A SHIPLEY volunteer has shared her experience of visiting Ethiopia to see the work Christian Aid does with families there.
Ruth Hindmarsh Hindmarsh met women who were transforming their lives and creating a better living standard for themselves and their relatives.
One woman she met, Bokayo Tuke, trekked for five days to collect frankincense to sell so she could earn enough money to survive.
Ms Hindmarsh said: “Bokayo told me that Christian Aid partner HUNDEE had saved her life. They had transformed her from a woman treated like a kitchen utensil, to someone who saves money, debates and discusses issues in a self-help group with other like-minded women, and owns cattle.”
This year’s Christian Aid Week, which runs from May 10 till May 16, is Britain’s longest established fundraising week and asks the public to support women living in poverty around the world who tackle discrimination on a daily basis from birth.
HUNDEE works with men and women in Ethiopia in rural Borena communities to challenge violence against women and harmful traditional practices such as child marriage and female genital mutilation.
It ensures the changes made are lasting and women are able to live in dignity and are treated with respect.
Ms Hindmarsh, 22, said: “People should support Christian Aid Week because of the real transformation they can make to people’s lives. Organisations like HUNDEE who work with the poorest, most vulnerable and marginalised communities break the grinding cycle of poverty and give people a chance at living a full and rich life.”
HUNDEE encourages men to be more involved with household tasks, including looking after their children and consulting their wives about the decisions that affected them.
It also provides the poorest women in communities with livestock which raises their standards in their society. Owning a cow means women have a voice in the community decision making as well as a means to earn a living.
Christian Aid works in some of the world’s poorest places in around 50 countries. It provides urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
Ms Hindmarsh, who lives on Bradford Road, said: “I hope I can encourage the people of Bradford to support this year’s Aid Week. I feel continuously blessed to have been challenged in the way I was with the trip, as I really believe it has had an impact on my life and how I feel towards inequality around the world.”
If you would like to help change the lives of women in places like Ethiopia this Christian Aid Week, donate online at www.caweek.org, call 08080 006 006 or text WEEK to 70040 to give £5.