From Poverty to Prosperity

In the almost barren Gamo Gofa region of Southern Ethiopia, Naselegn Loseligna has experienced first-hand the hardships of being a widow. A mother of eight children, her husband died several years ago, leaving Naselegn without a man to give her vital status and a stable income to feed her children. Without livestock, access to crops and now without a husband, she was rendered worthless.

Naselegn Loseligna

“Life became so difficult for me. I didn’t have any cattle or access to crop farming to feed my children.” Their desperation was such that Naselegn could only feed her children plants like the “boke” root which are almost inedible and difficult to digest. “I was the poorest of the poor”, Naselegn recollects. “Nobody respected me. I didn’t have any place among my tribe.”

Two years ago, Naselegn joined Vita’s goat-rearing programme – a project designed to give vulnerable women the income, skills, and status they need to survive. Naselegn received eight breeding goats and underwent training on feeding, healthcare and animal husbandry. Now, Naselegn’s life and that of her children couldn’t be more different.

Her herd numbers nineteen goats, with four expected to give birth in the coming months. Milking twice a day, Naselegn has a stable and growing income from her goat milk and, most importantly, her children have a constant source of nutritious food that has dramatically improved their health.

It is the dignity Naselegn has reclaimed with Vita that makes this change so essential. “I am very happy. Now, I become a respected person in my society. I always bless Vita for giving me this chance.” Hear Naselegn’s own story by watching the video below. If you would like to support Vita in empowering vulnerable women like Naselegn, you can do so here.