An exciting advancement in Dera this summer has to be the gathering of “Women in Development”. Many huts in rural Ethiopia are not partitioned or properly ventilated. People and animals must share living space in order for protection from predators and theft. Moreover, many homes do not have proper toilet facilities. As a result, women and children are the principal victims of communicable diseases preventable by proper sanitation techniques. Responsibility for children, the home, cooking and gardens primarily falls upon women. Hope Arising offers training for women to promote healthy practices.
Men are not excluded but generally do not choose to participate in home skills training. In August, 135 women gathered to talk about circumstances surrounding their homelife. Foremost on the discussion topic list was nutrition, childcare, home management (cleanliness, shelves for dishes, pens for animals), personal hygiene and sanitation. Hope Arising field officers and other key community leaders provided instruction and extended a call to action for each household to; dig a pit latrine, secure latrine privacy using available materials as covering, preparing a simple hand washing station at their homes, separating the animals from family living quarters, better cooking ventilation and fuel alternatives to wood. These exercises empowered the women of these households to come up with solutions to their personal challenges.