Humanitarian crisis in northern Ethiopia: "I am you & you are I, & what have we done to each other?"

We can name names.  We can show you pictures of those who have fled war & endured unfathomable loss.  They are not strangers to us, but our brothers and sisters.  They have come to Lalibela, beset with its own problems caused by the covid shutdown of the economy.  We already are feeding 250 children & their families.  They were starving before we were able to send donations to help them.  Fortunately, we have 3 trustworthy Ethiopian friends who are administering our food/education program.

But today, a message from our friend, Desiye, in Lalibela.

"This is killing me...."
This is killing us, too...and we don’t have to stand face to face with this grieving father, begging for food so that his children don’t starve.
Further from Desiye:
"I asked them where they came from. They came from the region of Tigray but they are originally Amhara. and i found them begging on the street. and it was very heartbreaking. War is terrible. And when I asked the wife why she didn't come with them, he answer to me was very sad. He told me that he wife had been killed with many Amharas peoples who they been live Tigray.
"Let's put their slain souls in paradise! May God heal the wounded quickly. May all of you pray for the return of our country to peace!"
There are more than 3,000 newly displaced people in Lalibela and around. They've lost everything, including dear ones.
The civil unrest in Ethiopia has had dire results for the poorest in the area. Resources are already stretched to the limit. Refugees have come because, well, quite literally, there is no where else safe to go. The stories are heartbreaking. These innocent children and many others like them have seen too much death and destruction in their young lives. We have to help them. Anything less breaks our hearts.
If you are at all able to join us in getting food to the refugees in Lalibela, now is the crucial time. You will save lives! Every cent goes to the people who most need it. We are a registered 501c3, so your donation is tax deductible. AND...join us in our journey there later this year. Meet them face to face. You will love them, and they will love you. It's less difficult & less expensive than you might imagine. Contact us for more information.
Image icon refugees in Lalibela93.76 KB


This accounting was sent to us by Desiye Melku:

Assistance for internal displaced person

Hello all Harambee families

The internally displaced persons  who have been obligated to flee or leave their homes, places of habitual residence as a result if political, ethnic cleansing , war between TPLF and Federal government of Ethiopia.

We are distributed Harambee fund for displacements here in Lalibela today. We distributed face mask for protecting them from COVID-19 transmission, body and clothes soaps and cash. We used our judgment to distribute the help for 412 family leaders displaced those who are live in community shelters, and those who are still living on the streets. 

 We are distributed by stretching the fund (those who has 1-3 family members $18, 4-5 family members $20 and ≥6 family members $27.5 received respectively). We have provided the support to beneficiaries on the campus of 4 schools in their local.

We have observed the victims’ homes burned, two cars burned, mothers and fathers killed, their children killed, and so on. One women husband, her husband’s brother and a housemaid were injured and they are in Felege Hiwot hospital, Bahirdar, are receiving their medical treatment on bedside at this time. She comes to lalibela with her two children (10 years old girl and 13 age boy). She is keeping crying and so sad. There are many untold able tragedy for all displaced. We have met with a man who is injured by gun and now he is attending his medical treatment in Lalibela hospital.  I want to travel Bahirdar Thursday on to see the three people admitted in Felege-hiwot hospital.

Priests, old people and all the entire displaced beneficiaries were pray for Harambee families. They all expressed there are so happy for unexpected help and expressed their deepest gratitude! Now Ethiopia are on fasting time and during this time they are promised to keeping praying for Harambee family to be protect from the current global COVID crises.


We have fruitful discussion with our beneficiaries about their future. Based on our discussion their comments were

  1. Many of displaced want to back to their places of habitual residence because the areas were assured them the security is safe. So they want to use the help for transportation maybe this week. They are very happy to get the help.
  2. About 25 critical people those are living on the street are telling us, they have got pieces of Land from the local Kebele to build 5×4 resident room. But they couldn’t to afford to build their room. They seek help.
  3. Some of people among the displaced raised ideas that they are preferring to organizing themselves to do projects like beekeeping, mill and other business  for their sustainable food security

We made no promises and clues except listen carefully to their thoughts. Finally, we parted in prayer and good wishes and prayers for Harambee families and donors. We are very happy to have this support.


For Harambee