Celebrating Thanksgiving while keeping Ethiopia in our hearts


Today around the US, many of us are traveling to spend time with friends and family in celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday. We’re carving turkeys and enjoying delicious sweet potatoes, green beans, pumpkin pie, and cranberry sauce. Millions are gathering around the television or in our communities to watch Thanksgiving parades, college football and the annual Detroit Lions game. As we eat and share stories around the table, one theme is consistent: we each feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the life we enjoy.

And as we celebrate our time with family and friends, many of our global neighbors are not as fortunate. 15 million people, more than at any time in the past decade, need emergency assistance now in Ethiopia. Drought brought on by the El Niño weather phenomenon has severely affected several regions of the country overwhelming even the established emergency protocols and coping mechanisms. Nuru Ethiopia works in SNNPR in one of the areas impacted by drought.

Although where Nuru works is outside the epicenter of the crisis, the impact is still felt by Nuru farmer households. Many households are faced with tough choices such as cutting meals per day down to two or one, and limiting necessary expenditure on medicine, clothing and other items. The worst impacted households are at risk of exhausting even these options, and without further recourse, turn to unsustainable coping mechanisms such as selling off productive assets, property, or becoming migrant laborers. While these mechanisms may help a household cope for a few months, they most often trigger setbacks requiring years of recovery just to get back to where a household started.

Through its programs, Nuru is intervening and offering farmer households a sustainable and non-risky approach to help them avoid additional setbacks in their path out of poverty. We see this as a prudent and sustainable investment in our partner communities that believe in us. We invite you to stand with us as you have in the past.

Did you know that over the last seven years more than 85,000 people have been impacted through Nuru’s programs? Without the help of concerned globally minded individuals like you, Nuru would not be able to catalyze lasting change in isolated regions of Kenya and Ethiopia.

So as we continue to move our mission forward to end extreme poverty in remote, rural areas, we are grateful for you. We are grateful that together we can play a strong role in improving livelihoods and building resilience into households and whole communities. Together, we will work to ensure that more people are equipped with the tools they need to lead their communities out of extreme poverty, permanently.

Happy Thanksgiving!

About Billy Williams

Strategic Partnership Director — Billy has spearheaded our Strategic Partnerships since the organization's inception and catalyzed Nuru's growth from a handful of volunteers to thousands of poverty fighters. As Nuru’s lead advocate and storyteller, Billy has been invited to share at events around the country. Billy is as passionate about ending extreme poverty as he is about his home state of West Virginia. You can follow Billy on Twitter @chanchanchepon.

One Comment

  • Marion Mace says:

    Thank you Billy for the update. I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.
    Everyone is so Impressed with both your and Jake’s unbelievable undertaking and success you have achieved. You are the heart of Nuru. I hope to send a contribution to Nuru soon.

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