Ethiopia, action against hunger, drought

Ethiopia Drought: Addis Kabrat's Story

Ethiopia is facing its worst food crisis since the 1980s with a severe drought in the north east of the country putting thousands of young children at risk.

By Karen Attwood

May 26 2016

This is Addis Kabrat’s story

“My father is a farmer. He is doing the best he can to support his family. I want to study and become a doctor. I have potential to be a doctor and I want to help other people.”

Addis Kabrat, from the Wag Himra zone of Ethiopia, is just fifteen years old but because her mother is very sick, she is looking after her brothers and sisters. We met Addis when she brought her two-year-old brother to our outpatient treatment centre where we were distributing monthly supplies of fao fao – a corn soy blend aimed at addressing moderate undernutrition in young children. 

Addis has already been married but she revealed an independent spirit when we spoke to her. She has hopes of getting an education and making a real difference in the world.

At 15 years old, Addis is already caring for her brothers and sisters. Image: S. Tawhid for Action Against Hunger

"I miss going to school"

“After eating fao fao my brother has been growing properly and is gaining weight,” Addis said. “My mum has been ill for a long time. Sometimes she goes to a health centre and get a bit better but right now she is not very well.  Whenever my mother is sick, I take care of my brothers and sisters.  

“I had to walk for two hours to get here. I’ll rest for a while before trying to take the ration and oil home myself. If I feel too tired, I will leave it somewhere and send somebody from home to get it.  

“I attended school last year but I don’t anymore. I recently got married and, since then, I’ve stopped going to school. My husband is currently unemployed. We had an ox but due to lack of rainfall and failed harvests, my father had to sell it off. 

“I miss going to school. I liked to study everything. I had a bit of difficulty learning English and I wanted to improve it. I still hope to finish my education so I can get a job in the future.”

Addis’ brother is among 24,982 children in the Wag Himra Zone of Ethiopia receiving help under Action Against Hunger’s nutrition programme which supports pregnant and breastfeeding women, and treats malnourished children.

 


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Action Against Hunger has been present in Ethiopia since 1985
Action Against Hunger has been present in Ethiopia since 1985

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Images: S. Hauenstein Swan and S. Tawhid for Action Against Hunger