Our CEO Nicola McQuilkin visited Ethiopia earlier this year to witness the life-changing impact donations made by Ethiopiaid Ireland supporters are having on the ground
Here she recounts the story of Faith…
I collected many stories when in Ethiopia and wanted to share just one with you. I travelled up to the Afar region which is northern Ethiopia (one of the hottest places on earth), these communities were remote and conditions were awfully hot with sadly much drought at the time of my visit.
I was welcomed by all, mind you the children were a little cautious at first (unlike when you visit projects in the city) they kept a watchful eye from a distance. I was kindly invited into one family home, a single roomed hut, built by their own hands through splitting and weaving bamboo.
I met with a young woman called Faith, she was 20 years of age with two children, a girl aged three and a boy six months. Faith shared her story with us, she was married at just 16 to her mother’s cousin (significantly older than her). Faith soon fell pregnant with her first girl child, who was quickly taken away at birth by community leaders, once placed back in Faiths arms she noticed they had performed partial female genital mutilation, a procedure that can cause severe bleeding, infection, infertility and even death, at the time Faith thought she was upholding family honour and tradition.
Since then women health workers have been working closely with this community advising and informing them of the dangers and implications related to these harmful practices. Faith told us she was planning on extending her family, we asked if she were to give birth to another little girl would she allow them to take her away too and perform female genital mutilation, she responded shaking her head from side to side and said no.
This is just one family I met who has been empowered to protect any future girl child against the harmful practice of female genital mutilation. This absolutely demonstrated to me the impact your support is having even in the most weather challenging and remote areas of Ethiopia.
With your continued support we are changing lives together.