Dr. Abebech Gobena – Mother of Many
Dr.Abebech Gobena was born from her father Ato Gofe Heye and her Mother Wosene Biru on October 20, 1935 in North Shoa Gerar Jarso Woreda Torben Ashe Kebele in the Village Called Shebel Abo. Since her father, Gofe Heye, was killed by Italian invaders at her age of one, she grew up by her grandfather Heye Bedissie.
According to the culture of the time, her mother allowed Dr.Abebech’s marriage at her age of 11. However, she hated the forced marriage and it was no longer after her marriage that she was summoned to her mother’s house for ceremony. She used that ceremony as an opportunity and disappeared from the area and left for Addis Ababa under very difficult situation. After moving to Addis Ababa, she started working in different private business companies and later running her private business. She was married to Kebede Koster on May 5, 1961 and lived a peaceful life for more than 20 years.
During that time, she expanded her social life and participation beyond her personal lives: visiting monasteries and committed herself helping religious fathers to fulfill her religious duties. As part of her commitment, she made a significant contribution to the committee set up to build the road to Gishen Mariam, as confirmed from the certification given for her contribution.
In 1980 on her pilgrimage to Gishen Mariam’s annual celebration, she saw many people displaced from their homes and being in shelters due to a severe drought and famine in the area. Because of the horrible condition there, the children were left unattended. Observing the tragic situation in the area, the compassionate mother brought two children with her to Addis Ababa and laid the foundation for today’s “Abebech Gobena Child Care and Development Association”.
Since then, she had abandoned her peaceful marriage and continued caring for children and her humanitarian work. She went on caring for hundreds of thousands of children till their self-sufficiency, for the past 41 years. In addition, she had supported more than 1.5 million people through different poverty alleviation programs. Among the areas of intervention:
Dr. Abebech Gobena (Edaye) received great awards and recognitions from various national and international institutions for her life time good deeds, exemplary and prideful work; and becoming a role model for humanity, and living role model for women. Among the awards:
Taking into account the enormous humanitarian deeds of Dr Abebech Gobena, many organizations are named after her. These include the following:-
Honorable Dr.Abebech (Edaye) believes “Poverty, especially child misery, can be alleviated not by the amount of money that is thrown at individual level, for charity, but by bringing our capacity and potentials together and making organized support for our people suffering, especially through empowering women.”
At last, honorable Dr. Abebech (Edaye) in the challenging 41 years organizational leadership, she had undergone multiple surgeries and was living with pacemaker on her heart, for over 16 years. Since some time, due to her health problems and aging, she had been getting care, follow up and assistance by physicians at home.
Hence, Dr Abebech Gobena passed away at her age of 85 due to COVID-19 Sunday July 4, 2021 morning after treatment in intensive care at St Paul’s Hospital.
The work of the kind and compassionate mother is beyond the grave and will be remembered as a role model forever.
Abebech Gobena Charity fulfills the needs of vulnerable and orphaned children to equip them with skills, knowledge and assertiveness in the society. So, to bring about substantial change in their lives, donate today. We need your help to help others.
Phone : +251 118 694 629/+251 111 553 622
Mob : +251 910 494 231
Fax: +251 111 550 152
P.O. Box: 24998
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia