This Mother’s Day, I feel privileged to share with my readers that you (Ingrid Olson, Colleen Mullen, Tamara Buitenwerf, Betty Watts, Denise Livingston, Liz Parker, the women of EOR and the women in EOR and HopeChest leadership and so many to list here) have been honored with a very special gifts- the gifts of livestock, sewing machines and skill training, seeds and fertilizers and seed funds to start small business for widowed mothers in need in rural Ethiopia, Shanto and beyond.
Ethiopian families celebrate their Mother’s Day, called “Antrosht”, in the fall after the rainy season. Rather than fixing a day or weekend on the calendar, Ethiopians simply wait until the rains let up in October or November. Ethiopians celebrate by making their way home when the weather clears for a large family meal and a three day long celebration. For the feast the children bring ingredients for a traditional hash recipe. Girls bring butter, cheese, vegetables and spices while the boys bring a bull or lamb. The mother prepares the meat hash and hands it out to the family. After the feast, the mothers and daughters ritually anoint themselves with butter on their faces and chests. They dance while the men sing songs in honor of family and heroes. This cycle of feasting and celebration lasts two or three days.
In the villages like Shanto, Dale and Boricha, it is common to meet a widowed mother of four to seven children living in a one-room mud hut, with a single bed for her and for all her children. She is unable to feed her children, to buy school materials and clothing, health care and hygiene care materials for their children etc. Because she needs more assistance, her children drop out from school and go to fetch water and clean shoes in the small markets in the village.
One of our widows in her farmland for which we provided seeds and fertilize
The good news this Mother’s Day is that, slowly and surely progress is being made. In last year we provided 22 animals, 3 sewing machines and training, 8 sacks of developed seeds and 8 sacks of fertilizers for 32 widowed mothers in Shanto village. At present we are providing about 31 improved specious of cows and sheep which are two times efficient than the local animals to 31 widows in Shanto with the funds provided by the Buitenwerf family through HopeChest.
In this fiscal year, we plan to include about 28 new widowed mothers in our each project sites (Shanto, Dale and Boricha) through our Widows Hope Poultry and Livestock Development Project, Crops for Widows Project and Widows Hope Small Business Projects. And we also want to build sewing centers/shelters/ for widows in at least two project sites and provide with sewing machines and trainings to do their sewing works and to increase access to sell their sewing products in local markets.
Mother’s Day is that time of year where we honor those vital women in our lives who sacrificed so much for us- starting by giving life.
Thus, would you consider sponsoring one of our Widows Hope Projects (Widows Hope Poultry and Livestock Development, Crops for Widows, Widows Hope Small Business Projects) in honor of your Mom? You would be honoring a widowed mom who has got no one to honor her and providing a way for hope for herself and her child.
If you would like to sponsor one of our WHP projects in honor of your Mom, we would welcome that and we will be sure to recognize your mom and the gift you have given in her honor.
Would you also join us in praying for the moms in our WHP projects, that they would continue to know God’s love for them in ever deepening ways? If so contact our Grants Development Team (GAC) leader Colleen Mullen through her email at email@example.com for more information on our Widows Hope Projects (WHP) in Shanto and beyond and/or visit our website at www.fovcethiopia.org. Thanks!!!
Happy Mother’s Day!!!
Founder and Director, FOVC