Home / News / Previous emergency appeals / East Africa famine 2011 / Dispatches from Ethiopia / Dispatches from Ethiopia: Hope for the Future

Dispatches from Ethiopia: Hope for the Future

Ann Speak reflects on her first impressions of Gode and the difference SOS Children is making in the community.

"My own impression of my time spent in Gode is that SOS Children is making a huge difference to the community - for the children who live in the SOS Children's Village, and also for the wider community.

In spite of the long period without rain in Gode, which the video above clearly demonstrates, there is a lot of hope for the future. They have a long history of water and food shortages, and political uncertainty, so they have learned resilience. People are creative and do what they can to find food, water and money. Some adults eat every other day, and find small jobs doing laundry or collecting and selling grass or wood.

SOS Children - Making a difference

Disptaches from Ethiopia Hope for the Future 2The food aid from SOS Children is a life saver for many, and the impact is obvious. Their support to vulnerable families will also have an impact in the longer-term. The fact that the children of those who received the aid were now going to school; the fact that a small amount of money strategically invested in a small business could have a huge effect on a family – allows them to move from surviving one day at a time to having hope and a vision for the future.

For most westerners, we can’t imagine that £100 could make such a difference for a family or an entire household for months – but it can in a place like Ethiopia and especially Gode. I too have a lot of hope for the future of Gode.

Being a leader

This is Mustafa (pictured below), the Director of the SOS Children’s Village in Gode. He is an Dispatches from Ethiopia, Mustafaeducated and thoughtful man who has spent his adult life in service to the country – either in parliament, or in his current leadership role. SOS Children plays a respected role in the community. Not only do they help those in need, staff like Mustafa are called upon to play a mediation role in disputes or provide sage advice to the community."