Yalew was born in Gonder. He lived with is mother and sister (who is currently 23) and his mother sold spices on the street. Yalew doesn’t know his father and never has. When in Gonder, he was going to school and was in 6th grade, but didn’t finish because of his leaving for Addis when he was 11. He was fighting with his neighbor in Gonder and became afraid of them. He and his friend (the neighbor) from Gonder were in a competition to climb a tree and began fighting because of a misunderstanding in the competition. The neighbor boy who was 12 at the time, started hitting Yalew with a small stone. Yalew took a big stone and tried to beat the neighbor boy with it. He broke a few coffee cups from the neighbor’s house on accident and became afraid of the neighbor and his family. He left the house and was helping a man clean a car. The man gave him a ride to Welo, so Yalew began living in Welo for about 5 months and began working as a taxi assistant collecting money from passengers as well as cleaning cars for money. In Welo, Yalew also would help a hotel by bringing people there and increasing the hotel’s business, so the hotel would give him a place to stay. After 5 months in Welo, he moved to Dese for better work.
Here he collected money from people who were playing pool in a game house. He was here for 3 months and was staying in the pool house. Where he worked is also where he lived. He saved 400 birr, but he later split that with a friend for food and other necessities. He and his friend were talking about coming to Addis, so they began asking for free rides, but they could not find a direct route from Dese to Addis. Then they asked the driver of a bus if they could ride it for free and were able to go from Dese to Combolcha. Again, in Kombolcha they got a free ride in a toyota with someone who was going to Kemise. When they got to Kemise, it was too late to keep traveling so Yalew and his friend slept on a bridge for the night.
When they woke, they got another free ride on a bus, and the bus driver said if the traffic police wouldn’t catch him, they would go to Addis, but the driver dropped them in Shewarbet. Then Yalew and his friend began to walk to Debribrehan, but it was too far, and a police car came and asked them where they were going. They told the police that they wanted to go to Addis but that they had no money and the police gave them a ride to Debribrehan.
When the friend and Yalew got to Debribrehan, it was too late again to keep catching rides to closer cities surrounding Addis, so they slept in a church that night. The next day they woke, and got another free ride to Addis, finally. The ride was in sort of a public taxi van. However, the driver of this van made one of the boys get out when they reached a city before Addis, because there were too many people willing to pay, so the driver said he could only take one of them because they were both riding for free. Yalew told his friend to go, and his friend told Yalew to go. Yalew was the one who was fortunate enough to stay on the van, and he came to Addis. He hasn’t seen that friend in two and a half years.
Yalew came to Addis and was helping people by cleaning their cars, and doing other needed tasks around Megenagna to make money, while he was sleeping on the bridge for three months. Hold My Hand was in Megenagna spending time with the boys and Yalew asked if he could stay at the house in Shola at this time. He was staying here for two months and then Hold My Hand moved to the Yeka house and Yalew began living with them here. Here he began to go to school again. Hold My Hand moved to the Yeka house in 2013. Cheri and Yalew were close friends and at this time, Hold My Hand didn’t provide anything other than a house for the boys, so Yalew and Cheri went all the way back to Gonder by one direct route. Yalew visited his family and came back to Addis after. He had to get his school certificate in order to begin school again in Addis. He stayed with his family in Gonder for 1 week, and his mother wanted him to stay with her. She asked him why he wouldn’t stay, and he told her that he wanted to study in Addis, and she was happy for him. She wants Yalew to stay with Hold My Hand and study in Addis. She calls Hold My Hand to ask how Yalew is and to talk with him. At New Years of 2014, Yalew visited his mom again in Gonder. Yalew is happy with the boys in the Hold My Hand house and is going to school. Yalew and the boys are like brothers so it is hard to reunify him when his mother wants him here.
Get to Know Yalew
1. What is your favorite subject in school and why?
Social studies because he likes history and anthropology.
2. What do you wish to be when you are grown?
I wants to be a scientist.
3. What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
Worshiping God and chilling with friends.
4. What is your favorite food?
5. Who is your role model? Who do you wish to be like and why?
“Myself, because I should look into myself before I aspire to be like someone else. When God created me, he did it with full potential so should see that first.”
6. Favorite thing to watch on TV?
7. If you could be any animal what would it be and why?
Donkey because Jesus rode into Jerusalem on it.
8. What is your favorite color?
9. What is your favorite song?
Kamed yanesakagn temesgen getay- Tizitaw
10. If you had all the power in the world to do whatever you wanted for 12 hours what would you do?
“I would just try to bring equality to the world, repent, and preach the gospel.”
11. If you could give advice to other street children your age, what would you say to them?
“Try to find money from others and start work.
12. What is your favorite bible verse?
Habakkuk 1:5 “Behold ye among the heaven and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.”