Cham's Coffee is Good for One's Health
“We see that no children have died”
Is coffee good for your health? If you are living in Gambella, Ethiopia, having coffee with Cham might save your child's life.
Cham is a member of the Anglican Mother’s Union. She received basic hygiene training at the Gambella Anglican Centre in western Ethiopia, on the border with South Sudan. Like everyone else in her village, she has lost a child due to illnesses that in the West would be easily preventable.
But a training offered by the church taught the community that simple changes to their routines can prevent infant mortality.
“I became a Mother’s Union representative because I was very impressed by the training and I wanted to pass it along to other mothers. I’ve seen that when we practice this lesson we see that no children have died in our village.”
So how did Cham, an illiterate mother of 8, pass along these teachings, especially to those in neighboring communities?
“The coffee ceremony has a lot of significance. For instance, when you welcome guests, the first thing you prepare is the coffee. When there is a mourning over the death of a relative, people always gather together and they spend time drinking coffee. Coffee is very important for gathering the mothers together for teaching.”
When the group has gathered, Cham begins her lesson using hand-drawn pictures so that the women—most of whom are completely illiterate—can understand.
“Cham has a gift for mobilizing women,” says Rev. Durash, Education Coordinator at the Gambela Anglican Centre, “Because of her, many women are now coming to the church.”
The next time you gather with friends and neighbors for coffee, remember Cham and other ARDF partners who are transforming lives, one cup of coffee at a time.