We also worked with a partner organization in Ethiopia: The name of this organization is APDA and the abbreviation stands for “Afar Pastoralist Development Association”, i.e. an association to support the pastoralist and nomadic people of the Afar.
APDA is an organization by the Afar for the Afar and yet the founder and our contact person is a native Australian named Valerie Browning. She is, however, after more than 30 years in the Ethiopian bush and married to an Afar, rather Afar than Australian. Valerie’s Afar name is Maalika and under this name she is known throughout the Afar region to beyond the borders of Eritrea and Djibouti.
Maalika is a trained nurse and still health care and the maternity ward is her hobbyhorse. Tirelessly and around the clock, this petite little woman fights windmills. She is constantly on standby for emergency medical calls, she keeps in touch with politicians, ambassadors and international NGOs such as Unicef, WHO, World Hunger Relief… although it is precisely this work that takes the most out of her nerves.
APDA acts on a wide variety of levels: Health care, education, water supply and nutrition, agricultural development, …
In the coming weeks, we will be able to experience how versatile a people knows how to help itself here. And how nice that we from the caravan were able to support them a little bit!