The seed is growing and budding

by Ruth Bücker, 2013/03/28

When on New Year’s Eve, we say farewell to the old year and welcome the new one, this is often accompanied by lots of resolutions and wishes. Resolutions about things we would like to do differently, things we would like to do without, things we would like to pay more attention to. We set our hope on the wishes we have on our mind for our own or someone else’s future and, in the best case, can put these wishes into practice afterwards.

At the beginning of 2012, humedica had many wishes and resolutions regarding the new project location for family sponsorships. Our hope was that many sponsors in Germany would be found. Our intention was to support numerous families in the Eastern Ethiopian town of Jijiga, to assist them with managing their everyday lives and planning their future in a sustainable way. For humedica and the newly-included families, the past year turned out to be a year of fulfilled expectations.

On the whole, 225 children, women and men, belonging to 30 families, receive support through the humedica family sponsorship programme. Each month, they obtain a food parcel containing rice, wheat flower, sugar and oil. Moreover, sanitary products are distributed monthly as well.

humedica has rented office rooms in Jijiga and has been able to recruit a committed local team, consisting of Ibrahim and his female assistant, who genuinely care for the wellbeing of the sponsored families. They take care of the provision of relief supplies, hold trainings and give advice, organise various activities, regularly visit the families at their homes and are a permanent point of contact for them. Both manage this challenging task with great dedication.

It is such a great joy to see the fruits of our efforts and hard work among the poor families” says tireless Ibrahim. “I am very grateful for this opportunity, which allows me to help people here in Jijiga and the surroundings and convey to them the support from Germany. Thank you very much!

Whether it be the smallest family members, the adults or even the whole community: humedica sponsorships are a support not only for single individuals but for the whole social environment – whether it be the family or the village population. Support is given in various areas and various ways, with the one common goal of creating them a chance for a better future.

In order to pursue this goal, a family committee was established. It turned out to be a very efficient instrument: the sponsored families elect from among them a kind of committee, the members of which decide, in cooperation with the humedica staff, which kind of help is most necessary for the families and which supplies they need.

Education for the children

For the sponsored children, the humedica support paves a way to education. Education is a way out of poverty and a lack of opportunities and provides a route to an independent life. While in Germany attending school is obligatory for all children, it is a privilege for boys and girls in Ethiopia.

As a part of the programme, 50 boys and girls have already been provided with learning supplies. They received books, exercise books and pens as well as school uniforms, which are obligatory in Ethiopia and a prerequisite for attending classes.

Furthermore, a first group of the children has been able to take part in an intensive English course that lasted several months. “The children are very eager to learn and grateful that, thanks to this support, they could improve their knowledge and their chances in their regular classes significantly”, Ibrahim reports proudly and happily. “Now, even more children would like to attend these additional lessons and they often inquire about them.

Since September 2012, 18 of the younger children have been able to attend a preschool, which is a necessary prerequisite for school enrolment at a regular school as well.

Trading for the adults

When it comes to supporting the adults, humedica carries out the above-mentioned distributions and takes measures which allow them to set up a trade of their own or help them to generate an income of their own. A start has been made with two families, each of which received five goats.

Keeping and breeding them appropriate to the species, the families thus get the opportunity of breeding their own goat herd. The animals and their products will allow the families to provide for themselves and their herd and to gain financial independency by selling the goats’ offspring on the market. The first steps have been taken on this way of helping them to help themselves and preparations are being made to support more families in the same way soon.

Another focus is to provide the adults with opportunities of training and further training. One issue dealt with are success factors in trading. Apart from that, courses are held on medical issues, e.g. consultations and prevention talks about HIV and AIDS as well as awareness campaigns regarding
specific illnesses.

Furthermore, several families profited from the distribution of relief supplies during the rain season, when there was no lack of water at all, yet too much water which provoked humidity and problems. The families received blankets against the humid cold and 20 families received plastic tarps to cover the roofs of their huts and make them waterproof.

Community projects for young and old

Jijiga is situated in the semi-desert of Eastern Ethiopia, where the soil is dusty and arid and water is a scarce resource. Due to these circumstances, one way of helping people has been obvious since the time when this project location was chosen: facilitating the inhabitants’ access to water.

After intense planning and bidding procedures, aiming at a cost-efficient and high-quality project implementation, a company has now been commissioned to carry out the necessary water installations.

Soon, walks of up to 13 kilometres to reach the closest watering hole, will be a thing of the past for the inhabitants of the supported villages. The main water pipes will be lengthened and public wells and reservoirs will be established.

Christmas Joy in Jijiga

In order to bring Christmas joy to the families in Jijiga, the children received a lovingly-wrapped Christmas gift for the first time in their lives thanks to the humedica Christmas parcel programme, “A gift from the heart”.

The boys and girls received backpacks or bags filled with T-shirts and sweets, sanitary products and headscarves for the young women. A Christmas celebration was held, where the presents were handed over to the children. Their joy was indescribable, remembers Ibrahim.

A year of good resolutions – the second one is following

Thanks to the recruitment of Ibrahim and his assistant, we now have a local humedica team on site in Jijiga, which can carry out aid efforts and adapt them to the current needs. With regular conversations and monthly visits we assess the sustainability of our support and keep in contact with the supported families. Our aid gets to where it is needed – thanks to your help!

The past year started with lots of good resolutions and wishes for the families in Jijiga. Thanks to your support and the responsibility you accepted for one or several family members, we have already been able to help numerous girls and boys, women and men and can look back on the first year at this project location with joy and gratitude.

At the same time, we started the year 2013 with the conviction that together we can accompany even more families on their way to a better future. Please support our work by sponsoring a child, an adult or a whole family in Jijiga or by making a one-time donation, which will help families to help themselves by setting up a trade of their own. Thank you so much!

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

      BIC-/SWIFT-Code: BYLA DE M1 KFB
      IBAN: DE39 7345 0000 0000 04747

In the past year, humedica has been able to include 30 new families in the sponsorship programme. Please help us to bring help to even more people in Jijiga.

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