Cows, Climate Change and Co-operatives

by Gerry Lynch last modified 03 Mar, 2015 03:51 PM

Ethiopian Christian Aid worker to bring tales of transformation to Devizes

Tales of how cattle are giving a voice to the very poorest in rural Ethiopia will be brought to life this March when a Christian Aid worker shares his experiences of communities on the edge of survival.

Tekalign Kebede, responsible for projects encouraging resilient livelihoods in South West Ethiopia, will speak at St Andrew’s Church in Devizes’ Long Street, on March 12.

In his first visit to the South West of England, Tekalign will explain how climate change is threatening ways of life as pastoralist farmers struggle to find water sources in parched land.

But he will talk of how Christian Aid projects are working with communities to help them diversify by producing honey or soap and cream from Aloe Vera.

He will also speak of how Christian Aid is able to provide cows to those identified by communities as the very poorest and how owning livestock can transform a family’s life in surprising ways.

He said: “No-one can speak at a community meeting until they have a cow. By giving a woman a cow she can not only feed her children milk and sell the surplus, she also has a voice.

“She can speak out against female genital mutilation or forced marriage or any other injustices in her community and she is listened to. Many women are also joining cooperatives or self-help groups which help them with education or savings as well as providing mutual support. 

“Projects funded by Christian Aid help transform communities so that its members are no longer trapped in poverty but can live instead of simply surviving.

“I am delighted to be given this opportunity to visit Wiltshire and share with Christian Aid supporters the reality of the incredible difference their fundraising is making.”

Christian Aid’s regional coordinator for Wiltshire Katrine Musgrave said: “Tekalign’s visit will bring home to us how we need not feel either remote or powerless here in Wiltshire, but by contrast how our support is helping communities become more resilient and is transforming lives.

“Everyone is welcome to come and hear Tekalign speak and enjoy a light supper together first, the event at St Andrew’s Church, Long Street, Devizes, will run from 6-8.30pm.

“This is a perfect way to prepare for Christian Aid Week when hundreds of supporters across the county will take part in door-to-door collections. You are also invited to join our local events such as the Devizes Abseil on Sunday May 10.”

For further details of Takalign’s talks or for details of how you can get involved with Christian Aid Week, contact southampton@christian-aid.org .

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