Ethiopians move forward while healing from legacy of Eritrean war
Published: October 30, 2003
ADIGRAT, Ethiopia (CNS) -- Four years ago, Eritrean troops moved into the rocky hills overlooking small farms northeast of this town. After one chaotic and confused gunfight, a farmer was killed, leaving his wife, Demekech Kahsay, with seven children. After two seasons of drought, Kahsay was barely surviving, counting on relatives and aid organizations for one or two meager meals per day for her children. She often skipped eating so her children would have more. Now 40, she works the family farm, growing enough tomatoes and hot peppers to sell for about a dollar per pound. The transition came about because her sons are old enough to work the fields, and Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops' international relief and development agency, helped her make her backyard garden thrive. With funds from CRS, organization from the local Catholic development office and muscle from workers, widows of the Eritrean war and other single women get help digging and reinforcing shallow wells for obtaining water for gardens.
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