Emebet, a single mother, and her daughter Tigist, live in a mud and stick room on the outskirts of Addis Ababa. Emebet is a hardworking lady. She makes various foods and products for cooking and then hits the street. She lays out a blanket and a stool and tries to entice people to buy as they scurry along the sidewalks. However, when a policeman comes near, she has to grab her materials and flee. They do not encourage such selling along the streets, and she has no funds to rent a small storefront. Several times police have caught her and taken her products, her money and her equipment—for themselves. The policemen see it as a game; but for those trying to survive, the loser goes hungry.
Searching for answers
So, what to do with Emebet? Last year, after the initial assessment of character and skills, we provided short-term mercy aid—some money for food, plus education fund for Emebet’s daughter, Tigist.
Our goal, however, is to assess how she can increase her income security.
The cost of a rental storefront is prohibitive and out of our budget. She cannot use her home—a mud and stick one room “apartment” in a one level row of such “apartments”—for commerce. While she has electricity, all the “apartments” share one meter and thus she could not use the facility as a sustainable commercial cooking business.
Can you help?
We will continually assess the situation and come up with a plan for this hardworking woman and her good-natured daughter. They need help for a step up.