Ethiopia CommunityFarm

Help a community to change the future.  Start by reading my story, and sharing it.  I have never spoken about the past, but to change the future starts with the past.  Use the Button below.  It is safe it is a GoFundMe site, there is no obligation.  Just take a minute.
Change Starts with one

Helping Hand

I am here to ask for you to help me to help a community.  What will your help mean?  $1 is all, or just share my story do something.     My story?  You go to it using the button below.
  • What will your help do?

    It will provide for a home for a family to have a sanitary bathroom, a way for a mother to cook in a kitchen without choking on smoke and carbon monoxide.

  • What will your help do?

    It will provide for a way to grow crops more efficiently so the farm can do more than just provide for bare subsistence.

It Is About People


I was born in 1989 in the state of Oromia within Ethiopia.  My father was drafted into the military in 1989.  At the time he left my mother was pregnant with me.  We lived in a very small home that was maybe 7 feet in diameter.  This home was made of straw and wood, with a dirt floor. It  was not well constructed.  You would more recognize the term “hut”.  Inside our home my mother cooked on an open fire located on the floor and we slept together.

Within a few months after his return he was taken to military prison.

To support (provide food) for the family my mother would have to go to the fields and purchase large quantities of potatoes which she would have to dig up, or she would gather wood and then place them in bags.  Then she would have to walk to the local town to sell the produce or wood. The local town is located several miles away so it was a long hard walk, with the bag she carried on her back. She would set up on the side of the road in this town to sell.  She stayed there until she sold everything so she’d have money to buy food for us for that day. If she wasn’t able to sell enough or any we would not eat that day. Normally she would return after 9 PM sometimes as late as midnight. During this time that she was away I would help take care of my younger sister; I was around 5 years old at this time.
We would play outside during the day but then before the sunset we would go up the mountain to gather wood or dried plants to be used for the fire to cook dinner when my mother returned. I would also have to get water from a local artesian ground well and carry it back to the home. 

Then we would go inside our home and lock the door with a small stick. The door was made of wooden sticks that were tied together but was not very stable.

Our home didn’t look like anything in the US. It was made of wood and grass straw. The door wasn’t very strong. At night wild dogs or wolves would try to get in. I remember my sister and I being very scared as these animals tried to get into the home. One time my mother came home and saw an animal looking into the house at the front door and as she approach the animal ran away.  She came into the home very upset.   She told us that an animal almost got into the house.

Sometime after this very dark period. I was able to attend a little school but only sporadically. My father spent six years away from us.  When he was released as part of a US negotiated agreement he was not able to return the same way he left. Physically he wasn’t himself.  He wasn’t able to work as hard as he did when he left.  So my mother had to continue to work as she had done.

We moved to a small piece of land that the government provided as part of a program to establish settlements in a wilderness area.  The land was wild and required to be cleared.  He was able to start a subsistence farm but it was very hard and required a lot of manual labor which he was not able to do. This type of farm requires animals to pull a plow.   People have to tend the land, to include pulling weeds from the field by hand.

When I was around 7 years of age I left home.  Food was scarce and life was very difficult.  Now as I reflect back on that day that I decided to leave I recall thinking that  I would get a job to help my family, as well as maybe get some food. 

In the USA food is not a real issue as there are various government programs, as well as charities.  No one really goes hungry.  When I was growing up, and even now, this was not the case.  It is not a matter of willing to work, or how hard you work, as this does not guarantee that day's meal.  Crops fail, which means a year of very limited food.   There is no variety of food.  Corn, or Teft (both are grains) are the daily food.

I walked away not knowing where I would go, or how I would live.  Each day was a new day.  I befriended and played with children, ate and slept at their homes.  That first year I made my way to the town of Hargeisa located in the northern state of Somalia that is called Somaliland, which is about 500 miles from my home.  There are many stories to tell about how I made this trip, which I will reserve for now.  

After 18 years I returned home.  I hadn't seen my family this whole time, which now included 2 sisters, and 3 brothers.   It was one of the happiest moments in my life to be home.  My sister who I took care of in when we were younger had grown up.  Our parents were still struggling, which is the nature of life for all of us.  The home was no longer a small hut, but was not much better, as you can see in the pictures.   The dirt floors, unsanitary bath room, and un-safe kitchen was a sight that brought tears to my eyes. 

My mother has respiratory issues which seems to be from the years of being exposed household air pollution.  She continues to work hard by having to carry very heavy loads from the fields.  By remodeling the kitchen the cooking can be done so that smoke is directed out of the room.

The toilet is not sanitary.  There are studies that show that this dirt toilet is a design that is typical, but not healthy.  It can not be cleaned correctly.  By remodeling the bathroom it will make cleaning easier, and keep the family healthy.  The studies say that this area is the key to a healthy life.

The other living quarters used to be dirt floors.  I put in concrete floors, but I have not been able to complete the home. The ceiling is made of plastic tarp, and roof is aluminum (which I put in).  Mice get into this space and leave droppings, and sometimes die in this space; the smell is bad. 

My brothers and sisters work in the fields, and attend school as they can.  Education is very important, but they can't attend full time with the daily work that needs to be done to provide food.

By being able to get my father a tractor will enable my siblings to attend school full time.  This will give them the opportunity to change their life for the better.

Since immigrating (legally) I have been taking English classes to improve my language, with a goal to earn a GED.   I am working as a janitor, but this is not enough.  So I started my own cleaning business and is starting to generate income, but it is a slow process.  I'm raising a 10 year old son, and 3 year old daughter.  I do not take any government aid.  My husband works hard, providing for a very nice home, and for all our needs.  He tries to help, which I and my family appreciate.  So I am now asking for your help to make my dream come true.  I know I am dreaming big, but this is all I know.

What is that dream?  It is to first improve my family's living conditions so they have a chance to live a better life.  Then to help other families who I know are hard working people, and only need a hand up.  They are not looking or asking for charity, so I am asking for the ability to help them. 

I am contributing 75% of my total income from my job and business, so you know I am committing more to this effort than just words.  In actual dollars it's much, but that is all I can do, so I am now asking for help.