By Christine Fellner, World Vision Ethiopia Portfolio Advisor
As World Vision’s Portfolio Advisor for Ethiopia I’ve encountered a variety of encouraging, inspiring and intriguing moments visiting the field over the last three years.
From adorable children to fascinating cultural traditions; I want to share with you the moments that I experienced recently while monitoring the impact of your support in communities across Ethiopia.
1) Meeting children who make me smile
While at the Chencha project discussing progress and impact, I had the privilege of visiting the new early childhood care and education centre. The project is transitioning some of its old office buildings into classrooms and working with the government to provide teachers.
This cutie (pictured right) walked right up to me as I entered the classroom and wanted me to correct her assignment. Unfortunately I can’t read Amharic, but it looked good, especially considering she is only four years old and the centre has only been open for three months!
2) Hearing how World Vision is making a difference
Pottery makers in Ethiopia are some of the most vulnerable people. They often don’t own land and must beg to take soil from other people’s properties to make their vases and pots. Many people refused them access to their homes, believing they would be cursed too. When World Vision came and saw this community, they established pottery cooperatives and trained them.
I had a man from the cooperative come and say to me, “Before we were earning 1 - 2 birr (1 AUD is equivalent to 16 Birr) for a vase or coffee pitcher, but now we can sell an item for 10 - 12 birr because the quality is much improved.”
I learned that unfortunately banks would not loan the pottery makers money, as they were still perceived to be of a lesser status. So World Vision initiated groups where they could save together and then loan money from the group’s savings, which in turn allowed them to seek new opportunities.
A woman from the cooperative said that, “Before we were pushed from people’s homes. Our children could not attend school making us even more marginalised. Now, our children are in school and we have money to feed them.”