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Dispatches from Ethiopia: Helping the people of Gode


Ann Speak introduces some of the people who have benefited from SOS Children's Emergency Relief Programme in Gode.

"Hungry people from the surrounding community regularly arrive at the SOS Children`s Village gate asking for food. SOS Children give whatever leftover food they can which is appreciated. Sometimes animals find their way through the fence to graze on anything green they can find.

For those outside of the SOS Village, SOS Children provide 25k of rice and 3 litres of oil which help to supplement the diet of some local families. This food package can last about a month and in some cases, truly saved lives.


Rakoop (left)  lives in Gode and has five children. Her family received emergency food provisions from SOS Children. The rice and oil was used during Ramadan and lasted a month. It helped her feed her children. She will send her children to school. She did not go to school herself.

New school clothes for families

Disptaches from Ethiopia: New school clothes For people in Gode and the surrounding area, families are vulnerable due to extreme poverty. Eking out a living in a drought stricken area means little food, medicine and no money for housing or school. SOS Children helped vulnerable families with small amounts of money which improved the health and diet of children. All children in vulnerable families received school fees and uniforms to attend school – many for the first time. These children are proudly displaying their new school uniforms thanks to SOS assistance


When money is tight, housing is rarely a priority, with food taking priority. We have run an outreach project which identified people suffering due to bad housing and helped rebuild basic structures.

Fighting hunger

This is the most disturbing story I encountered – while SOS Children had provided this woman (below left) a great service, she had clearly paid a high price over the years from malnourishment, illness, hunger and thirst – this woman is only 60 years old – two years older than me. She lives in a neighbouring farming community has eight children living with her. Before they were farmers but due to the clogged irrigation system, the community has suffered the loss of their traditional livelihood.

All around the village there are signs of high winds – soil, like snow drifts are piled up around the houses and the irrigation ditches quickly fill up. The men in the community constantly dig out the silt from the ditches but it is a losing battle as long as the drought continues.Dispatches from Ethiopia: A woman from outside the town

They are happy about the rains and have planted but even if the rains keep up, it will be several months before they can harvest and begin feeding themselves again. It is due to the timely delivery of food supplements that they are still alive today. They don`t know what they will do if they don`t have any more food aid in the coming months – this is what some call the green famine – the crops are growing but not ready to be harvested."