Photo: CHF

Photo: CHF

Photo: CHF



At first, Zahra was caught off guard by the question.

“What would make the biggest difference in your life?” she was asked by one of the CHF project staff, who had originally come to look at how her farmer husband was protecting his water supply.

“A donkey,” she responded.

It wasn’t like she didn’t know the answer. She’d been thinking about it a long time.

As an Ethiopian woman running a small business, Zahra produces pottery to help buy food for her family. Unfortunately, she was only able to carry a fraction of the number of pieces she was producing to sell in the market town of Bati, so the money she was making barely supported her family.

In a country where agriculture is everything, little thought had been given to helping women like Zahra be more productive.

In its efforts to find alternative ways of bringing long-term food security and sustainable livelihoods to the people who live in developing countries, CHF saw an opportunity.

CHF provided Zahra with a small loan, which she used to purchase a donkey and cart. The donkey and cart allow her to transport all the pottery she makes to the village — as much as 20 pieces. Now, Zahra brings home enough money to buy the food and clothing her family needs, and is even able to save some.

Realizing how incredibly valuable a donkey is to a woman's livelihood in the region, CHF began providing female-headed households with donkeys, along with farm equipment, sheep and goats.

And every day that Zahra makes the trip to market her goods, she and her donkey are living examples of how your support through CHF enables poor rural communities in developing countries to attain sustainable livelihoods.