Born in the town of Asaita in Afar, 12-year-old Temesgen Tadesse is now a grade 5 student at Arado Primary School. The young boy faced bullying and discrimination from an early age due to his special needs.
“At first, my family kept me out of school, but one day our cousin came from the capital to visit us. He told my dad that my future would be better if I went to school. Now, my parents and my brother and sister are my biggest supporters.” Temesgen
Temesgen started to walk with a walking stick at the age of six. After a lot of practice, he was able to stand by himself and even walk short distances.
Despite his physical challenges, he makes every effort not to miss school. He walks for more than an hour to school and back home every day in harsh weather, sometimes as hot as 50 degrees Celsius.
“I love going to school, even though the trip is tiring for me. One day I will become a doctor and a respected citizen.” Temesgen
His father is a poor farmer and didn’t have much to give to his children. Temesgen describes the impact of a meal at school every day: