On the Road in Ethiopia (Staff profile)
Wuditu Assefa spends much of her time travelling, talking to WFP partners and beneficiaries. She is a Field Monitor, based in Dessie in the north of Ethiopia. As she explains here, one of the things she monitors is the MERET project to reduce vulnerability to drought.
As a WFP field monitor, I visit all WFP-supported activities such as school feeding, emergency and safety net relief distributions and MERET. Then we go to the partners and see how they are implementing these activities and how the resources are distributed to beneficiaries.
We let the partners know when we see something which is outside the objectives of the programme or if there is something that has deviated from the WFP’s standard procedure. We discuss it with them so that they can take action.
For the beneficiaries, we advise them to work to improve their situations, by getting involved in development activities or sending their children to schools. I feel good when I see women making progress because of the income-generating activities in the MERET programme. When I see them taking steps to improve the status of their health, being able to pay for their children's education or buy shoes. These are really exciting moments for me.
It's hard when emergencies happen and I see how they affect our beneficiaries. Especially when I see women and children suffering from the impact of drought or HIV/AIDS. I met an elderly woman this past November at an HIV/AIDS distribution center in Gondar town. She had lost seven of her children and has to support eight grandchildren all on her own, including her surviving daughter who is HIV positive. She told me that HIV/AIDS had devastated her. It is hard to see this.
I am always talking to people to find out about their lives and how they are living. During our interaction, I also share my own experiences.
I grew up in the southwestern part of Ethiopia. I used to work at several organisations before joining WFP, including government organizations and NGOs. Then I saw a vacancy announcement for a female field monitor for WFP. I applied for the position. I did the examination and then I joined WFP.
I feel like my work is rewarding, and that I am helping people on a daily basis. I think I am doing some positive things to change people’s lives and their quality or standard of life.
View a clip of Wuditu talking about her work
The MERET project in Ethiopia targets food insecure communities in degraded fragile ecosystems that are prone to drought-related food crises. The project uses food as an incentive for local community members to work on initiatives aimed at reducing vulnerability to drought and flooding. Learn more