Emergency Appeal: Support for Families in Lalibela
We are running an appeal to raise funds for 18 of our sponsored families living in Lalibela, whose lives have been devastated by occupation during the conflict in northern Ethiopia. We are trying to raise £4,240.
One of our corporate partners, One Thought Changes All, has generously offered to match fund the first £1,000 we raise.
The town of Lalibela in Ethiopia has been profoundly affected by the conflict in Northern Ethiopia. Together We Learn has been supporting 19 families in Lalibela for several years – providing aid to families through sponsorship to ensure that families living in poverty are able to send their kids to school and cover basic living costs. Now we need urgent support to help families whose lives have been devastated by the conflict.
In August 2021 Lalibela was occupied by the rebel TPLF forces. Possibly due to it’s status as a religious site and UNESCO world heritage site, it did not suffer the same level of violence witnessed in other areas occupied during the conflict. However, rape has been reported in the areas surrounding the town and the people living there were cut off from the rest of the country and the world. During the occupation, they could not leave Lalibela. Banks, hospitals, schools and government services were closed. There was no electricity and no water. Residents had to give their food to occupying forces and crops were destroyed.
The government forces briefly regained the town at the start of December 2021. However, this was short lived and the TPLF re-occupied Lalibela in mid-December before finally withdrawing, along with all areas outside of Tigray, on the 20th December.
The residents are devastated, they are traumatised, and they are fearful. In addition, they still have no access to banks or major hospital services. Running water and electricity were only restored, gradually, from the 22nd of December. Schools only resumed in mid January. Food is still scarce, food prices have increased by an average of 180%, and families are scared about future harvests because their crops were destroyed.
“Totally there was not any hope at that moment and they couldn’t talk on the phone with other Ethiopian people, or who live in another country, because there was not any power or connection.They were frightened a lot. In the countryside a lot of people were attacked. There was no work and they couldn’t eat meals regularly.
Now, there is inflation of everything and they can’t get many goods. All people got psychological problem.“
Marta Bekele, our Sponsorship Manager
What We’re Doing
These families have been surffering for seven months with little aid or global attention. As a local charity that has been working with these families for many years, we are uniquely placed to respond effectively for them now.
Marta is going to Lalibela in April and we want her to take as much as possible to support families with their immediate needs, and to help them rebuild their lives.
We estimate that we will need £4,240 to fully support the 19 sponsored families in Lalibela. This amount will provide food parcels and a livelihood fund to help them rebuild their lives.
Donations to the appeal will first fund a food parcel of teff, wheat, oil, lentils and rice for each family to last at least two months. Any further funds will be distributed among families to restore their livelihoods. This could be buying tools or stock for re-establishing a business, supporting with an agricultural project, or whatever is appropriate for that family based on our Sponsorship Manager’s assessment.
In this way, the funds will respond to their immediate needs, and help rebuild their lives for the future, in whatever way is most relevant for their situation.
One of our corporate partners, One Thought Changes All, has generously offered to match fund the first £1,000 we raise. Anything you can give to the appeal will be an enormous help to the families in Lalibela.