Seeds of hope: hear Wondimu's Story

Monday 28 November 2016

In July 2016, we met Wondimu, a farmer and father of three children who lives in Netsanet Melkam Kebele of Zequala District in Amhara region. He was at the seed distribution event supported by the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Affaris (ECHO) and run by Save the Children and the local government. He is a farmer who lives in an area constantly affected by drought and crop failure. Because of this, his only prayer this year was for the rain to come so he can feed his family. At the time, Wondimu and his family of five were running out of resources and on the verge of having nothing to sell. That meant they would have nothing to eat.

Wondimu Assefa, 28, receiving Sesame seed for the Meher season from Save the Children, July 2016

When we spoke to him then he told us ; “I didn’t have any seed left to plant for Meher season” .  He continued; “Thanks to Save the Children’s support, I now have 3kgs of Sesame seed. I also received 180 kg of fodder for my goats. This support is very important to help me and my family survive this situation.”
Full of hope, he planted the Sesame seed, a cash crop that gives harvest in 3 months, and waited for the rain. Though insufficient, the rain was better than the previous seasons.

Wondimu Assefa, 28, preparing his Sesame harvest for threshing, November 2016

In mid- November 2016, we traveled back to Wondimu’s village to see if his hopes were fulfilled. He was there in his farm, preparing his harvest for threshing. He had a big smile on his face when he saw us.

When we asked him if the harvest was what he expected he said, “I have got 150 kilo grams of Sesame because the rain stopped early. I expected 300 kilo grams of produce. But I am glad about the quality of the product.”

“When I think about the future, I now feel hopeful” he added.

“I am grateful that I am able to harvest crop this time. There is no greater satisfaction for a farmer and a father than feeding your family. That was not the case the last harvest season.”

Wondimu’s family is one of the 76,608 families Save the children in Ethiopia has reached across drought -affected areas through its massive seed distribution effort. The 2015/16 drought in Ethiopia left 9.7 million people dependent on food assistance for over a year. 5.44 million of these are children.