Brittney says meeting Burtukan in Ethiopia made her realise that change is possible.
When I was in Ethiopia, I went on an amazing journey, a journey that made me feel happy, angry, upset, excited, frustrated but most importantly inspired.
Not only did it open my eyes to extreme poverty, it also did something magical, it helped me understand the powerful position Australians are in when it comes to fighting poverty.
The day I met Burtukan, I couldn’t help but empathise with her. At eight years old, I personally couldn’t imagine living the life she has lived. This is why I was so confused when the only emotion I got from her was happiness, pure and utter happiness.
Her smile lit up when she asked me to visit her village’s water pump. She strapped a bucket to her back and off we went. She grabbed my hand and led the way. Within minutes we were there.
I am sure you’re thinking, "yeah… so what?" But something that may seem so insignificant to us has saved the lives of many in this village.
Now once again, you might be thinking how could a simple water pump have this much impact?
Well, without this facility Burtukan would be exposed to dirty water, water that contains parasites, which would lead to fatal illnesses. Without this facility, Burtukan wouldn’t have the opportunity to go to school as often as she does, because children who are expected to collect water for their family have to walk hours on end to find any source.
So a simple water pump made that much of a difference to the lives of hundreds in this community.
Could you imagine the difference we could make to their lives with more sustainable projects like education programs, hospitals and agricultural education?
By doing this year’s 40 Hour Famine you are not only donating funds you have raised, you are standing up for those can’t always stand up for themselves.
So I ask you, what is your vision for the world? I envisage a world where there is no poverty, where everybody is given the right to a life. Where everybody has the right to basic necessities such as food, water, shelter and education.
The solution is in our hands to end poverty, so who’s going to stand with us and do the 40 Hour Famine?