Menschen für Menschen Switzerland is focused on stopping impoverishment in towns and rural areas
and on creating livelihood opportunities.
There are several ways you can help people in Ethiopia. Here you will find all donations with concrete examples.
Cradle of humanity, country of origin of coffee, rich culture and poor families. Over 100 million people live here: A visit to a contradictory country.
Ensuring food and a secure future for the nomadic families. Conserving or restoring natural resources. Strengthening the role of women in traditionally male-dominated Afar society.
The Arso river flows through the remote settlement of Subuli in the district of Bure Mudaytu – one of the few rivers in the Afar district that flows all year. Menschen für Menschen Switzerland is using the water from the Arso to create new garden and arable land: a total of 13 kilometers of channels to irrigate an area of 100 hectares.
The construction project is providing short-term work and food for 500 nomadic people affected in the current drought and emergency conditions. Only those from the poorest families are employed. They receive the daily wages paid for laborers in the area, which allows them to purchase basic foodstuff for their families.
In the long term, the agricultural project will mean those people currently in need will not be affected by future droughts. The irrigated land will ensure food for 300 families for many years to come. By selling surplus vegetables in the markets of the nearby towns, the Afar people also create a crucial source of income that enables them to purchase goods such as soap, batteries and school books.
This project also provides 200 women with business training and some start-up capital. They can use this to start a retail business, run a small coffee house or feed goats. In doing so, the foundation is remaining true to an important insight of its founder Karlheinz Böhm: the potential of women is often suppressed in traditional societies; fighting poverty and promoting development also strengthens the role of women.
To reach the needy families, Menschen für Menschen Switzerland and its Ethiopian partner organisation work closely with the local authorities. The elders of the Afar nomadic peoples, seen as authority figures and respected members of the society, both of which are also involved.
The nomadic people of Afar roam the savannahs and semi-deserts with their goats, sheep, cattle and camels in the search for pasture. Rain is in short supply almost every year. But in 2015 the global weather phenomenon El Niño meant virtually no rain at all. Without rain, the grass withered and the animals had no food. With the animals emaciated and unsellable, the herding families lose their way of income. Livestock sales are the only source of income that enables them to purchase basic foods. The poorest families in the Afar region only eat once a day. As a result, the health and development of small children in particular is suffering: in some areas one in four children showed signs of malnutrition by the end of 2015.
The more the land dries up, the greater the strain on the remaining pastures. This leads to overgrazing and destruction of the natural resources, which further exacerbates the problem: the traditional Afar lifestyle is no longer tenable in these days of population growth and climate change. With no income or alternatives for survival, the nomadic families remain poor and susceptible to the nomadic life.
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