Editorial by Dorothy Hanson

 

When I walk each morning I pass at least three elderly women, squatting beside the tile sidewalk, begging.  Occasionally I see a man, but very seldom.  The women beggars are the frequent visitors – why?  What has brought them to beg on the streets of Addis Ababa?  Where is their family, compelled by Ethiopian custom to care for mothers, father, grandmothers and grandfathers?  What happened in their past to bring them to this shameful existence?

 

Noble Cause Elder Care and Support works in a rural, agricultural, deforested, cold environment (for the past 12 years).  Sharing some of our observations may help us understand why we see old, old women begging.  Illiterate, she is disadvantaged in health services, other government programs and court proceedings (did she loose her property?).  Burdened with day-to-day house management, often with the care of grandchildren abandoned by parents moving to the city for work or by death, examine that burden of day-to-day house management more closely – without utilities, water must be carried, fuel (cow manure) for fires generated or carried (wood) and health services are as good as unavailable (no transportation and distance walk).  There is no switch for light, no pipe to deliver water for her house chores!  Even if she owns property, can she continue to farm?  Elders unable to cultivate their own land rely on another farmer who gives her only 40%.  In addition, someone must watch the other farmer to ensure an honest return of the harvest.  Price increases and the devaluation of the Birr, reduce the purchasable food sources – appreciate that dear woman beggar as she has endured hardships much greater than the man in her life who has undoubtedly preceded her in death.

 

A grim picture, yes, but volunteers and donors can make a HUGE difference.  Take a look at our website www.noblecauseethiopia.org

Find us on Face Book – Noble Cause Elder Care www.facebook.com/www.noblecauseethiopia.org

 

Currently Noble Cause is developing two proposed Business Plans. One is sheep fattening and the other one is egg production! Both are very important for Nutrition and to ensure the income of Noble Cause. If you wish to support this cause, please get in touch!

 

Please Contact us for more information: Samson Betru, General Manager 0911 164231 (Amharic) Dorothy Hanson, Advisor 0911 130274 (English)

 

Don’t let AGEISM cause you to turn the page and forget about elders! We are anxiously awaiting your call!