|Baralech Mulisa at her front door|
My name is Barelech Mulisa. I’m 34 years old and I’m married with four children, Tsasaye, 19, Gile, 15, Melkamu, 12 and Wagari, nine.
My daughter Gile is a grade-nine student and my oldest is in his last year of college – he will graduate this year. The other two boys are in school, and we live here together in this small house.
I’m actually extremely happy with my children. They’re always behind me. They do as they’re told. They accept me and respect me. All of my children have a dream that they will help me one day, and they are working hard to do so. That makes me so proud.
I’m working in an energy efficient production project organised by World Vision – I’m one of the women here who coordinates it. World Vision provided the original start up and it’s one of the major sources of income for us all. I also try to sell local drinks in the village for extra money for both myself and my family.
I have a vision for the future that one-day energy efficient production will help us. That it will help Ethiopians in general and in my community with the destruction of the forests. I have a hope that that will change my life.
I actually have no challenge from my children, apart from some of the everyday life challenges – buying clothes, preparing food, other expenses. Even when they are challenging, it’s okay. It means that they’re hopeful.
Baralech’s story is on my blog because World Vision introduced us and asked if I’d help spread the word about their #foodfrontline campaign.
My blogging friend Jo, AKA Single Slummy Mummy is in Ethiopia at the moment, meeting Baralech and seeing the work done by World Vision. And, more importantly, she’s witnessing the work still to be done.
Most of us of a certain age remember Ethiopia as the place those starving children came from that shocked to the core in 1984 and spawned Live Aid.
But that was 30 years ago, and things in Ethiopia have changed dramatically. The desolate landscapes where crops struggled to grow have gone, replaced by carefully cultivated harvests and farming plots. Dusty roads have now become paved, with infrastructure alongside. Schools have been built, staffed and filled with impassioned students – such as Baralech’s kids.
While poverty and hunger are still undeniably present, Ethiopia has changed. And at the forefront of this change are women.
Women – mums, often – play a vital role in helping a nation overcome hunger. With their children at the heart of all they do, they act with sheer determination to see them properly cared for, healthy and thriving.
It’s women who have taken to their gardens in Ethiopia, who have started small businesses. It’s women who have banded together to start thriving enterprises.
World Vision is taking Jo, Helen from Food Stories and Nick from Hunter Gather Cook to Ethiopia’s #FoodFrontline to meet these incredible women and hear their stories.
With Jo, Helen and Nick going as part of the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign they will discover Ethiopian food lessons and bring these back to the UK – hoping to mend our own broken food system and help kick start the end of global hunger.
With one in eight people going to bed hungry each night – sadly many of them children – it’s time for a worldwide change. From mums to politicians, everyone has a role to play.
What to do to help:
Follow the trip online using #FoodFrontline and @SingleMum, @FoodStories and @HuntrGatherCook. We’ll have daily blogs and actions straight from Ethiopia.
Use your voice. Blog, tweet and share these stories with your friends, family and followers on social media. Make sure to use the hashtag #FoodFrontline and tweet us at @WorldVisionUK to let us know.
Email your MP (http://www.worldvision.org.uk/get-involved/campaigning/enough-food-for-everyone-if/email-your-mp/) and ask them to act on global hunger today. With the UK government soon to announce this year’s budget, we must urge leaders to prioritise ending the global food crisis.
Rejoicing in the improvements in life in Ethiopia since '84 but weeping that so many children still go to bed starving. We must change this!Supporting#FoodFrontline