Tag Archives: Ethiopia

Little donkey, little donkey, with a precious load

The Donkey that GivesBy Vanessa Chang, who works on creating gifts for the annual CAFOD World Gifts catalogue.  

For me, one of the best things about this festive period is singing Christmas carols and amongst my favourites is Little Donkey.

We often sing and hear about shepherds, wise men and angels but I sometimes forget about the long journey Joseph and heavily pregnant Mary made into Bethlehem. The journey was made easier by a donkey that Mary rode on and Little Donkey reminds us how the donkey carried her safely on the dusty road.

2,000 years later, donkeys are still proving to be trustworthy animals but now the precious load is water.

Buy a donkey for a family living in poverty >>

In the Erder community of Ethiopia, fetching water is hard, back-breaking work. Rising at dawn, women and girls walk for up to eight hours to the nearest well, filling heavy 20-litre jerry cans that they then must carry home. A donkey, however, can carry this amount of water – and much more – with ease – removing the burden placed upon families. Continue reading

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Connect2: Ethiopia – Christmas wishes from Abba Solomon

 

To find out more about Connect2: Ethiopia and how your parish can get involved visit: cafod.org.uk/connect2

And to read more updates from the Connect2: Ethiopia community in Sebeya, click here.

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Harvest in Sebeya

Sebeya - New Year

In the last update from Sebeya, we heard there was shortage of rain, and the community were praying for rain. Abba Solomon asked for parishes in England and Wales to pray for rain in Sebeya. “God heard our prayer and gave us rain”, says Abba Solomon And I have to thank all brothers and sisters who kept us in your prayers. We always remember you in our prayers.”

Though the rain was late, it arrived and helped the farmers to prepare land and plant different crops.  We were desperate when the rain was too late. God forgave our trespasses and gave us rain. Thanks to God, Sebeya is now green. We expect good harvest this season. It gave us a big hope.”

Since then, the rain distribution and volume has been even better than last year. Sebeya looks greener and farmlands are growing wheat, barley and sorghum (a grain). The crops are bearing fruits and only the wheat plants require a little more rain.

There were further celebrations in Sebeya, and the rest of Ethiopia as the community welcomed in the New Year on the 12 September 2014. Ethiopia’s calendar is seven years behind the rest of the world, so it is now 2007 in Ethiopia. Abba Solomon shares the events that took place in Sebeya:

“At the eve of the New Year, men and young people gathered outside our Sebeya Catholic Church and everyone brought a torch – made of dry sticks and foliage. We prayed together and lit our torches  and walked around the Church. We then came together and made a bonfire. It was a dark evening when we sat together around the bonfire and had bread and tell, a local drink (made of barley and water). The bonfire symbolises leaping from the old, dark year to new and bright year.  On the morning of the New Year, we made coffee and had chicken sauce and injera (a sourdough flatbread) with our neighbours”.  

For more information about Connect2, and how your parish can sign up, visit: cafod.org.uk/connect2

 

 

 

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Praying for rain in Sebeya

 

Praying for rain

Members of the community praying for rain outside Holy Trinity Catholic Church

For Sebeya farmers, rain is crucial to grow cereal and vegetable crops every year. A little rain in June helps the farmers start preparing farmland, such as plowing the land, and the main rainy month in July is when the famers plant their crops. The rain is then expected to continue in August and September.

However, this year’s rain is extremely in short supply for the farmers. Children and mothers in Sebeya are praying for the rain every day. They present themselves inside and outside Catholic and Orthodox Churches praying for rain. They pray ‘egzihomarene Kristos’, which means ‘O! Jesus Christ, please forgive our trespasses’.

Abba Solomon, the parish priest of Sebeya Holy Trinity Catholic Church speaking about the lack of rain, says:

Normally July is the green month in Sebeya as rain is available. But it is now like in the middle of the dry season – very arid and dusty. I have never seen such a bad drought in recent years. As the planting season is passing, it is very unlikely for the farmers to plant and have harvest for the following season.

My brothers and sisters in England and Wales, I was glad to see you during my recent visit to different parishes. I was amazed by your effort to support people in Ethiopia and elsewhere.

I pray for my people, Lord

You saved this people

Because of your deep love

May you forgive us and remember us

During this depression and suffering.

Let us pray for each other. Please keep Sebeya and my people in your prayers.”

However, while farmers depend completely on rain for agriculture, underground water is used for drinking and sanitation. Recently, two clean water facilities for drinking have been renovated in the villages  of Argit and Adi Ezana, in Sebeya. These are hand-pump type water facilities, which will be used by 300 people in nearly 60 households, who will now have access to a clean, drinking water supply.

To sign your parish up to Connect2: Ethiopia and hear more from the community in Sebeya visit: cafod.org.uk/connect2ethiopia

 

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Your valuable solidarity gives us strength when we face life’s challenges

 

Ethiopia Connect2 - Abba Solomon

Abba Solomon, parish priest at Sebeya Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ethiopia, looking at a card and wooden cross sent from a Connect2 parish in England.

 

It gives me great pleasure to receive messages of solidarity from people in England and Wales. Since we have been connected with the parishes, we have received so many messages and letters and cards, all stating the importance of walking alongside us. I am especially struck by letters from children – children who have taken the time to write amazing messages to other young people they have never met in Sebeya. These messages are encouraging and insightful for Sebeya children, who do not have any idea about life in England and Wales.

This communication through Connect2 helps us to understand each other. And your valuable solidarity gives us strength when we face life’s challenges.

Your solidarity has also supported our community practically: school children and the local community now use a renovated clean water source, and a group of women have started their own business and are keeping chickens. The training and money given to my community has been so very valuable. Hopefully lots of our challenges will be resolved with the support we receive from the people of England and Wales.

If your parish would like to sign up to Connect2, please visit: cafod.org.uk/connect2

 

 

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