CEO, Self Help Africa
I’m writing from Ethiopia, a country where one-third of the population lives below the poverty line, mostly in rural areas.
For over 35 years, our focus has been on helping these people to increase the quantity and the quality of food grown on their small farms.
Helping independent farmers grow
But our work doesn’t begin and end on these family farms – there’s little point in helping farmers grow more food if they can’t sell their surplus in viable markets. Helping farmers to work together in cooperatives, so that they can store, transport and find good markets for their produce is vital in the fight to end poverty in Africa.
Putting money into the pockets of impoverished farmers enables them to invest in the health, education and welfare of their families. We don’t see our work as charity – instead, we believe we’re investing in these families so they can work their own way out of poverty.
Farming is essential for survival
Up to 80% of the people in Ethiopia and across much of sub-Saharan Africa rely on small-scale farming for their survival. We’ve worked this year with 350,000 of these families, helping them to grow more on their land and, crucially, increase what they can earn from it.