Abebech Gobena (1938 – 4 July 2021) was an ethioian humanitarian , and the founder and manager of AGOHELMA, one of the oldest orphanages in Ethiopia. She was often called the Mother teresa of Africa.
Abebech was born in 1938 in a small rural village in showa province called Shebel. , she was raised by her grandparents until the age of nine. At the age of 10, she was married without her consent, but she ran away to the capital city. There, she managed to get basic education and later worked as a quality controller at a coffee and grain company.
In a feeding center, Gobena saw a child next to her dead mother. She distributed the only thing she had to other victims, a loaf of bread and five liters of holy water , and brought the child along with another orphan to her home in Addis Ababa. In one year, she brought 21 children to her home.
In 1986, her orphanage was registered by the government. The Abebech Gobena Orphanage and School pays school fees for over 1,000 children from poor families at other schools. Over 1,800 benefit from a child-sponsorship scheme. Over 2,000 malnourished children and mothers receive food.
Mrs. Gobena’s aim as general manager is to make needy children into productive and responsible citizens so they can support themselves and contribute to society. They learn sewing, knitting and weaving, metalwork, plumbing, electricity, photography and silkscreen printing.
In June 2021, Abebech’s health worsened from COVID-19 and she was hospitalized at St. Paul Hospital in Addis Ababa. However, she died from the complications on 4 July 2021.
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