Life has been difficult for many people in Megenagna, a village in the area of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Many have been displaced because of conflict in northern Ethiopia. They and others are poverty-stricken, homeless or economically struggling.
In order to help, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will distribute food parcels to an estimated 550 families living in Megenagna over the next seven months. It means more than 2,500 people will be helped.
The Church’s Africa Newsroom reported that local government officials are working alongside the Church to identify the families to receive food, and the food parcels will be distributed by the nonprofit organization Real Humanitarian.
A food drive on July 16 kicked off the initiative. Tigist Negus Kiros received a food parcel that day.
“I came to Addis Ababa alone because my family was in need due to the war in our village,” he said. “By having this food, I will be able to save more money to send to my family so that they can come here and be with me to be safe from the war.”
Selam Mattieos Ayele said the food represented hope for his family: “The times in Ethiopia have been very difficult and it is hard to find work and to find food. I hope that this food will feed my family and we can survive through this rainy season.”
At the kickoff event, Megenagna Branch President Birhanu Molla Beyene told members of the community and the media that the Church was giving the food donations in an effort to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.
“Since we are all created in the image of God, we need to do good for our fellow beings and share what we have with the needy,” he explained. “We have to do our part to bring peace and prosperity to our country. The Church will continue to help the needy.“
Missionaries in the Church’s Ethiopia Addis Ababa Mission helped distribute the food at the first food drive. Elder Joshua Caleb Folau expressed his feelings.
“This opportunity to partner with the local community in order to meet the needs of those who are suffering enabled us to make a difference while serving as the Savior would,” said Elder Folau. “He loves each of us more than we can ever imagine.”