Emiru was an alcoholic.
In the rural farming community of Galo Janja, drinking is not an uncommon way to escape the stresses brought on by material poverty, especially among men. By age 36, Emiru had a wife and eight children to provide for; the pressure was intense. While he earned a fair amount from selling the coffee he grew, he didn’t have the training to know how to handle the cash or how to budget for a family of 10!
He spent most of his income on alcohol. As a result, Emiru’s family didn’t have enough to eat every day. His children lacked the necessary classroom materials and clothing to succeed in school. In short, because of his addiction, Emiru wasn't able to support his children and his wife the way he wanted to.
As part of their programming in Sasiga, Food for the Hungry is building the communities’ capacity through, among other things, training on child education, resource management, wise family leadership, and input provision. For Emiru, resource management training turned out to be a lifesaver.
Just last year, Emiru attended an FH workshop where he soaked up new knowledge from the FH facilitator and learned from his peers as they shared their life experiences. He began to understand and practice the concept of saving resources. Through meaningful connections with group members who inspired him to do better, Emiru began to rely less on alcohol. Things were changing.
Emiru explains, “I started saving income I am getting from the sale of agricultural products, especially from coffee. I stopped drinking alcohol. I started collecting and harvesting crops on time. I used appropriate storage to minimize loss of the agricultural products. Currently, my annual income has reached about 14,000 Birr (around $550 CAD). So, I have decided to discuss with my family on proper budgeting for family expense.”
What a radical shift! Today, Emiru’s children are well dressed and have everything they need to participate in school. Everyone is eating again and Emiru has adopted a collaborative attitude when it comes to providing for their family. He proudly testifies, “This is the work of God and FH.” In the future, he plans to teach others the same lifesaving lessons that pulled him out of the cycle of addiction and empowered him to overcome his poverty.
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