The experiences of Rishan, a young Ethiopian widow, lie at the root of this project.
Her grandmother was the local midwife in her hometown Kelat. Rishan, as a small child, could accompany her to most deliveries. Quite often, the life expectancy for newborns as for their sometimes very young mothers were very low.
A specific occasion is branded in Rishans memory: the labor of the child mother Berhaney. The sad faces of the village women told Rishan that the labor and delivery did not go well. After three days of pain and misery Berhaney died before she could deliver her baby.
At the funeral the next day, no children were allowed. However, Rishan and some of her girlfriends were hiding behind a shrub. As the funeral procession passed, Rishan saw the body of Berhaney carried away. She wondered: such a big belly could not be of 1 child? There were at least 3 children in it, she thought. She shuddered at the thought that the children might still have lived, while Berhaney died.
That was the moment Rishan promised, with childlike belief, that at one point in her life, she would do something for those young pregnant girls...
To create a professional framework, the VZW Ethiopië "Ik wil leven" - NGO Ethiopia "I want life!" - was founded with a group of friends. Rishans vows became an actual project.