ANNA-Victoria Lynch, a youth and community worker with the Christ Church United Methodist and Presbyterian community in Limerick, recently carried a load of firewood through the streets of Limerick to Thomond Park to highlight the plight of poor women in Ethiopia.
Anna-Victoria, who also volunteers with migrant rights organisation Doras Luimní, is supporting the Christian Aid Week ‘Share Loko’s burden’ campaign to help Ethiopian women living in extreme poverty.
“Thomond Park is one of Limerick’s biggest tourist attractions: people flock to it to see exciting rugby matches, bringing thousands, if not millions, of Euro into the city each year. On the other hand, this woman has to spend hours searching for sticks, having to search further and further afield as she collects them, and carries a heavy load to make the tiniest amount of money. To me, this contrast further emphasises how hard and unfair Loko’s way of life is,” Anna-Victoria said.
Loko, a woman from the Borena community in Ethopia, walks an eight-hour journey alone, carrying a load of up to 30kg on her back and depends on the wood she sells to feed her family of eight.
Anna-Victoria is appealing to people help raise funds to help women like Loko find a way out of poverty.
She said: “Christian Aid works very hard to help women like Loko, through education and relief, to make a better living for herself. I carried this bundle of sticks, which is a fraction of the weight of her bundle, only down the street and it was quite tiring, so I can only imagine how hard it is for her to carry a bundle many times the size of mine for a much, much longer distance! Their support will give her a better alternative.”
In Ethiopia, Christian Aid partner HUNDEE works with both women and men in poor cattle-rearing Borena communities to challenge violence against women and harmful traditional practices, such as child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).
For more information on the campaign, go to www.caweek.ie.