Laketch Debebe was born on April 5, 1941 (Megabit 27 1933 in Gregorian Calendar) Outside of Addis Ababa in a small town called Adulala. Laketch had an extremely difficult start; being from a small town in a third world country came with its share of trials and tribulations. She grew up tending to the herds of cow and sheep and dreaming of one day building a school where kids could be educated; something that she was not yet able to do.
Laketch was born into a poor family and with only one sister to confide in. Her life changed even more after her father passed when Laketch was only six years old. Her mother remarried, and hearing her sister call their stepfather ‘Dad’ caused Laketch even more pain. She would fight continuously with her sister and her step-father. This caused her mother and uncle to send her to the city so that a rich family could adopt her and provide her with opportunity. Once adopted, Laketch was put through school and well taken care of by her new father. While there she was mistreated by his wife. A visit from her biological mother gave Laketch hope to return home, but her mother refused her. After her adoptive father realized the mistreatment he then decided to place her with a new, loving family.
At 10 years old, Laketch was given a fighting chance. Her new mother loved her as if she were her own and allowed her to be herself. She felt accepted, and once her adopted sister married and moved, Laketch relocated with her and began working as a clerk in the cotton industry. She found many new friendships there and even met her husband, whom she would eventually have eight children with. Laketch’s struggles were still plenty, and although she never forgot her tough beginnings, she worked hard and vowed to provide a life of opportunities for her own children, and so many others, so that they may never endure what she had endured. She was a fighter, and faced at such an early age what no child should ever have to face.
Later on in her life as she was in her older years she took in three children from the area of Adulala into her home. She provided for them, fed them, sheltered them, and gave them opportunity. Even if it was three children or three hundred children, her goal was always to help the children of Adulala as much as she can. Her determination and courage remain within her children and grandchildren today. Werkuwa Enate Laketch Elementary School, was Laketch’s
lifelong dream. As her children it is a privilege to honor her legacy, and an opportunity to provide
underprivileged children with the core value they must have towards a better future.