Find out more about Lome
In Ethiopia more than 12 million people do not have secure access to food. The majority of Ethiopians rely on agriculture to make a living, but much of the already limited farming land is suffering from deforestation and soil erosion. During the dry season the majority of people do not have enough food to eat and without alternative sources of livelihoods many young adults move away in search of work. Women like Lome are particularly vulnerable as they try and raise an income to support their children and grandchildren.
Lome Wolde-Medin is a mother of six living in Deberemeaza in the highlands of Ethiopia. For many years she struggled to raise enough money to support her family. She was forced to leave her home and spend days away as a manual labourer. Not only did Lome find this challenging physically but leaving her children to fend for themselves upset her:
“I was out of the home and that meant nobody was really able to look after my children. I did not know what they were doing, whether they were even following their education or not. If things had continued in the previous way I would have become very sad to not be able to see my children. I would have not felt like a proper person.”
SUNARMA has been an All We Can partner since 2004. SUNARMA work to improve soil and water conservation in central Ethiopia and supports vulnerable families in vegetable and livestock production. A few years ago SUNARMA identified Lome as a vulnerable single mother who would benefit from advice and training. They encouraged her to join a women’s savings group and assisted her by training her in how to keep and breed chickens. To get her started they provided her with two hens and a rooster.
Life has slowly transformed for Lome, not only has she been able to set up a small egg selling business but she is now known locally as the person to go to for advice on chicken breeding! When asked what she thinks about the hens Lome said, “These hens are great because they lay every time! I can rely on them. I have been able to breed easily which is great and now I have many, many hens. I sell eggs every two weeks in the market”.
With her new income Lome has not only been able to provide her family with a healthier diet but she no longer needs to travel away for work. She recently became a grandmother too and enjoys being able to spend time caring for her new grandson. With savings from the women’s group she joined she has also been able to purchase a small solar light for her home which enables her children to do their homework, even when darkness falls.
Deberemeaza case studies April 2016 In image: Lome Wolde-Medin, age 45[/caption]Lome and the women she meets up with in her community have seen such a change in their lives that they now ambitiously plan together for a brighter future. SUNARMA have supported them by providing training and advice and now they are working together on their own to continue transforming their community:
“As a group our biggest ambition is to be strong together, to open a market stand that we share and there we could sell our products. We could even sell tissues, oil, mobile phone charging services and candles. It could be our small shop. Even as a group we have thought about building a home and renting it. That is a big ambition though! We can now stand on our own feet”.
A regular gift to All We Can will help create positive long-term change in some of the world’s poorest communities and will give women like Lome the helping-hand they need to achieve their potential.