Behebret - Summer Newsletter 2018
Posted by Francesca Rutherford on Wednesday 11th July 2018
‘Behebret’ meaning ‘coming together’ in Amharic, the widest spoken Ethiopian language. We chose this name as it is ‘together’ with you, our loyal supporters, and our local Ethiopian partners that we are able to instigate positive change and help more people in Ethiopia live self sustainable lives.
It has been a busy first half of the year. As you will see on page 3-4. We have been restoring water and hope in the drought stricken Afar region. Thanks to a number of generous legacies we have received from our donors we are now able to support these local communities to construct water management systems that will free them from their reliance on water trucking and emergency aid.
We have also embarked on an innovative new project using smart phone technology to help detect eye problems amongst school children in the Tigray region (see page10). Currently there is no eye screening for children and many are unable to see in class, struggle to read or go blind. Ethiopia has one of the highest incidences of blindness per capita in the world and 80% of it is either preventable or treatable. This project aims to train teachers to use a simple app on their mobile phone called PEEK (portable eye examination kit) to pick up any issues at an early stage.
In the spirit of togetherness it is wonderful to see two of our partners, Dignity Period and APDA, team up and work together to distribute reusable, washable sanitary pads amongst pastoralist girls in remote regions of Afar. It is a challenging environment in which to work. The searing temperatures and sparsely populated rough terrain as well as the pastoralist way of life could have made it hard to reach the most needy. But thanks to your loyal support Ethiopiaid has been able to purchase a specialist vehicle to reach the most remote communities and 6,743 Afari girls have received pads so far this year.
I would also like to highlight our small grants programme on page 8. This is a good way of helping small grass roots organizations and testing them out as potential long term partners in the future. We have been particularly impressed with the work of Hospice Ethiopia who are providing palliative nursing care to impoverished people dying from cancer and AIDS. With no palliative care or medication available for the poor many die in horrendous pain. Hospice Ethiopia are working hard to change this and bring dignity and comfort to those suffering.
I hope you enjoy reading about all the wonderful work that you are supporting and I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and kindness.