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Lelabo’s journey to empowerment and safe birth advocacy

Lelabo, now 21 years old, stands as a remarkable example among the 29 women who have successfully graduated from AMREF’s midwife diploma program in the remote South Omo region of southwestern Ethiopia. With unwavering determination, she aspires to bring light and hope to her village, living up to the very essence of her name, which signifies a ‘ray of satisfaction and happiness’ for her family and community.

Her mission is clear: upon completing her education, she intends to return to her village, advocating for women’s health and well-being. Lelabo will encourage expectant mothers to seek antenatal care and follow-ups, emphasizing the importance of giving birth at health facilities to ensure safe deliveries. Her commitment extends to easing the pain of labor and preventing potential complications during childbirth.

Lelabo’s journey is nothing short of extraordinary. As the first woman from her pastoralist ethnic group, the Mursi, to complete high school, she is now set to make history once again by becoming the first trained health professional in her community. Upon her return, she will provide professional safe birth advice in the Mursi language, a vital step towards bridging the healthcare gap in her community.

Beyond her professional aspirations, Lelabo also assumes the role of a powerful role model for Mursi girls and women. She believes that her achievements will inspire others to envision new possibilities for themselves, reshaping the way they perceive their potential and the opportunities life holds.

Lelabo’s journey is a testament to the transformative impact of education and determination, showcasing how a single individual can become a beacon of change and empowerment in their community. As she sets out to fulfill her purpose, she embodies the hope of a brighter future for her people, marked by improved maternal health and a profound shift in perspectives towards what is achievable in life.

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