The SARO project has begun Summer 2016 Thanks to your donations and matching from the UK government for our Planting Hope appeal, Send a Cow Ethiopia has just hired a number of new staff who have just started work on our SARO (Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Opportuniti project in the Wolayta zone. We’d like to introduce you to three of them and tell you how they’re finding Send a Cow so far. Zebider Alemu, 26-years-old, is going to be working with us as a Gender and Social Development worker. This is her third job since graduating with a degree in sociology and social work in 2011. “My previous jobs were urban focused but I am very familiar with the rural setting as my grandparents lived in the rural areas around Boditi.” In the induction workshops, Zebider has learned more about Send a Cow. “I have learned that Send a Cow works with the poorest of the poor and works on mind-set change. I have seen this for myself when we visited farmers in the Gamo Gofa and Wolayta zones. Before the workshop, my thinking was similar to farmers who haven’t joined Send a Cow because of their land size, resources and poverty. But the training challenged that, making me think that ‘it is not the land size but the thinking that matters most’. “Based on the knowledge and the mindset shift that I am acquiring, I am very hopeful that I will work hard and achieve the goal and objectives of the SARO project” Afework Takele is a 25-year-old science graduate, and is going to be working for us as a Natural Resources Manager. Before starting work with Send a Cow, he spent two years working at the Humbo Woreda government office as a water& soil conservation expert and three years working as a food security expert. Here’s how he described his first week: “This induction workshop was very empowering. From the training and field visits, I learned a lot about the reality of smallholder farmers. My morale has been lifted and I feel motivated about becoming an agent of change. I am so happy to be joining Send a Cow!” Merekat Eyasu has joined the SARO project as a Gender and Social Development worker. She is 22 and recently graduated from Addis Ababa University with a degree in Social Anthropology. “I used to think that work was just a means to a monthly salary. Send a Cow's training has enlightened me and shown me that work can be more than just earning a salary," she said. "Send a Cow staff work as if they’re on a mission to bring change into the lives of poor farmers. This makes me very happy! “When I visited the farmers, I saw that they are very confident and determined for change. I can’t wait to be part of this process.” Welcome to Send a Cow, Zebider, Afework and Merekat - it's great to have you and all your colleagues on board!