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Aliyi and his family display the cart and water jugs it allows him to transport.

Opportunity to Build Livelihood Transforms Family, Community

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WRITTEN BY Robbie Peterson

Aliyi Sayido, 40, lives in the Diga District of Ethiopia with his wife, Ibsitu, 32. They care for their 3-year-old daughter, Sena, and their 9-year-old nephew, Jebril, who lives with them.

Aliyi and his family went through difficult challenges in life before Food for the Hungry (FH)  began working in their community. Aliyi struggled to meet his family’s basic needs as a farmer because his land’s soil acidity resulted in very poor crop production. There were few if any other opportunities for work in the area.

“I felt desperate and pessimistic about the future,” explained Aliyi. “Some days my family had nothing to eat.”

A Relocation Proves Costly

Eventually, like so many others in his community, Aliyi attempted to improve his situation by relocating to Saudi Arabia to find better work opportunities. Unfortunately, instead of finding success, Aliyi soon returned home without any remaining assets or cash. His situation was even more dire than it had been before he left.

Help and Hope Arrive – In a Cart

Food for the Hungry (FH) had begun working in his community in the interim. When Aliyi returned home in 2022, he participated in FH’s capacity-building training for income-generating activities. When he completed the training, FH was able to supply him with a mule cart and mule, as a result of the generous help provided by donors to Strengthening Communities. Using the cart and his training, he was able to immediately begin developing a sustainable livelihood by providing services to other community members.

Donkey or mule cart transportation is vital to communities like the one where Allyi lives. Soon, Aliyi was providing much-needed transportation of materials to neighbors in his community as well as those in nearby towns. Aliyi was quickly able to earn an average of 2,000 ETB per week ($35.78 USD) by transporting large water jars to town from spring water sources as well as firewood from the forests to sell to other residents.

Aliyi and his family display the cart and water jugs it allows him to transport.
Aliyi and his family display the cart and water jugs it allows him to transport.

Strengthening His Family and His Community

His business continued to grow as he found new services to provide. The gift of a mule and cart made it possible for Aliyi to earn a living, transforming life for him and his family. It also enabled Aliyi to provide an essential service to his neighbors, which strengthened his entire community. Aliyi now sees himself as a valuable member of the community, and he is helping and encouraging others there, too.

Aliyi joined an FH saving group and started to regularly save the money that he made above what was needed to pay for his family’s basic needs. With his savings, he and Ibsitu were able to remodel their poorly constructed home into a much larger and stronger one built from iron sheets. They additionally purchased livestock to raise and oxen for plowing fields.

When you give to Strengthen Communities through FH, you make these kinds of life-changing improvements possible for children, families, and communities all over the world.

A Hopeful Future

“FH helped me during a painful time in my life. Now I am economically empowered with a good income and able to help others. My children attend school, are healthy, and have a good future.

“And I realize that I am now a valuable member of my community with good self-esteem and a passion for growth. I work hard and have learned to make good decisions in my life,”  Aliyi said.

“I have observed that God is at work in this community, and I’ve learned that positive change is possible, because I have been transformed.”


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