“ If things get any worse, we may be forced to live on the streets”: Desta's story
Enhancing food security for families affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic
Desta, 29, is a mother of three children and lives in Addis Abeba. She used to be a cook at primary school near her neighbourhood before schools were closed due to the pandemic. Her husband has been ill since the end of last year and stays at home without work and income. Desta’s family was identified as one of the poorest of poor familes affected by the pandemic for cash support through the Emergency Food Assistance for House Holds Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic in Major Cities project implemented by Save the Children and funded by USAID. The cash support will be provided to 4,429 households across Addis Abeba for six months so they can buy food and cover essential expenses.
Desta’s story in her own words (quotes):
“My name is Desta Regassa. I have three children. My sons Yohannes and Fikremariam are seven and five years old. My is just six months old. Yohannes has finished his kindergarten and will be in grade one when school reopens. Fikremariam will begin school this coming year.
I was part of a cooperative team organized by government to provide school feeding at primary school around my neighbourhood before schools were closed due to Coronavirus. I used to get anything between 1,000 to 1,500 birr per ten days.
In December last year, my husband fell ill. I spent my savings for his treatment and medicine but he still doesn’t feel better. He is at home without work and income.
We are unable to pay our rent and provide food for our children.Now I am dependent on the support of some generous people who know me, my strong work ethic and symphatize with my current situation. If things get any worse, we will be forced to live on the streets.
I went to our Woreda Women, Children and Youth Affairs Office and explained my situation and to see if there was any help available for families like mine. After sometime, the Woreda Officers told me to register for this support. I come today (August 7, 2020) to get my bank book for the cash support.
With the support I get, I am planning to buy medicine for my husband so he can fully recover from it. I also want to pay my rent and feed my children.
God willing when this pandemic goes away, I want to return to my work and educate my children. I also want to continue my education.”
What Save the Children doing to help Desta and others like her:
Save the Children, through the Emergency Food Assistance for House Holds Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic in Major Cities project provides cash for poorest of poor families affected by the pandemic for six months. This support will enable families to buy food.
The project is funded by USAID with a budget of nine million USD for six months. The project aims to increase household access and consumption of diverse nutritious food. It will be implemented in Addis Abeba, Adama, Dire Dawa, Jigjiga, Hawassa and Bahirdar reaching 29,035 households.