Blog: Participatory action for nutrition & WASH with pastoralist women in Afar, Ethiopia

Shadow of person taking the photo on left side. They are photographing of young woman crouched down by a hotstone oven which is dug into the earth. She has various pans and pots around her with ingredients for Mulfie. It is set in the desert in Afar, Ethi

This is part two in the blog series written by Christine Fostvedt-Mills (Fostvedt-Mills Consulting (FMC): Participatory action for nutrition & WASH with pastoralist women in Afar, Ethiopia

Christine shares reflections on facilitating participatory Community Action Planning workshops with pastoralist communities in the Afar region of Ethiopia. She also highlights work done towards one of the projects primary objectives - ensuring that the project remains participatory and centred the voices of women in the community, specifically mothers and female community leaders.

These approaches have resulted in culturally appropriate, gender balanced and community-driven actions toward improved nutrition and WaSH practises. She talks about the vital need to build trust with participants by involving them throughout the project, using methodologies like photovoice to center their voices and asking them directly to design solutions to their own problems has demonstrated
promising results.

Her first blog looks at the use of PhotoVoice methodology to centre the voices of women in the community on nutrition and WaSH challenges . You can read her 1st blog here Blog 1: Empowering pastoralist women in Afar region, Ethiopia: the value of PhotoVoice in Covid-sensitive research)

(Photo caption: Ayisa Abas captures her daughter preparing mulfie, a flatbread made from maize or wheat: “Mufie is the main food of the Afar people. We use maize flour, salt and water to prepare the dough. Then we flatten the dough using our palm, put the dough on a hot stone and cover it. After some time, the Mufie is ready and we can give it to the family with milk or sauce.” (Photo taken by Ayisa Abas of Awura village))

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