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 “I no longer encounter life sufferings anymore.”

 By Esubalew Dires



A project in the Organization for Rehabilitation & Development in Amhara (ORDA) Graduation with Resilience to Achieve Sustainable Development (GRAD) is a USAID-funded project through CARE to contribute significantly to a sustained food security. It is targeted about over 10,000 beneficiaries and 500 VESAs in 20 kebeles of Lay Gayint District. The expected results are enhancing livelihood options which include (expand economic opportunities (VC & IGA), expanding access to financial service, upgrading the extension service. With regard to improving resiliency consists of gender, nutrition, climate change adaptation and aspiration to graduation. The last but not the least is to strengthen enabling environment which inculcate collaboration among stakeholders and a joint learning. 

Apart from establishing and strengthening of VESA, the project is carrying out saving , lending and investment on IGA,  facilitate discussion  on gender, nutrition, climate change adaptation, aspiration to graduation, market linkage are the main ones.

Gobgob, some 12 kilometers far away from Nefas Mewucha, is a small town. This town is an area where ORDA’s intervention is put into practice. While visiting the achievements of ORDA GRAD project, we found w/ro Alemnat Fentaye at Gobgob 01 kebele. She is mother of 4 children. Lay Gayint District is still a chronically food insecure area. Due to this, the community in the surrounding is supported by the Productive Safety Net Program /PSNP/. She was graduated from safety net three years ago. W/ro Alemnat immediately joined to a VESA called “Abek Yelesh” since 2012. Firstly, as a VESA member she started saving 5 birr monthly but now they capitalized to 10 birr. 

W/ro Alemnat initially borrowed 200 birr and engaged in income generating activities. In poultry production, she sold out eggs and got 55 birr.  However, due to theft, she turned her face to home gardening. This wise woman is so hard working that she produces salad, cabbage, spinach. Currently, her family is getting balanced diet from vegetables. W/ro Alemnat also got an income of 150 and 90 birr from selling of spinach and cabbage respectively. Two months later, she expected to earn from 400-500 birr selling vegetables.


During my stay, she exclaimed, “I no longer encounter life sufferings anymore. By the time I need to make coffee, I just sell a single cabbage for 6 birr and buy coffee in order to fulfill my desire.” 

In comparison to the previous W/ro Alemnat asserted that she was aided by the safety net program for longer years. But that aid made her idle. She was not insisted to carryout income generating tasks. She is grateful to ORDA GRAD project that she is delivered a demand driven training on business management skills. For this reason, time has come to her and VESA members for a brighter and better life.

 Moreover, W/ro Alemnat borrowed 8,000 birr and she is engaged in sheep rearing.  In her first round, she has got 2,400 birr. In the second round, she has got 1, 200 birr. Though W/ro Alemnat owns ½ a hectare of land, she couldn’t secure her family’s food. The woman has bought her annual food expenses. She is also enabled to buy her children stationeries, shoes and school uniforms. 


W/ro Alemnat stated she turned back half of the money she borrowed. The woman added it won’t be difficult to turn the rest as she’s on the way to build assets.

This wise woman is in hurry that it’s the right time for the preparation of irrigation to harvest potato. Finally, I thank her very much for the time she gave me. Then, wishing her every success, we departed. 

Last Updated (Thursday, 27 November 2014 12:02)

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