NEW! "Rural Life in Hamar, Ethiopia" book and CATTLE FUND RAISER

Hamar book flip through
Scroll down for the information about the publication ↓↓↓

Fundraiser for the author of the book

pencil sketch drawing/ portrait of a man
Bazo Morfa portrait sketch by Gele Hailu

We can help a colleague’s family who have lost their basic economy due to climate change and are asking for a direct support!

Help Bazo's family to get out of hunger and subordinate status in society. The drought has killed most of the Hamar herding animals. Besides being the source of subsistence livestock is also the local currency. After his father's passing because of discriminatory local customs, Bazo’s mother didn’t inherit any animals. That is why Bazo's mother, sisters and younger brother are facing dire poverty and no access to any recourses (to learn more about the situation scroll down↓↓↓).

One cow costs - 200 €, one goat – about 70 €. Our goal is raise 2000,- € by October 6.
  • You can contribute by transfering money to

Bank account:

Stichting Myvillages

IBAN: NL24 INGB 0001 5460 59

BIC: INGBNL2A

With a note: For Bazo Morfa

  • When you buy a book directly from us, 50% of the price goes directly to the fundraiser. You can order it by writing to: wapke@myvillages.org
People are extremely hungry now. They are struggling to cope with the ongoing drought. (..) If my family owns five cows or calves and ten goats, they will amazingly improve their lives. They will even feel that they have a resource or property at home. A Hamar family will not keep money in the Bank. They consider their cattle (cows or oxen or bulls) or goats and sheep as their only savings. They only believe in living things. - Bazo Morfa

For the updates on the fundraising - you can follow us on instagram
pencil drawing of a woman milking a cow, child holding a little cattle
Hamar milking a cow, drawing by Gele Hailu

Book Launch

two photos of a photographed book
Hamar book cover and index

On 11 September at Documenta fifteen we launched a book written and illustrated by authors from Hamar tribe. About Hamar by Hamar! Rural Life in Hamar, Ethiopia: Ecological and Cultural Challenges written by Bazo Morfa and illustrated by Gele Hailu, printed by Lumbung Press. (Design: Maarten van Maanen, edit: Indra Gleizde ; project initiated by Wapke Feenstra).

Where: ruruHaus, Lower Gound

When: From 15.00 during "Harfest and Trans-local Economy Summit" that is part of our "Rural Undercurrents in and around Kassel" weekend program.

About the book:

Drought, climate change, war in the region and local conflicts between the traditional customs and demands for change: Bazo Morfa tells the story of the challenges that his family and the Hamar tribe face in Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia. He is one of the very few members of the tribe who didn’t follow the traditional path of pastoral life, and instead gained education. Bazo is the oldest son and a brother of a family that recently lost almost all of their livestock. We learn about land use practices, social structures and gender equality issues through his own autobiography. Bazo's friend Gele Hailu, a Hamar artist that currently lives in the Netherlands, made illustrations of daily local realities and cultural practices from his own memory.

Few excerpts from the book:

For centuries, the Hamar has not allowed either the government or themselves to own their land individually or communally as other developed communities. Instead, the land is free for any one. Having free farmland, free grazing land, free hunting land, free bare land, and arable land. The Hamar ever wish to live in their land freely. In relation to the rest of the world, they are not intact with other nations in the country let alone with the outside world, and they have long lived all alone in the corner of the country.
The major Hamar occupations are livestock herding, subsistence farming, and beehive keeping. They have remained as livestock keepers for many generations and centuries and their pastoral way of life is not conducive to the ownership rule. Another factor that does not allow the Hamar community to adapt land use and ownership is, the community’s strict and tight culture, which is change and education resistant in the country.

For now book is available at:
  • the bookshop at ruruHaus, Kassel;
  • or you can order it by writing to: wapke@myvillages.org;
  • more places coming soon!

Background story

Bazo was introduced to us via Gele Hailu (illustrator of the book). Gele works as an artist in Rotterdam in the Myvillages studio,that is run by Myvillages co-founder and artist Wapke Feenstra. Gele told us that his friend Bazo and his family is in a very difficult situation, and that because Bazo is stuck as a refugee in Nigeria he is not able to help his family.

Bazo wrote to Wapke in an email:

People are extremely hungry now. They are struggling to cope with the ongoing drought. The severe acute recurrent and ongoing drought requires advocacy all over the country and world, but they are dumped by the government.
Again, our Hamar people have no good English speakers outside so people are dying and suffering in the country. Maybe if Gele told you, only four Hamar people are outside home land and abroad. Hamar really needs voice internationally and support. I am actually good English speaker and writer compared to other Hamars.

This is how idea of making a project together with Bazo and Gele slowly started to take shape. In the publication Bazo goes in great detail explaining the situation in which Hamar and his family is in.

More excerpts from the book

The overwhelming number of the livestock (such as cattle and goats) died in the year 2017 and tens of hundreds of the Hamar people lost their domestic animals. Still now, the majority of the community are in a grave life and they have not yet recovered their animal economy in the region. As illiteracy is at a rampant stage, people are in a danger zone if the global climate change persists in this way or if they do not find outside intervention.
Uniquely, cattle are central to the Hamar economy. My mother and school brother are still tearfully pleading with me to raise more funds to purchase some female cattle such as calves, heirs and cows so that those young cows could breed more for my family in a few years. That sounds like a great idea, but I am financially broken these times as a refugee.
Recently, almost all cattle or cows died and the remaining few do not give milk to the family. Nevertheless, the remaining few cattle belong to our eldest stepbrother, who controlled all livestock and refused us our father’s inheritances. However, my mother, younger siblings, and I do not have cattle or cows because we have never inherited any property or asset from our father as he passed away suddenly.

For the updates on where you can find the publication, the fundraising and more project details that we will reveal in upcoming month you can find on myVillages instagram