Every year on the fourth Thursday of November millions of Americans across the United States gather with their families and friends for a huge turkey dinner with all the trimmings and giving thanks for all the blessings they have received in life.

In sub-Saharan Africa, with the exception of a few Americans residing there, it will be just another day.

But despite the hardships and challenges facing citizens of countries where Bread and Water for Africa® works in partnership with grassroots organizations including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and elsewhere, there are tens of thousands who have plenty of reason to be thankful.

In 2016 alone:

  • In Cameroon, more than 250 children benefited from the completion of a school, and another 142 orphaned and destitute primary and secondary school students benefited from school fee support.
  • In Ethiopia, 86,000 citizens are thankful for the medical services they received through five hospitals and a clinic supported by Bread and Water for Africa®, while another 12,400 students benefited from a shipment by Bread and Water for Africa® of 22,000 books which was distributed to 20 secondary school libraries.
  • In Kenya, 74 orphaned an abandoned children are thankful to have found a loving home at the Lewa Children’s Home, while another 400 Kenya students from nursery to grade eight benefited from an education provided to them at the KipKeino school, constructed nearly 20 years ago by Bread and Water for Africa®.
  • In Sierra Leone, more than 76,000 residents are grateful for the healthcare services received through hospitals and clinics supported by Bread and Water for Africa®, 3,000 students and local residents benefited from having access to clean, safe water by a well dug by Bread and Water for Africa® on the school grounds, and another 1,006 students are thankful for the education they received at four nurseries, four primary schools and three secondary schools.
  • In Zambia, 93 orphaned children are thankful to have a loving home which provides for all their basic needs and another 146 children living in foster care are grateful for the food support, assistance with school fees and basic health care support they receive.
  • In Zimbabwe, 207 children are thankful for an orphan feeding program supported by Bread and Water for Africa®, while 35 secondary school students are grateful for the opportunity to continue their education through our school fee support program.

But the credit doesn’t belong to us – it goes to you – supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® who without which none of this would be possible.

 

Local Partner: Haramaya Health Center/Hiwot Fana Specialized University Hospital

Program Director: Professor Augustin Sesay

Area Served: Eastern Ethiopia

Program Goal: To provide health care services to the people living in and near the village of Baite where there is high unemployment – 75 percent to 80 percent – and many of the poor work as peasant farmers to sustain themselves. Haramaya Health Center serves a community of 200,000 individuals. In the hospital, the greatest morbidity problems relate to upper respiratory, urinary tract, or pneumonia. Most mortality is related to pneumonia, intestinal problems, and septicemia which the hospital is striving to address. 

Program Service provided: Haramaya Health Center provides primary medical treatment both inpatient care and outpatient care, and has obstetrics services. 

Number of program Beneficiaries:

Current Need: While the clinic is small, it is organized to handle a large number of patients and emphasis is placed on prevention. However, there is a constant shortage of supplies and equipment and serious cases must be referred to other facilities. Needed items include ultrasound equipment, surgical operating room lights and a surgical table. At the hospital, the needs are described as enormous and urgent. The need at the hospital is primarily a lack of supplies and modern equipment, combined with a shortage of doctors.

Program Summary: The focus of the hospital is general medicine. The hospital’s strength is that it is a regional hospital for the eastern part of the country which became a teaching hospital in 2011. It also offers specialties that small clinics cannot offer.

EthiopiaCapital:
Addis Ababa

History:
In addition to being perhaps the region of the first human, Ethiopia was an independent monarchy for millennia, dating back to many centuries BC. It generally avoided being colonized, with the exception of the years 1936-41, when Italy invaded and occupied.

In modern times, however, the country has been beset with issues of poverty and drought, particularly in the 1970s and 80s. In 1974 Haile Selassie, the longtime emperor, was overthrown in a coup by a communist junta, ending the long reign of the royal family. The 1990s were marked by the coming of democracy in the early part of the decade and a war with Eritrea after it seceded from the rest of the country in 1993. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has been in power since 1995 and has received accolades for the country’s economic growth under his stewardship. 

Climate:
Tropical, but with wide variation due to differences in topography

People:
Population – 88,013,491
Median Age – 16.8 years
Population Growth Rate – 3.202%
Life Expectancy – 55.8 years
Literacy – 42.7%
Average Number of Years of Schooling – 8 years (male), 7 years (female)
Urban population – 17% 

Languages/Ethnicities/Religions:
Amarigna 32.7%, Oromigna 31.6%, Tigrigna 6.1%, Somaligna 6%, Guaragigna 3.5%, Sidamigna 3.5%, Hadiyigna 1.7%, other 14.8%

English is the major foreign language taught in schools but not spoken natively.

Oromo 32.1%, Amara 30.1%, Tigraway 6.2%, Somalie 5.9%, Guragie 4.3%, Sidama 3.5%, Welaita 2.4%, other 15.4%

Christian 60.8% (Orthodox 50.6%, Protestant 10.2%), Muslim 32.8%, traditional 4.6%, other 1.8%

Economy:
GDP Per Capita – $900 (2009 est.) 

GDP Composition by Sector:
Agriculture: 43.8%
Industry: 13.2%
Services: 43% (2009 est.) 

Labor Force by Occupation:
Agriculture: 85%
Industry: 5%
Services: 10%

Main Exports:
coffee, qat, gold, leather products, live animals, oilseeds 

What it is known for:
•  Long history of independence/successful resistance to European imperialism
•  Coffee products
•  Many bible stories from Old and New Testament. 

