Daniel Alemayehu

Daniel Alemayehu

Name: Daniel Alemayehu
Age: 14
School: Bole Addis Primary School
Grade: 3rd

Dani was found a year and approximately 8 months ago (fall of 2013). Dani was found with Zemete, Yared, and Worku in Megenagna.

Dani asked if he could join the group with Hold My Hand. He was born in Wolayeta, but he moved with his neighbor to Chencha to study when he was about 8 in 2011.

However the neighbor, who was a grown adult man, told Dani that they would move to Chencha so that Dani could study, but he was really taking Dani to Chencha to work. When he lived in Wolayeta he didn’t go to school. Instead he made scarves to increase the family income.

Dani has one sister and brother who are currently about 19 (brother) and the 17 (sister).The family thought that the neighbor was being truthful and that he would be studying in Chencha.

Dani doesn’t know why he was the only one to go with the neighbor to Chencha, and Dani has not seen his family in the last 4 years. His father made scarves to provide for the family, but his mother does not work, and would be considered a stay-at-home-mom.

The neighbor didn’t tell anything to Dani about his real intentions. Rather, he just brought Dani to Chencha to do the exact same work (making scarves) as what he was doing in Wolayeta with his family.He worked and lived in the same house with the neighbor’s wife and daughter.The neighbor was in Wolayeta to visit his mother for just two months before he left with Dani. The neighbor didn’t have any patience and was hungry to beat Dani when he took Dani to Chencha. Dani says sometimes he would beat his wife and daughter as well. The neighbor did not show Dani any of the benefits from his work.

Dani was hungry, and was not provided for by any means, as well as beaten and treated unlike how any child should be. Essentially Dani was the effect of child labor trafficking. So Dani left to come Addis on the public bus. He says it took him about a day to get to Addis from Chencha. When he came to Addis he was living in Ferensay. He didn’t know anything about Addis or the villages of Addis so he got off the bus where it dropped people in Ferensay. When he was there, he started to help people do miscellaneous jobs to earn money, but he would sleep on a bridge at night. This went on for about one month. Dani only made enough money to provide for himself day by day, and to get by (buying himself enough food that he could to live). He heard from people in Ferensay that Megenagna was a good place for work and that he could do better there, so he moved to Megenagna (Ferensay is close to Megenagna- about a half an hour). When he moved there, he was doing the same work and then met Worku, Yared, Zemete, and Biruk (the other boys at Hold My Hand). He became friends with them, and they would sleep on the bridge at night as well, so Dani joined them.

After a week in Megenagna he was in a public bus and a guy began talking with Dani. The guy began asking Dani a lot of questions about him like where he was from. The man told Dani that he wanted to be his friend. We guess that this man was about 29 years old. The guy took Dani to his house and began providing for him (food, and other basic needs). The guy who would provide for Dani would collect money from the public taxi owners. He was in charge of organizing the public taxi service in Addis, so Dani would see the benefits of this. Dani would soon do part of his job. This man’s work was to employ the public taxi drivers, but also he was in charge of collecting the money from them at the end of the night, but soon Dani was doing this instead of him.

The man was involved in bad behavior that Dani should not have been around as a kid- like smoking, drinking, and eating chat. Dani was being beat by this man, as well as the other Hold My Hand boys. However, Dani was the only one living with him. Then he began living with the other boys in the Shola house as the members of Hold My Hand were providing for them to go there. He was in Shola with the other boys for about two months, and soon joined the house along with the others in Yeka. Dani does not know how to contact his family, because he was so young when he became a victim of child labor trafficking. But Hold My Hand is trying to collect information on how to reach them and reunify Dani to Wolayeta. For the first time Dani is going to school and being properly taken care of with Hold My Hand and after resolving the issues with his family he will again be reconciled with his families.

Get to Know Daniel

  • What is your favorite subject in school and why?

Math because he says he can understand it easily.

  • What do you wish to be when you are grown?

Pilot of a plane.

  • What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?

Playing soccer and studying

  • What is your favorite food?


  • Who is your role model? Who do you wish to be like and why?

Agezaw, who is a businessman or entrepreneur in Addis.

  • Favorite thing to watch on TV?

He likes watching football (soccer).

  • If you could be any animal what would it be and why?

A dog because he loves dogs.

  • What is your favorite color?


  • What is your favorite song?

Tekuchaw- Geta Redate New Bedekame

  • If you had all the power in the world to do whatever you wanted for 12 hours what would you do?

Dani would help everyone who needs it.

  • If you could give advice to other street children your age, what would you say to them?

“If you have a family, you should join them and be with them. If they don’t have family, you should find someone to live with, but not just anyone, especially not a guy like the one I lived with.”

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