This is Getane he explains to us why your support means so much.
“I am 75 and I am weak. We have only a small plot of land and we are rain reliant. We are in a challenging situation here, as we cannot manage on our own. We depend on the local community to help us.”
Most of us, when we’re feeling the pinch, tend to shrink into our shells, become a little anti-social. This is not the case in places like Zego in northern Ethiopia with recurring drought as climate change takes hold, the challenges have to be faced. For the last decade this region has not had sufficient rainfall to sustain the usual harvests on which the villagers so heavily rely. The UN estimates that 9.1 people are facing food insecurity in the Horn of Africa. Farmers like Getene Ashenafi and his wife Ayenech, already living in extreme poverty, have been left with a meagre supply of food.
This experience is kindly shared with us by Laura Cook, who works with one of our donors, after spending time talking to Getene was invited to take coffee with him and the wider community; this is the traditional way to welcome a guest in Ethiopia.
Villagers, young and old, had walked from their homes to greet her, not an easy journey for some of them to make from across fields and rocky, narrow footpaths. Sharing tales of the hunger and deprivation their community faces because of climate change and unpredictable weather patterns. Laura felt uneasy as they offered her pasta and local bread. At intervals they would check she had enough to eat and drink, whilst looking after each other too.
One of the local staff from SUNARMA sensed Laura’s unease, and said: “Here, hospitality and community is our way of demonstrating love.” Getene and his friends went on to explain that the community frequently meets like this to serve one another and to encourage one another when facing difficult times. Their hospitality is a way of life. Even in the most desperate circumstances they are willing to do all they can to show each other grace and love. None of us can help but feel compassion towards these people living in one of the poorest communities in the world – farmers like Getene, who in showing hospitality, shares almost the last of what they have.
Please join us in showing compassion to our GLOBAL community, by supporting us, by sharing our social media, fundraising or a gift of whatever you can manage, so that together with SUNARMA we can continue to help Ethiopian communities like those in Zego.