Thanksgiving in Hurumuu

There are many things in life, for which we are grateful. It makes you particularly grateful, if you have survived a serious illness. This is what people experience, who participate in the Podo groups. At the last meeting of the self-help groups, therefore, a festival is often celebrated.

By Christel Ahrens.

Responsible for such a festival is a committee, which collects money and bakes bread and cooks tea. At such a meeting in Hurumuu, Illubabor, I was able to be there. It was almost 100 People have come.

Who wants to tell?

Woyni, Mother of four children, Get up: Life with the bad feet became so unbearable for her, that she tried, to take your life. She later heard from the Podo self-help group. In the meantime, she is doing well.

Alemi, a young woman tells, that she got thick feet at the age of seven. Her brothers had to wear them. Regular visits to clinics cost the family huge sums of money. Most recently, doctors advised to amputate. After six months of self-treatment, she wears custom-made shoes. She can finally take part in public life. She cries… out of sadness and gratitude.

Chaltu has no relatives. When her feet developed the first signs of Podo, she dropped out of school. She heard about the Podo group, after these had already started and no new ones had been added. Chaltu wept bitterly and an exception was made. In the meantime, she has even found a job and says proudly, that she now pays for the soap herself.

Now it's the men's turn to say something: Tilahun, a well-known man, lived since 16 years with the disease, when he heard about the self-help group. The wet wounds on the foot just didn't want to get better. When worms came out of the wound, he bought poison and prepared flour and vaseline with it, so desperate he was. Today his feet are without wounds and he wears shoes.

Tadu makes it like many people with Podo: Always lag behind others, so that it remains unrecognized and does not become a mockery of other pedestrians. For the first visit to the Podo Group he came without shoes, today he wears shoe size 43.

The next man, who stands up says: I am someone, who does not stand up, to say something. I was despised by the people, this is now changing. The Last Man, who says something, lives since 42 years with the disease and the bad smell was always there. My feet don't know shoes. You came to us and God came with you and brought us healing.

At the end, a woman goes up and down, raises hands and says: We are doing well today. But why isn't the disease talked about on the radio? You talk about everything on the radio, but not about, how to recover from this disease.

Dinkinesh, the initiator of the group and herself affected, Describes, how many sacrifices are made, so that the groups can be carried out. A message, which is on the other side: So important are you to us. They deserve it.

nevertheless, there is still a lot of work to be done.