Tumme Konton, her husband Sisay and their children live in a tiny settlement called Adankonsole, near the small market town of Soguba, not far from the Kenyan border in Ethiopia.
Although she has no running water, sanitation or electricity, she would not think of herself as poor – in fact she has some status in her community. She has a good stock of animals, including a donkey called Bukke, which enables her to provide for her family.
This is her story in pictures:
The Donkey Sanctuary’s local team met Tumme during the course of their emergency work in response to last year’s drought. They saw and recorded how for women like Tumme, donkeys become a lifeline when food and water are scarce, providing transport to emergency supply points – and keeping the family and the community together. The team helped keep donkeys like Bukke alive during the crisis, and the charity is now working to convince humanitarian aid agencies that their relief work needs to cater for donkeys, as well as animals bred for their meat or milk.
With life now back to normal after the drought, donkeys continue to improve the quality of life for Ethiopian women, in keeping with the Millennium Development Goals of gender equality and poverty alleviation. Donkey transport gives women access to markets, and reduces the time spent on domestic tasks such as fetching water and fuel, freeing up the women for other activities including education and participation in community events.