IT is the plight of Ethiopian women that has inspired a Christian Aid Southampton intern to play her part to encourage others to help.
Imogen Hardman made a trip to rural south west Ethiopia in October and saw firsthand the effect poverty has on people.
But the 24-year-old also saw how Christian Aid-funded projects are helping to transform the lives of thousands of people in the country.
Now Imogen, originally from Manchester but who now lives in Shirley, will be spreading the word of Christian Aid with volunteers from Highfield Church.
Imogen, who is volunteering in Christian Aid’s Southampton office, recalled how meeting a 29-year-old Ethiopian woman called Loko inspired her to help.
Loko is married to a man in his 60s and she has to support her three children and three stepchildren. She does this by making a backbreaking eight-hour round trip involving climbing up a mountain to collect firewood.
This makes her the equivalent of £1 at her local market and leaves her with back and chest pains so severe that some days she can’t even walk. When this happens she can’t feed her children.
However, Christian Aid Partner organisation HUNDEE is helping women such as Loko by giving them livestock and business training.
Imogen, said: “When I met Loko I asked her what her dream for the future would be. All she wanted was for her children to live a different life to the one she has had. She wanted to be able to feed them and send them to school.
“In Ethiopia I saw the immeasurable difference a cow can make to a woman’s and her family’s life.
“I have absolute confidence that Christian Aid’s work is giving people the tools to live a life free from poverty.”
As part of Christian Aid Week which runs from May 10 to 16, Imogen will be speaking at various services across Hampshire to inspire others to donate to Christian Aid or take part in house-tohouse collections.
To find out more about Christian Aid Week visit caweek.org or to donate to change the lives of men and women in Ethiopia call 08080 006 006 or text ‘WEEK’ to 70040 to give £5.