May 2024: Ethiopia / Lalibela: Helping people to help themselve

Helping people to help themselves – four current examples in Lalibela

They are current examples of people living in a country like Ethiopia, in a small rural town like Lalibela. Tourism is/was the only source of income for the people there. The question of survival has always been a very sensitive issue, especially when it comes to tourism. There are various catastrophes around the world, such as Covid 2019, but above all the ongoing political unrest. There have been enormous problems since 2021, the examples could easily be expanded.

Due to this dependence on tourism, a large part of the population here lives in acute poverty, especially old people, young unemployed people, countless others who are no longer able to provide the daily food requirements for themselves and their families. Inflation, high prices, limited availability, no living space are a few concrete indications.

PBF has always been aware of these living conditions and, as a team, seeks to find helpful ways to remedy the situation and to provide opportunities, despite its own financial restrictions and limits.

The individual requests for help are extensive and new ones are added every day. Our team carefully examines these requests and asks on the spot; sustainability is an important criterion. Then decisions are made together, and projects are selected and recommended for support.

Above all, those adults are addressed who have specific ideas about the feasibility of a small business, have experience and want to make an offer for less well-off, poor customers. I report here on four examples in April 2024:

Mimi Adane:

She is a girl who was born in the country and attended the village school there until the 8th grade. She came to Lalibela to continue her schooling. She had to stop her education in the 9th grade because her father died and there was no one who wanted to support herself. Until the Corona crisis, she worked in various restaurants, but when they had to close, she opened a small street café herself, managed to get married and gave birth to a child, which led to the café being closed. Her husband trained as a tour guide, but he was never able to get a job as there are hundreds of qualified tourist guides in Lalibela.

PBF enables Mini to open a small shop with goods for everyday needs. This is how she helps her family and the community.

Eshetu Melkamu:

He is 32 years old. He was supported by PBF throughout his school years, he completed Year 12 and was ready for university. But he left Lalibela and lived with his parents in the country but couldn’t find any work there. Eshetu is considered a very determined person. It should be remembered that he, like others, took a three-hour walk to school and a three-hour walk back to his village. His commitment to the community is promising. PBF gives Eshetu the opportunity to open a small shop and help his remote village and family.

Assefa Gobeze and his siblings:

Assefa, 30, dropped out of the 8th grade. His parents were unable to help him with his further education. As a day laborer, he helps his parents survive everyday life. He wants to open a small shop with his siblings. Assefa and the siblings have a great responsibility to assume. Their shop is now located in one of the most neglected neighborhoods. This is a great help for the immediate neighborhood.

Tadese Mulu:

Mulu is 33 years old, he studied basic electronics and graduated in 2014. He never found a job, which is generally true for many people. His older brother looked after him and helped him do occasional physical work. Life became hard for Tadese when his brother married and left him. Working with PBF now opens up new possibilities for him.

Mesay Mequanant

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