Keeping Families Fed, Together, and Safe

You were ready and so were we!  Last week your generous giving fed 390 families.

Here is what we know. While COVID-19 is a health emergency, its impact is arriving  in multiple waves, one of which is increasing food insecurity for families who are already vulnerable. Families on the cusp of crisis cannot protect themselves from devastation. Together, we provide a life-saving cushion by keeping families fed, together, and safe. Last week you made a difference for so many families with our SHE Needs You campaign to help families in crisis.

(Food support and health education in Usmancho Village)

Here is what you made happen. Working in collaboration with local leaders and health officers, our field team delivered food and health education to 390 families. Families received wheat flour, cooking oil, soap, and health education to help keep families safe and healthy. Hand washing demonstrations, social distancing practice, and Coronavirus information was shared. Conversations were robust and informative, empowering women to engage their families, neighbors, and villages with good information about how to stay safe during the pandemic. We also know we helped create a referral link for families because nearly 400 mothers are now connected to their local health officer.

(Hand washing instruction and practice using the Victoria Bucket in Hosanna)

Here is our long term view.  One of the things we do best is coming together in service of those who are in need, and there is more to do. Together we will continue supporting the livelihoods of families in crisis with food and health education. The regions where we work were already food-stressed before Coronavirus, and according to the World Food Programme the number is likely to rise significantly (about 34 to 43 million in East Africa alone).There will be added stress from the huge swarms of desert locust that could lead to a brutal crop loss for the area.  The region is considered ripe for locust breeding with this season’s higher than average Belg rains. And finally, hefty price increases, and restricted movement to protect families from Coronavirus continue to stress families who are already struggling to survive (OCHA and WFP, May 2020). We will be there on your behalf. 

(Women in Shinshicho share their stories and ask questions to help keep their families safe)

At the end of this pandemic, these families will continue their journey of growth and success – with the women in the SHE program back at work on their entrepreneurial endeavors and children back at school. Together with your support, we will make a difference and continue to create lasting change in rural Ethiopia.  From all of us and all of these dear families, Amesegenalahu!