02 Sep

In the heart of Jimma, 16-year-old Zeyneba's story unfolds—a tale of resilience, challenges, and the pursuit of independence. This blog delves into Zeyneba's narrative, providing insight into her journey with epilepsy, motherhood, and the aspirations that drive her.

A Life Shaped by Epilepsy:

From the age of 3, Zeyneba has been grappling with epilepsy, a condition that has left an indelible mark on her life. Despite the challenges, she faces each day with determination, navigating the world around her with strength and courage.

Seizures and Struggles:

Zeyneba's journey includes episodes of seizures, each one a reminder of the hurdles she must overcome. Recently, she experienced her third major burn while making injera—a testament to the daily battles she faces. The scars on her arms and leg bear witness to her unwavering spirit.

Motherhood and Abandonment:

Two months ago, Zeyneba welcomed a baby girl into the world. However, her joy was marred by the abandonment of her fiancé, who left after witnessing her have a seizure during pregnancy. Undeterred, Zeyneba continued working as a maid, facing dismissal when employers witnessed her seizures.

A Desire for Independence:

Zeyneba refuses to be defined by her circumstances. She rejects the idea of relying on handouts and harbors a strong desire for continuous medication that could pave the way for a normal life. Her determination is fueled by the belief that with the right support, she can secure a job and independently provide for herself and her baby.

Navigating the Unknown:

As Zeyneba faces the challenge of leaving the Mission home after her wound heals, she is acutely aware of the difficulties that lie ahead. Balancing the responsibilities of motherhood with the quest for employment, she grapples with uncertainties but remains steadfast in her determination.


Zeyneba's journey is a testament to the strength that resides within individuals facing epilepsy. Her story sheds light on the complexities of navigating motherhood, independence, and societal challenges. As we navigate Zeyneba's narrative, let us reflect on the resilience that defines her spirit and the importance of fostering a supportive environment for those overcoming similar obstacles.

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