Rich and poor

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By Terry Saundersfreelance journalist and children’s writer

Use Abuk’s story to help children to identify the many similarities and differences between the lives of children around the world

“My name is Abuk. I am nine years old. I live with my family in Ethiopia. My dad left some years ago to find work in the city. We haven’t heard from him since. We make our living by herding goats. We had a lot of animals once but they all died, except one, which made us very poor.

My mum couldn’t get work so we had to sell everything – clothes, beds, pots and pans. We didn’t get much money for them, so we were still hungry. We borrowed three pregnant goats through a loan scheme to help us raise a herd. Now we have a bit more food and money, and I can care for the goats. I am proud to do this as it helps the family.

In the morning, Mum collects water from the well, milks the goats and cooks breakfast on the fire. She cooks asida, made of millet and fruit, with goat’s milk. I take the goats out of the village while Mum collects firewood to sell at the market with some milk. When I come home, we have the nicest part of the day – the whole family sits down to supper. We have asida again.

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