Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Cause & Affect in Ethiopia: $20/month Can Save Lives


Abel is a 17 year-old Ethiopian boy whose parents and older sister are all dead. His Aunt Sisko has little to give him, but she allows Abel - and a few other young students in need - to sleep in her small restaurant at night and eat a basic meal or two so they can at least go to school and hope for a better future. When I met Abel and his aunt and told them about Cause and Affect, they did NOT ask for help. Though they definitely need assistance, instead they told me about some others facing more serious predicaments. Faced with such selflessness, Cause and Affect felt obliged to help.

Abel first introduced me to Marisu and Mami, elderly sisters who barely scrape out a living. As the video shows, they live in a ramshackle house in sub-human conditions. Since one sister's son died, these women - 78 and 80 years old- were left to raise the granddaughter. One of them earns $7 a month from her son's military pension. In addition to this, they also go to the weekly market to sell incense, where together, they earn about a dollar. With a weekly income of $4.50 each, these kind women do not have enough money to afford basic food supplies. When I met them, they were eating week-old bread and were forced to cook with farm refuse, as they couldn't even afford normal wheat. They two women and the 9 year old granddaughter sleep on the same bed on a mattress that was in deplorable condition. Their shack is dark, though they do have a single bare light bulb for power. They have no running water and cook over scraps of firewood outside of their house. They are forced to beg for food from neighbors, but since most people in this run-down neighborhood are similarly poor, there is very little to go around.

Though Abel has very little to give, he has been helping these sisters any way he can. They lit up when they saw him arrive and were even more happy when we went out and bought them a real mattress with sheets! We are providing the sisters with $20 each per month to cover basic food and medical needs. Though this is a very small amount of money for most of us, it is a huge boost for Marisu and Mami. They now have money to cook for themselves and get the medicine they need.

Samson and Muluya are two students in Abel's high school, each facing very tough challenges. Samson is an orphan who lived in a tiny village in the mountains. Since there is no future for him there, Aunt Sisko asked a local family in Lalibela if they could allow Samson to sleep somewhere in their house, so he could at least attend school in town. He currently stays in a storage room next to the family's house, sleeping on a bed made of rocks and a layer of goatskin leather. He does not even own a change of clothes. All he wants is to succeed in school so he can improve his lot in life.

Our other student in need is Muluya; his mother has passed away and his father has AIDS. Though his father is too weak to work full-time, he tries his best as a day worker, earning $1.25 a day. As he told me, "All I want is a better future for my son." Cause and Affect purchased mattresses for each of the boys, bought them a set of supplemental textbooks to help them in their studies and gave them some money to purchase some basic clothes. In addition, we are providing them with $12 per month each, to take care of some basic food needs. The boys are very excited to receive the assistance and are actively studying. They are aware that getting an education is their only hope for a better future.

For less than $600, Cause and Affect is providing 6 months of support for these two elderly sisters, these two students and some assistance to Aunt Sisko and Abel as well. It is amazing how far your contributions are able to go in Ethiopia. Cause and Affect will be returning there from June 5th - 9th to search for more recipients, so please donate to the cause.

Thank you for your continued support. Please give to projects like this on our website using credit card or paypal. To see our recent projects, please visit our blog.