken walls but the new house is made of concrete blocks, concrete floor and it is clean.
Seble shares toilets and kitchen with Ewaway Feleke, her new neighbor. She also gets clean water from newly installed communal tap.
She said that previously she lived alone and people did not talk to her. Now, the new home owners became neighbors and help each other. ‘’In this new residence, Ewaway and other families greet me; ask me if I need help. They are happy to help me.”
The new home creates new hope for me and for my child. It is comfortable for people like me who has disability,’’ she added. Seble said she led stressful life in previous home. There was a fear of eviction by landlords if she couldn’t pay the rent. ‘’Now I have my own house, my child and I live in freedom, I am very happy.’’ Seble intends to expand small hand craft to get income; sawing of small traditional utensils in the communal place in front of her home.
‘’I don’t know how I send my heartfelt thanks to Homes4Hope, cbm & Habitat and all who assisted us to move to this wonderful house. Thank you so much,’’ Seble said with smile that was not fading for minutes