Talking to the managing director of humedica in Ethiopia, Motbainor Abera

by Lina Koch,  2013/06/17

During his stay in Germany, Motbainor Abera, humedica managing director in Ethiopia, also visited the head office in Kaufbeuren to talk to the staff there about current projects and programmes. Thus, we had the opportunity to ask him about the situation in his country.

Dear Motbainor, what is the reason for your stay in Germany?

Like Wolfgang Groß, I received an invitation for the “Berliner Internationale Begegnung” [Berlin international meeting; translator’s note]. With the other participants we discussed topics like “Our responsibility towards God and fellow human beings”, which was really interesting. And of course, since I was staying in Germany anyway, I also wanted to visit the humedica head office in Kaufbeuren.

What plans are being made for the different humedica projects in Ethiopia?

We have just received a new official approval for the following three years, so there is hope that we can carry on the various projects. Especially the family sponsorships are very dear to my heart, which is why I would like to extend the programme. But, of course, other projects like the construction of water pumps and aid for refugees will continue to be a focus of our work in Ethiopia as well.

What was the biggest challenge you have had to face so far while working for humedica?

A really big challenge for me personally was the drought in 2011 and the famine caused by it. At that time, humedica carried out relief efforts in the refugee camps and I was in charge of organizing these efforts on site. I coordinated the delivery of medication, made visa and work permit applications for the frequently changing teams of volunteers and booked their flights.

Apart from that, there were many more things I had to plan and carry out. All in all, this was a quite stressful and intense time. Yet at the end of the day, we were able to help people in their need and for this goal I am prepared to accept even the biggest challenges.

We got to know that, in one of our project regions, it suddenly became possible for Ethiopian girls to attend school. Could you tell us why this was possible?

Yes, that is a great story that happened at the beginning of this year in the small town of Cofali in the region of Oromia. We had agreed with the local development authority that humedica would be allowed to put up six water pumps in the area. As soon as they were installed, a surprise happened. Suddenly, many more girls attended primary school than before.

The founder of the school, a Norwegian relief organization, informed us that they had tried to encourage as many girls as possible to go to school even before, yet never reached an enrolment of more than 12 per cent of the girls. As soon as the water pumps had been built, however, the proportion of female pupils rose to 40 per cent.

When the relief organization asked the local administration about the reasons for this development, they got to know that, traditionally, the girls had had the duty of fetching water for their families. Now that there is direct access to water thanks to the pumps, they no longer have to walk many miles for water and therefore have the time to go to school.

Thus, the pumps not only allowed access to water but also better access to education. We were very pleased when we heard of this story.

What a wonderful surprise. To end with, could you briefly tell us about your wishes for the people in the projects in Ethiopia?

I would love to. Up to this day, we have seen a lot of progress in our projects. The cooperation and understanding between the staff and the people benefitting from the projects is just wonderful. Their relationship is very affectionate and they really care for each other. Also the development of the project children is very positive, for they can now attend kindergartens and schools thanks to the support from Germany.

My wish for the future is that our projects will continue to develop in such a positive way and enable people in Ethiopia to live their lives with autonomy and optimism.

Heartfelt thanks for this interesting conversation. We wish you all the best for your future and that God may bless your work.

Dear friends and sponsors, please continue to support our work in Ethiopia by means of a specific donation or by registering for a family sponsorship. With your contribution you can help children and adults to find a way out of hunger and poverty. Thank you so much!

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