Abbi, who is actually named Abebech but in everyday life she is simply referred to as ‘Abbi’, has a desire to see poor women and children helped and restored.
Abbi’s own mother and father were very poor and when her father died Abbi was four years old. Her mother could not then take care of her and her two siblings. The three children were given away and Abbi came to a family where she began working as a maid when she was only four years old. The family was not kind and Abbi was frequently physically abused and most often went to bed hungry.
Abbi says herself; ‘It was not the hunger or the abuse that hurt, but the separation from my mother!’. But after a divine intervention she was able to forgive and to be free from hate and bitterness
Therefore she returned to Ethiopia and started the Family Mercy House to help at least a few of these poor, uneducated women living in Addis Ababa. Most of them also have children, and the only way to break the poverty is for the children to go to school and get a proper education.
The women at the Family Mercy House get counseling where Abbi tries to motivate them to make an effort to change their lives and lift themselves from poverty. They go through a nine-month vocational training program to give them the tools to accomplish this. Many cannot read or write, but at the Family Mercy House they learn to:
- Bake and take care of the kitchen.
- Hair and nail care at the beauty salon.
- Knit, crochet and sew clothes with sewing machines.
- Produce local dry products and spices
- Work and serve at a cafe.
Abbi also takes responsibility for the children through the Family Mercy House child sponsorship program, where children get sponsor parents who helps the children financially every month.
This is why we established FAMILY MERCY HOUSE – a restoration of the poorest families.
Jennifer comes from Fresno, CA in the USA. She and her Swedish husband Karl have
Spent fourteen years as residential missionaries to Ethiopia.
During her last year in country she and Abbi spent a lot of time together to develop
and design the way Family Mercy House shall work.
Jennifer was also part of finding finances for the operation the first years.