Hobse takes her chance

“Only if we improve the social status of women Ethiopia will be able to overcome poverty permanently!” Karlheinz Böhm

In Europe Hobse Chela would be called a power woman. She is the mother of 11 children, and together with her husband she tills a small farm. “Today I can sleep easy,” she says, “it’s a wonderfully liberating feeling not to be afraid of the future, and to know that everyone is doing well.”

Her story shows how some support and a lot of personal commitment can break the cycle of poverty.


More than just an egg


Three years ago Hobse Chela took part in a special women’s programme that taught her to properly care for and breed chickens. This concerns more productive chickens that, as opposed to small, local breeds lay five times more eggs per week. This has a positive impact on the nutrition of the entire family and allows them to make a small profit from the sale of the eggs.


A time saving stove


“I was really happy to get this kind of stove. I spend a lot less time collecting wood and there is a lot less smoke in the kitchen. I always experienced eye pain from that,” says Hobse.


“Low-energy stoves” only need half as much wood as traditional ways of cooking, for which three stones are placed on the ground and used as “stove”.


Vegetable cultivation for secured food resources

Äthiopische Bäuerin mit ihrem Sohn auf dem Feld

Hobse has also learned to grow and prepare vegetables. In her small garden she now grows tomatoes, Swiss chard, higher-yielding onions, beetroots and cabbage. Her children also help in the vegetable garden and are happy about all the new, varied food.


“A lot of things were new to us. In the past we only had onions and small tomatoes. Now we have varied food and know the importance of vitamins. This has also important impacts on our health. I’m really happy because I can even sell some on the market.”


Learning to read and write without schooling


Hobse is particularly proud to show us her little green book. In it she noted how much vegetable she has harvested and how much she has earned at the market. “I can now read and write,” she says with bright eyes. For three years she took part in a literacy course. Hobse could thus fulfil her dream of education and independence. Her life has changed sustainably.


A happy family

Familienporträt der Familie

Hobse with her husband and some of their children.

Today we don’t know hunger anymore as we did in the past.” the hardworking woman states. “It is my dream that all my children receive proper schooling and get good jobs. Maybe one day one of them will come see me in a car!”