Tuesday 15 November 2016

Kitabe's story from Oxfam #Stories of Hope

When I was bringing my own children up we lived in a designated area of deprivation. An area in the central belt of Scotland.  We may not have had much but with a struggle and very careful management of money my children were always fed, I was very good at eeeking out cheap home made meals. They always had clothes on their back, very few of them ever new but clean none the less. They always had  birthday and Christmas presents, again maybe second hand but young children do not notice, They all remember the home made birthday cakes that the friends that came from the other end of the town were jealous of because their parents bought theirs.My children would have loved a shop bought cake, a case of the grass is always greener.

A combined birthday and leaving party when we moved away from the area. 

  They attended school every day and during the holidays spent a lot of time in an out of school holiday project in which I was a volunteer. This gave them access to all sorts of opportunities they would not have had other wise. The spent their summers abseiling and gorge walking, windsurfing and canoeing, taking part in arts and crafts activities and putting on shows with dance routines and hand made costumes. A lot of this was made possible by grants and charity donations.

So when Oxfam asked me to tale part in a Collaborative post to tell you about their appeal I could not help but think back to the life I gave my children. I  have to say I did not feel my children were deprived. They had as much as other children in the area. If I compare their lives to the lives my children have worked hard for to obtain for my grandchildren then yes they probably were. But then it is normal to grow up wanting better for your own children, and as parents we all do the best we can with the hand life deals us.

A third of Ethipoia's rural population are small scale farmers living hand to mouth with subsistence farming. Their crop is their only food source and if they have a bad harvest then they do not have enough food to eat. It becomes a vicious circle. This is where charities like Oxfam can step in.

Let me tell you Kitabe's story.

Photo credit: Abbie Trayler-Smith/Oxfam 

Kitabi had to drop out of education at a young age as she  lived and worked with her family in Bulbula, Ethiopia.The family were poor and their food was scarce, so children had to work to sustain themselves. She was forced into an arranged marriage. But she wanted better for her children.

With the help of Oxfam Kitabe has built a better life for herself and her family. Kitabe made the brave decision to borrow 10,000 Birr from Oxfam - the equivalent of £324.This allowed her to buy seeds to grow crops. Luckily the gamble paid off and she paid back the loan when her first harvest came in.

Since then she has bought more land, bought a cow and an ox has enough money to pay for labourers on her farm. She now spends time managing the seed production on her farm. The scheme has allowed her to manage her money more effectively, leading to a brighter and more secure future for herself and her family.

Image courtesy of Oxfam

Every donation you make makes a difference, big or small it all matters.

  • Last year Oxfam helped 11.6 million people in 51 countries.
  • With 4.3 million reached through healthy promotion activities.
  • 270,000 people like Kitabi benefited with support to improve their crops, goods or services. 
  • 5.4 million people were provided with improved access to clean water. 
Donations are vital, and you can donate online to Oxfam.

I often feel a charity donation makes a nice Christmas present for adults in your life. Why spend £X on your son, daughter, parents or grandparents  buying them something they do not really need when you could donate on their behalf instead and make a real difference to the future of somebody who would appreciate the help?

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