In Ethiopia more than five million people based in the Tigray Region live in terrible humanitarian conditions because of the conflict that has been involving the Country for more than two years. After the truce of November 2022, the awful consequences of the war are amplified by famines and drought that hit the Horn of Africa. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was aware of the lost of thousands of soldiers as well as of the uncertain economic situation. Inflation has risen to 37% due to multiple factors: raids, destructions of infrastructures, industrial areas and fields, the internal displacement of people and the war in Ukraine that has led to skyrocketing prices. The costs of staple foods like flour, pasta and milk and school material correspond to the prices in Europe.
The daily life and problems faced by Zerihun (a widower and a father involved in our project) works in the market of Addis Ababa as porter. He does not own a vehicle and every morning he goes out at 4.30 am in order to be present at the market at 6.00 am (when the products arrive) and he comes back to his family during the afternoon. Zerihun earns 5 Biss (0.08 euros / 0.09 USD) for each trunk unloaded and transported from the van to the stands. Every day he earns on average 4-5 euros / 4.40 – 5.50 USD and if he gets sick or if he arrives late he earns nothing. He witnesses: “Food, rent, gasoline, clothes, everything is more expensive but incomes do not have risen. The life of poor people like is always more complicated. Since next month the owner of my house will increase the rent and I don’t know how to pay”. This is the condition of a lot of families of the capital.
Today Ethiopia has to face big challenges: food insecurity and hunger, sectors where the Country had made great progress during the last twenty years. The most affected part of the population is the most vulnerable one: children. Thanks to your help we have supported a great number of children victims of violence in Addis Ababa and we have helped them to build a better future.
Lydia had just 5 years when her childhood had been stolen, but thanks to the project “Flowers in Bloom” she managed to find again serenity and to make her dreams come true. Lydia lived with her mother, er father and her siblings in the suburbs of Addis Ababa. The family could not afford to pay the rent of the home and her father built a shack made of wood and metal sheets in the mountains near the capital. One day Lydia’s mother asked her to go to the well to take water for the meal. Lydia was older than her siblings even if she was just five years old and she had the task to take the water from the well, which was placed far away from her home. While he was going to the well, she met a farmer that lived near there. The man had just been left by his wife; he took the child to his home where he had been segregated her for almost three weeks, abusing her and threatening her of death, till one day Lydia managed to escape.
Her parents reported the crime to the police but the police could not find evidences. Lydia had been immediately contacted by the Center “Flowers in Bloom”, she entered into the program, receiving all the needed medical cares and the started her therapeutical path. The psychological conditions of the child were really serious: she suffered from terrible nightmares, anxiety attacks and she was aggressive with her siblings. With the time, thanks to the psychological support and the cares provided by the center, her conditions started to improve.
Unfortunately, when Lydia was 10 years old her father died, leaving his wife and his four children in serious economic conditions. Thanks to the center, her family has been helped and Lydia’s mother could follow a training course and find a job.
17 years have been passed from that terrible day that changed Lydia’s life and now she is beautiful girl of 22 years old. She has just graduated with good grades in nursing sciences at the University of Woldia.
Thanks to the project “Flowers in Bloom” Lydia has been able to undergo the trauma and she has found again her self-confidence, that’s why your support to our project is so fundamental!
On the 2nd of November 2022 the representatives of the Ethiopian Federal Government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) finally agreed to a cessation of hostilities after peace talks led by the African Union (AU) in South Africa. We hope that the agreement, on the eve of the second anniversary of the war, will bring to the end of the conflict that began after that the Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops into the northern region of Tigray in November 2020.
This conflict has devastated the Tigray region, killed thousands of people, displaced millions of Ethiopians and threatened the unity of the Africa’s second-most populous nation. The war that is rooted in old grievances between the political elites of ethnically-based regions, built up over decades of violent regime change, territorial disputes between regions and long periods of authoritarian rule has to come to an end. We really hope that this truce will improve also the social and economic conditions in which millions of Ethiopian live.
Meanwhile, in Addis Ababa the activities of our local partners Il Sole Onlus and IFSO (Integrated Family Services Organization) are going on. In general, 38% of all the children that live in the capital have been sexually abused. The foster home of our local partners wants to provide protection, treatments and support in order to help all the children hosted to overcome physical and psychological traumas. During these last months, 80 abused boys and girls have received psychological, medical, legal and economic assistance. In the foster home 40 girls have been hosted and they are following a rehabilitation path thanks to the job of a professional counselor.
Thanks to your support we can assure individual or group sessions that help these young girls to elaborate the trauma suffered and we can provide a safe place where they can grow during their rehabilitation.
The war in Tigrè, begun on the 4th of November 2020 in the Country, sees facing each other the Tigray People’s Liberation Front against the Federal Government of Ethiopia headed by Prime Minister Abi. Till the beginning of 2020 the Country was considered the most stable of the Horn of Africa.
At the moment the situation in the capital Addis Abeba is calm; however, we must not forget that throughout the war any independent voiced in the conflict have been censored. In fact, internet connection has been limited several times and it is hard to have completely reliable news. Anyway, the population is frightened by the conflict that takes place a few hundred kilometers from the capital. At any moment young men could be called to enlist.
The project “Flower in Bloom” is fortunately going on without a break. 80 children supported that live with their families regularly attend the therapy sessions once a month and the dance, theater and photo-therapy classes. Currently the family house is hosting 34 recipients: 16 girls in the Foster Home and 18 boys. Here the children supported spend their time looked after by the Foster Mother. Thanks to your support, they attend lessons, play and dance. They can find a safe and carefree place in the middle of the conflict!
the Omicron Variant is arrived even in Ethiopia. According to the World Health Organization, since January 2020 till today there have been 469.704 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 7.492 deaths. Ethiopia is one of the most fragile countries when we talk about vaccination campaigns. The number of the administered doses is definitely lower than the number of the population. Approximately 9.55 doses have been administered per 100 inhabitants.
The Country is not just living an emergency situation from a health point of view. Children’s security is compromised also because of recurring internal tensions and in particular because of the conflict between the Ethiopian Government and the rebels of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the north of the Country begun in November 2020.
Last Friday, the 25th of March, the rebels of the Tigray region have agreed upon a “cessation of the hostilities”, after that the Ethiopian Government defined it a “humanitarian truce”. This conflict, which has been going on for about 17 months, has caused not only an internal crisis, but it has destabilized the entire region: almost 60.000 refugees have looked for a shelter in Sudan.
Our local partner“Il Sole Onlus” is a beacon of light for many children. Thanks also to your support the project will provide training courses about affection education, non-violent communication and self-esteem to children that are victim of abuses. In order to integrate these changes into the life of the community, the training will be aimed also to families, local inhabitants and government collaborators, increasing the awareness on gender violence and the management of trauma.
Our local partner is still asking for our help in order to continue all the activities in favour of all the children sheltered in this difficult situation. Thank you for your support!
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