“I’m hungry, Mama!”
“Yes, I’m hungry, too.”
The distressed whimpers of Hanna’s two young boys echoed in her ears as she rushed out of the house to look for a job. Halfway to her destination, a sudden, pressing kick in her womb slowed her down. At seven months pregnant, she was familiar with these startling movements.
Hanna fought back tears as she remembered something: she hadn’t had dinner or breakfast. It was almost as if these kicks were her baby’s only way of demanding food. She gently rubbed her belly, hoping that somebody would hire her so she could feed her children — and herself, too.
The global food crisis has made feeding little ones harder than ever, disproportionately impacting mothers and children like Hanna and her family. Ever since her husband left them, Hanna struggled to support her children. As her pregnant belly grew, the possibility of her being hired shrank.
“People refused to hire me when they realized I was pregnant. I begged and tried to convince them, but they just told me I was not fit for the job. I lost all hope,” Hanna shares.
Hunger Causes Pain
A mother’s heart can hardly bear the pain of watching her child go unfed. “A couple of times, I left the boys and stayed on the streets because I didn’t want to see them cry for food. I decided to leave them as their father did, rather than see them starve,” says Hanna.
Exhausted and with nowhere else to turn, Hanna was giving up on life altogether. “I also decided to end my life,” she says.
Desperate, Hanna turned to churches, mosques and large shops in her neighborhood, seeking support. However, the little money she received could only last for a couple of days.
Hanna struggled for as long as she could until the moment she stepped into the compound of Asko Kale Hiwot Church. For her, the church was just another building to visit to ask for some assistance — anything she could get — for her children.