Supporting Life in a Country in Crisis
As activists and development workers in the coffeelands it is sometimes hard to keep focused on the good things amidst so many problems. But that’s what we have to do to be present and effective in support of the communities we work in. Here’s the latest from Ethiopia.
Our work with Grounds for Health bringing community-based cervical cancer detection and treatment is amazing! Two wonderful achievements this year. First, the program is now completely run on the ground by locals, not by us or non-Ethiopians. This is an essential part of our development model. Second, so far in 2016 almost 8,000 women have been screened for cervical cancer, with over 1,200 identified as positive and successfully treated. These are the women who grow our coffee. Saving their lives is a profound commitment to life and to our real partnership. Great work everybody!
Unfortunately, Ethiopia has a long, sad history of authoritarian rulers under the guise of democracy. In particular, the Oromo farmers we have worked with since 2002 face discrimination much the same as other disenfranchised groups around the world, even though they are the majority population. (Click here for news of recent political turmoil). Land rights, education, free speech are often only paper promises for the Oromo, yet attempts to organize and express their grievances have too often been met with government violence. We can only support the communities we care about and hope for a brighter future.