As Christmas approaches and we start to indulge our families in mountains upon mountains of food and extravagances, maybe we could spare a thought for those less fortunate than ourselves. Oxfam are running a campaign at the moment called Stories of Hope where they are highlighting how people's lives can be changed for the better by fantastic projects funded by money donated to the charity.
Oxfam's aim is to fight poverty, and by using donations wisely, they empower people to become business owners with skills that enable their communities to grow and thrive. Everybody in the community benefits.
Meet Kitabe. Kitabe grew up working on a maize farm with her family in Bulbula, Ethiopia. She didn’t have high hopes for her future after leaving school in the first grade finding herself forced into an arranged marriage. Her family was poor and food was scarce. With the help of Oxfam, Kitabe has been able to turn her situation around.
She now spends her time managing the seed production on her farm, as well as being a mother to her four children. Although she was reluctant at first,Kitabe joined Oxfam’s project and took out a loan of 10,000 Birr - the equivalent of £324. As a result, she was able to buy more seed to grow crops. Kitabe worried she would be unable to repay the borrowed money. However, after the first harvest, Kitabe was able to pay it back and even had enough to buy more land. Kitabe has also purchased a cow and an ox, providing her with an extra source of income which is used to pay for additional labourers on the farm.
Kitabe used to have little control over her finances, but being a part of this scheme means she is able to manage her money more effectively, helping her to secure a brighter future for herself and her family. As part of Oxfam’s WE Care initiative, Kitabe is given support as a working mother. She attends meetings twice a month with other women to discuss the challenges of juggling work and caring for a family. As a result, Kitabe finds it easier to cope and she has a better relationship with her husband.
What a regular donation can do.
£9 COULD PROVIDE A FAMILY WITH MANURE, ORGANIC FERTILISER AND TRAINING IN ECO-FRIENDLY FARMING TECHNIQUES.
So this Christmas, why not make a donation to Oxfam. Spread a little Christmas cheer.
All images used in this post belong to Abbie Traylor-Smith - February 2016.