The young couple lives near a garbage dump in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. Your home is tiny and consists of a single room of about 2.5 square meters, which is largely filled by a bed. Despite some rays of light penetrating through the wooden walls patched with plastic bags, the interior of the house is dark. But when you look in over the pink metal door, you see a mother’s beaming smile, Tiruwork, and her two twins sleeping peacefully on the bed.
However, the mood in the small dwelling was not always so peaceful. Tiruwork’s despair was immense when she learned that she was pregnant with twins.
Not enough money to have children
For several years, the couple had thought about having children. But the money just seemed too tight. So Tiruwork and waited Enyew. Over time, however, the desire to have children became stronger than economic considerations.
When the couple discovered that Tiruwork was pregnant, they were overjoyed. But at the doctor’s checkup, they got a big surprise: "You’re going to have twins!"
As she tells her story, Tiruwork sits on the bed and looks tenderly at her two sleeping daughters. But she remembers well the despair she felt when she was three months pregnant and learned she wasn’t just expecting a baby. "I cried all the way home. I was angry. I wondered how I would feed my children. To be quite honest, I thought about how to have an abortion, because I saw no way out of the situation."
"My wife wanted to terminate the pregnancy because we couldn’t even afford to have one child, let alone two", Enyew tells. "In my heart I vowed to take care of the twins. Even if that meant we had to give them away to ensure their survival".
Sparks of hope
The couple’s neighbors and Enyew’s family were able to convince the couple to keep their babies. Shortly after, the couple learned about the survival program for pregnant mothers and their babies at a nearby church. Tiruwork was accepted into the program when she was eight months pregnant.
"When we learned that the church would support us concretely and that our children will even be able to go to school, we were relieved", Says Enyew. "Our worries quickly disappeared."
"When I was admitted and got counseling and understood how comprehensive the program was, I got hope, and the doubts faded away. I could now think of my babies with confidence."
On 24. September 2017, Tiruwork and Enyew named their two beautiful little girls Eyerusalem and Absalat welcome. Children’s Survival Program staff were on hand to help and bring over what they needed to care for the twins.
And even though the couple’s financial situation didn’t change, the help from the local church’s program made all the difference. "I’m still making the same amount of money," Enyew says. "With my income, I could never have done all the things for the twins that are possible now. When you have twins, every expense doubles. We are very grateful for everything. At Christmas we even received a gift, that was an unexpected surprise."
Not just surviving, but really living
"My twins are a blessing to me. Although I had no hope when I found out I was pregnant with them, I became a mother, and my daughters now give me hope for the future," says Tiruwork. "I have enough now to feed my children".
Through the child survival program, Enyew and his wife are full of hope for their twins. As they grow up, their daughters will be enrolled in Compassion’s sponsorship program. They will grow up in safety, go to school and not just survive, but truly live.