Destitute Women Project

Coordinator: Dr. Giorgio Pasquini

Home of Women - Cafeteria

Women, mothers, sick. Single women, widows, abandoned by their husbands, expelled from the social and productive forces. Women coming to 'Hospital HEWO of Quiha are fragile, last among the last, whose destiny is to live a life of misery, unable to secure a future for themselves and their children. A reality that is still an emergency for this Tigray town, as for the rest of Ethiopia.

Although the law guarantees equal rights, according to the United Nations, only 38 % of Ethiopian women have paid work and of these just a 14 % work outside their household. It is extremely difficult to own a piece of land or a small business, even more difficult, if not impossible, to find a job if you are sick. Here, 23 % of young people between 0 and 14 years still suffer genital mutilation and, 68% believe that there are circumstances where it is acceptable to be beaten by men  (Ethiopian Demographic Health Survey of 2011).

Behind these numbers there are not only stories of suffering and effort, there are also resources, energy, wealth, creativity and potential that is wasted. Women play, in fact, a crucial role in all social and economic growth processes. When women work, 90 %  goes to feed, provide care and education to their children or to make the family business more productive - while only 35 % of men do that. Investing in women is therefore investing in the future and the family.

The project

The goal of Lazio Chirurgia is to provide assistance to women who come to the hospital and  provide lodgings for those in severe economic difficulties, so that those alone and sick, once out of the health facility, can embark on a path towards social integration. The key words of the project are "autonomy" and "community" in the spirit that has always lead Hewo’s activities.

A temporary shelter, for women and their children, in the houses near the hospital, giving priority to facilities with shared facilities for cooking, sharing meals and children's play time. This to help lay the foundations for joint projects. The assistance is temporary, because the goal is to help them return to work and society. From time to time, women will be helped to find employment through vocational training or through the creation of micro-enterprises that respond to the needs of the Quiha community.

The hospital cafeteria

A first project has already been identified: the creation of a cafeteria managed by the women involved in the temporary assistance project. The hospital staff of about 105 employees (health staff and not) have expressed the need to give a stable structure to the impromptu café just outside the entrance. It is currently a sheet metal hut, serving tea and coffee and hygienically very precarious. Thus the decision to create a café inside or just outside the hospital grounds. Either building a new structure or preferably reusing containers. The cafeteria could also serve meals at discounted prices for staff, avoiding their long journeys to return home for lunch.

Cleaning home

Opening Party

First coffee at Cafeteria

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