Long-term commitment in the fight against the drought

by Maren Kuchler, Ruth Bücker,  2012/02/27

Since 2010, humedica has been running its successful sponsorship programme also in Ethiopia. In the meantime, 120 families in the slums of the capital Addis Abeba and in the rural town of Debre Zeyt receive support in the framework of this project. They are provided with food packages and sanitary articles on a monthly basis.

The so-called tukuls, the traditional dome-shaped shelters built from scraps of cloths and building remains are typical for the Somali Region. Photo: humedica/Ruth Bücker

The sponsorships also grant medical care and an opportunity to attend school for the children, as private lessons and leisure activities are offered in the project. Furthermore, the families are taken care of by our local employees; there are training measures on hygiene, HIV/AIDS and income promotion. And furthermore, our employees always have an open ear also for problems of every-day life.

In addition, we promote community projects. Last year, for example, four new class rooms were built in Debre Zeyt and public sanitary facilities were refurbished in Mercato.

For more than six months, humedica has also been active in the south of Ethiopia, and currently offers medical help for those affected by the famine in Somalia at the Melkadida refugee camp. The desire and our efforts to assume a long-term commitment, also for the Ethiopian victims of the drought at the Horn of Africa, have borne fruit.

With immediate effect, our employee Ibrahim will be charged with the running of a new sponsorship project in the east of Ethiopia. In this way, we intend to support local families also in this region with regard to food, medical care and education.

The new project is located in the Somali Region, in and around the provincial capital of Jijiga. At about 600 kilometres from Addis Abeba, the region is inhabited mostly by Somalis. Due to colonialisation, the Somali society was separated, so that a part of them lives in Ethiopia.

Dry branches for building stable tukuls can be found easily. For water, many of the families have to walk a distance of up to 13 kilometres. Photo: humedica/Ruth Bücker

Family is very important to the Somalis, and they are used to a “give-and-take” culture. This means that whoever has an income also provides for the rest of his family.

The main problems in the region are dryness and droughts. This is, however, not a new phenomenon: water has been scarce in the region for years. Of about 4.5 million inhabitants, 85 percent live as stock farmers in rural areas. They own sheep, goats, cows or camels and every time it gets too dry, they move on. Others plant millet or corn and live on small farms.

However, what they all have in common is that they depend on the wet season. Although there is food at the moment, it will definitely be far too little due to the late wet season and the meagre harvest.

For a start, 30 families have been registered in the framework of the new family sponsorship project, and now hope to receive support from Germany. Among the sponsorship families in this region, there are a particularly high number of single mothers, who lost their husbands due to various, but always tragic circumstances, and now have to provide for their children alone.

For example there is Layala Muhumed Faran. The mother of six children bears the heavy burden of responsibility for her family all by herself, since her husband died when she was pregnant with their youngest child.

Widow Layala Muhumed Faran with her two daughters and four sons. Her husband died of high blood pressure when she was pregnant with her youngest son. Photo: humedica

The family owns a small piece of land. Before his death, the farmer had cultivated the land himself, and had hence provided sufficient food. After his tragic death, his family is left alone and besides their sorrow they have to deal with fears for the future.

Widow Layala cannot cultivate the field on her own, and the ongoing dryness makes farming futile, anyway. Daily meals become a real challenge. The next water hole is located at a walking distance of 13 kilometres – one way. Another problem is the questions of how the children are ever to escape this situation without any possibility of attending school.

As in the case for Layala Muhumed Faran and her family, the most urgent need of all the families that have been registered so far, is the provision with sufficient food and an access to drinking water. Therefore, just like sponsored families in other project locations, the needy families will receive food. Furthermore, plans for drilling wells are currently being considered and will be implemented, if possible.

In order to initiate sustainable change and improvements, it is furthermore very important to provide the children with an appropriate education and to take care of their health. Be it by means of covering the costs for individual treatments or for drugs, or by means of medical missions run by humedica teams from Germany.

Together with you we can change lives in a sustainable way. Together with you, we can even maintain them. For 10 euros per family member per month you can assume a sponsorship for a family by filling in our sponsorship application form!

If you cannot support a family in the long run, but would like to offer some support, you can also make a one-time donation for the humedica family sponsorship programme. Thank you very much!

      humedica e. V.
      Donation reference “Family sponsorships
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

Please help us to change the lives of numerous persons in Jijiga. You can find further impressions in the photo gallery on our home page. Photo: humedica/Ruth Bücker

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