“Voluntarios por África” starts its collaboration in 2010, when by chance, we arrived to the village SEVEN GUETTO, situated 7km from Awaro. The village, formed by 7 families living in subhuman conditions welcomed us with open arms. Their condition was in such a deplorable state that we decided to stay and help them with several projects.
Free healthcare is unknown of in Ethiopia. Medical consultation and medicines have a cost, that on average represents a third of people´s salary. It does not come as a surprise that almost no one goes to the doctor, for they do not have the means to afford it.
As well as the T’ena proyect (illness treatment) we started the acquirement of livestock, with hope of giving them the means to self-sustain trough agriculture and breeding.
Something else that striked us on our arrival to Awaro, was the population living in “huts”, that were brought down with the rains of the wet season. Taht´s how the project “Beti” was born, with the acquirement of proper material for home construction.
During the first years of work in Seven Guetto, the stay in the village was reduced solar hours, having to leave right before sunset (which was pretty early in some periods of the year).
This situation was created by the lack of electrical supply, which made impossible the return to the main road due to its bad conditions and the presence of wild animals like hyenas. This circumstance was translated into the life of the village ending with the setting of the sun.
At first we brought them flashlights in our trips, but the short lifetime of the batteries and the lack of means to replace them made this an extremely innefcient and futile affair. After that we decided to bring them flashlifghts with manually chargable dynamos, with the idea of facilitating the movement between houses or the exit of the village in case of emergency after dark.
In the end, we managed to install solar panels pluged to a rudimentary electrical system, which greatly improved the safety of the village, impeding hyenas and other wild animals to enter the village after dark.
All of the projects improved their life conditions, but just shortly. We could not avoid people getting sick, crops were not permanent or sustainable and livestock died frequently, all due to a profound lack of clean water.
When we suffer dehydration, our tissues lose their phisiologyc capabilities, and their functionalities are greatly reduced. Even though we knew the clear solution was to get them water, the nearest river was several miles away, which took them daily several hours to get to and come back with a 2 liter container. On top of that, the water was full of parasites and microbes, which only contributed to the rest of the issues.
The construction of a well was quickly dismissed, both because of its excesive cost (60.000 euros) and the uncertanty of getting any real water from it. In its place, we installed two 10.000 liter tanks, to collect water form the frequent rains in the period from july to september.
This project greatly improved their lives. Illnees was reduced in an astonishing 85%, crops were finally a reality, livestock started to prosper, they could resume the home rehabilitation, children could go back to school… Thanks to our collective efforts, the village was aknoweldged and its inhabitants were formally registered. We acomplished self sustainability and human living conditions, something that months prior had looked near impossible.
Nowadays, SEVEN GUETTO has a population of over 100 people, who until we found the village were nomads, hopeless and just seeking survival. They are still very far away from ideal conditions, but with your help, we have greatly improved that little village we discovered in our first trip.
Once we stabilized the conditions of Seven Guetto, we heard about the conditions of another village, Gebisa- Chitu. We did not lose a minute and went to the village, only to find even a more heartbreaking reality that what we had encountered in Seven Guetto. This time, the number of families increased to 150, next to the 7 of the previous village, and the water sources and adjoining villages were not closer than 20km away. This robbed the village of any semblance of proper living and dignity.
We immediatly started working with a local NPO called UBUNTU, part of Ambo´s University. We reached an agreement with them, that allowed us to help Gebisa-Chitu without breaching one of the key pillars of our NPG. This pillar is, of course, not to carry out any of our projects on our own, independantly, but rather working as a team with the communities where we seek to implement our projects.
Said agreement has 5 principles:
In order for the children to have acces to an education, we provided scholar material and means for them tu study. In addition, we reached a grant agreement for the older kids with Ambo´s university for them to course a degree.
We started “Project 200”, in which each family was given 200€ for themto acquire small livestock to breed and sell at a higher prize once they matured. Then they could repeat the process and start earning some money for them to start a proper lifestyle as farmers.
To this day, every single family in Gebisa – Chitu has its own field to cultivate.
We signed a healthcare agreement for every single person in the village to be checked regularly by a professional practitioner.
The distance to the colsest villages is to great for adults to get daily courses and education. Therefore, we provided them with a cereal grinder. Teef is the main cereal there, but its processing is extremely costly. Thanks to the grinder, the cereal is ready to be cooked, so they can either eat it or sell it to acquire different goods.
As well as in Seven Guetto, we soon realized that their livelihood would not really improve until we could provide them with clean water. We encountered three main obstacles though: the uneveness of the terrain, the distance to transport all the necessary equipment for the intalation of the infraestruture and the sheer number of people we would have to give access to water to (more than 1000 people). Thanks to your generosity and a private donation we have accomplished to install 3 water tanks so far, with hopes of getting 5 more to ensure that no one suffers from water depravation in the village.
This project was initiated in the year 2015, and was born from a social demand by Ambo´s social services, as well as what we witnessed every time we visited Ethiopia. The reasons for its creation were the following:
Just to name a few…
Voluntarios por África has a shelter for mothers with children, regardless of age or number of kids. The stay is of 6 months and it includes shelter, feeding, medical assistance and education for the children and the mothers. In addition to this, once the stay is finished, we help mothers to set up their own businesses. Right now we have mothers with their own sewing businesses, coffee shops and administration businesses, fully self suficient.
The shelter is full at the moment, and the demand to enter does nothing but grow. That is why one of our priorities is to increase the number of people we can take care of, as well as the creation of a new shelter with similar functions.
por resolución del ministerio del interior
con fecha 12 de septiembre de 2019