Anglican Overseas Aid was recently privileged to organise an evening with Australian nurse and midwife, Valerie Browning.
Visiting Australia and New Zealand from her home in the Afar region of northern Ethiopia, Valerie spoke to a group of about 40 people at St Michael’s Anglican Church in North Carlton. Life in the Afar is incredibly harsh. Temperatures in the hot season can reach 60 degrees Celsius, and a changing climate means that the nomadic Afar tribe is finding it more and more difficult to plan for the future.
Valerie has spent 28 years bringing education and life-saving medical aid to the primarily Islamic Afar nomads of northern Ethiopia. She has nursed famine victims, reported undercover on human rights abuses and has risked her life many times for her belief in justice. She spoke about all of this, and gave a heartbreaking yet hopeful update on the current situation in the Afar.
The evening was a wonderful opportunity to hear from a straight-talking, no-nonsense, compassionate and selfless woman who left the comforts of Australia to give her life to serving in a completely different culture in one of the harshest places on earth.
You can read more about Valerie and her work with the Afar Pastoralist Development Association here.
We are currently supporting a community radio station in the Afar region. The station reaches 65 percent of the population of the Afar region and broadcasts development-oriented programs in the fields of education as part of the culture (including girls being able to go to school), the importance of blood transfusions and donating blood, women being able to deliver babies safely, environmental protection, animal health, and minimising outbreaks of disease.
If you would like to support the work of Valerie Browning and the radio station, click on the ‘Please Donate’ button (choose ‘Ethiopia – APDA & Valerie Browning’ from the ‘Donation’ drop-down menu):