BWA’s Focus Areas in Ethiopia:
•  Water
•  Vocational Training
•  Basic Education
•  Agro-Pastoral Development and Irrigation Systems

Capital:
Addis Ababa

History:
In addition to being perhaps the region of the first human, Ethiopia was an independent monarchy for millennia, dating back to many centuries BC. It generally avoided being colonized, with the exception of the years 1936-41, when Italy invaded and occupied.

In modern times, however, the country has been beset with issues of poverty and drought, particularly in the 1970s and 80s. In 1974 Haile Selassie, the longtime emperor, was overthrown in a coup by a communist junta, ending the long reign of the royal family. The 1990s were marked by the coming of democracy in the early part of the decade and a war with Eritrea after it seceded from the rest of the country in 1993. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has been in power since 1995 and has received accolades for the country’s economic growth under his stewardship. 

Climate:
Tropical, but with wide variation due to differences in topography

People:
Population – 88,013,491
Median Age – 16.8 years
Population Growth Rate – 3.202%
Life Expectancy – 55.8 years
Literacy – 42.7%
Average Number of Years of Schooling – 8 years (male), 7 years (female)
Urban population – 17% 

Languages/Ethnicities/Religions:
Amarigna 32.7%, Oromigna 31.6%, Tigrigna 6.1%, Somaligna 6%, Guaragigna 3.5%, Sidamigna 3.5%, Hadiyigna 1.7%, other 14.8%
English is the major foreign language taught in schools but not spoken natively.

Oromo 32.1%, Amara 30.1%, Tigraway 6.2%, Somalie 5.9%, Guragie 4.3%, Sidama 3.5%, Welaita 2.4%, other 15.4%

Christian 60.8% (Orthodox 50.6%, Protestant 10.2%), Muslim 32.8%, traditional 4.6%, other 1.8%

Economy:
GDP Per Capita – $900 (2009 est.) 

GDP Composition by Sector:
Agriculture: 43.8%
Industry: 13.2%
Services: 43% (2009 est.) 

Labor Force by Occupation:
Agriculture: 85%
Industry: 5%
Services: 10%

Main Exports:
coffee, qat, gold, leather products, live animals, oilseeds 

What it is known for:
•  Long history of independence/successful resistance to European imperialism
•  Coffee products
•  Many bible stories from Old and New Testament. 

BWA’s Focus Areas in Ethiopia:
•  Water
•  Vocational Training
•  Basic Education
•  Agro-Pastoral Development and Irrigation Systems

"As the life of the pastoralists is associated with drought, desertification, famine and hunger, it is the hope and vision of YETEEM to change the situation for better, keeping in mind and focusing on the people and their interaction with their environment."

Yimer Mohammed, Executive Director of YETEEM

Local Partner: Yeteem Children & Destitute Mothers FundYETEEM Children's & Destitute Mother's Program

Local Partner Director: Yimer Mohammed, Founder/Executive Director

Area Served: Afar Region of Northeastern Ethiopia and the capital – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Program Goal: To provide nomadic peoples in the Afar Region with the training, supplies and support necessary to achieve food security and food self-sufficiency. To provide vocational training to empower women in the Afar Region to earn an income, empower mothers to have control over their own livelihood, bring up poor children to be self-sufficient citizens, and provide integrated community -based health services to children, mothers, and adolescents.

Program Services Provided: Food security and food self-sufficiency, water collection and management, healthcare, computer, sewing and embroidery skills training.

Number of Program Beneficiaries: Over 5,000 individuals

Current Needs: Addressing HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other diseases  plaguing the area; enhancing and strengthening their existing child sponsorship program, women empowerment program, and the alternative basic education (ABE) program; and strengthening and expanding its small scale irrigation scheme; construction of a building for the implementation of a new income generation project.

Program Summary:

The Afar Region program works with families whose ancestors have lived as pastoral nomads for thousands of years. These families raise and herd cattle and live almost exclusively off of the milk of their cows. Due to cyclical drought in the region, a lack of food and water for the cattle means less milk for these families. Yeteem recognized that the families needed to acquire agricultural skills if they were to have a continual food source that would ensure their ongoing habitation of the region that their ancestors first called home so long ago.

Change is difficult and takes time; patience and determination are required to introduce new ways of thinking and living to people. It has similarly been a challenge to create a strategy to help the Afar people to live in the 21st-century while respecting and preserving their local traditions. However, it has been a challenge that Yeteem readily accepted and that they have been working to overcome ever since!

YETEEM Children's & Destitute Mother's Program

The first agricultural program began in 1999 and consisted of 68 acres of land. The program introduced 120 semi-nomadic families to the concept of traditional plough culture and the use of draught and pack animals for improved crop production. In the true spirit of sustainable development, Yeteem handed over the development farm cooperative to the community in June of 2004. A community council of clan and religious leaders continues to oversee the program, while Yeteem continues to lend support when necessary.

Yeteem now works with four Afar communities on similar agricultural programs reaching out to more than 800 families. In each of these communities, Yeteem works to improve education, healthcare and the overall standard of living.

In the capital city of Addis Ababa Yeteem provides vocational program activities including skills training in computer, sewing and embroidery, and tree plantation.

A serious drought is having “immense impact” on people’s lives and livelihoods in Ethiopia, stated a United Nation Emergency Relief Coordinator who visited the...