In around 2013, Adi Abuba, from Yabello in Ethiopia, was the poorest of the poor, and made to feel like a nobody.
She was widowed, with eight children and just a single sheep to her name. She was ignored, sidelined and belittled.
Then our partner HUNDEE* provided her with a cow (and two goats), which opened up a new world of possibilities and choices. From that cow, Adi turned milk into churned butter – which turned into a little extra money.
“I feel so happy”
When we followed up with Adi in 2014, she could barely contain her joy. “When I got my cow I felt like a conquering hero returning from war,” she grinned. “It was the day I was given a chance.”
Now Adi has ideas and plans. She has more than enough milk to keep her children healthy, and sells any excess at market. She saved up to buy chickens and start selling eggs, and had saved enough to build a small shop by her home. “I was identified as the poorest of the poor in this community... Imagine how far I have come up the ladder.”
“When I think about my situation and some of my friends, how the livestock are giving birth and our lives are improving, I feel so happy, I feel like I could cry.”
Sidelined and belittled no more
Now, owning livestock has raised Adi’s status, giving her a voice in her community. As part of a women’s self-help group, Adi has learned to read and write, and also borrow and save money. “The same people who saw I was the poorest are the same people who now come to borrow money from me.”
“Thanks to Christian Aid, my family, my children can eat well; they drink milk, they even have butter to put in their hair to make it shine; and I am sending them to school. Thanks to Christian Aid, things have changed.”
*Who, in turn, were supported by donations made during Christian Aid Week 2015, and as part of our BRACED Ethiopia programme.
Among other things, the Oromo Grassroots Development Initiative (HUNDEE) give the poorest women in the community cows and goats, which gives them an income and brings them into the community. HUNDEE set up self-help groups for these women, who then hold weekly meetings to save and loan money – and also learn about their rights, maths, and literacy.