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Ethiopia - How much is a life worth?
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07 March 2018

(ANS - Gambella) - To look with the eyes of the world, there are so many criteria to evaluate the importance of a life ... Then there is Christ's way of looking upon it all. Here, a healthy provocation from the missionary Fr Filippo Perin, SDB.

If life's worth is based on money ... then Gambella, where even those who have a job earn 1 euro a day, life is worth ten times less than a European citizen's.

If based on educational qualifications ... then in Gambella, where 85% of people still cannot read or write, life is worth truly little.

If based on how many times you eat a day ... then in Gambella, where you only eat once – if you are luckt - life is worth little indeed.

If its worth is based on life expectancy ... then in Gambella, where the oldest reach 50 years – at most -, here people have one life, while in the West they have two.

If it is based on obtaining medicines ... then in Gambella, where they are often lacking or cost too much, life is next-to-nothing.

If it's based on one's gender ... then in Gambella, if you are a woman, life has little value.

If it's by age ... then in Gambella, where the child and the adolescent have to grow up alone and get by, life is really worth very little.

If based on the color of one's skin, where white is the maximum and black is the minimum ... then in Gambella, where people are black, life is worth very little.

If it depends on how how big your house is ... then in Gambella, where the huts are made of wood, mud and grass, life is worth little.

If its worth depends on how much comfort you have at home ... then in Gambella, where there is no comfort, life is worth almost nothing.

If it depends on how many times you go out on Saturday night ... then in Gambella, where at night it is better to stay at home so as not to be attacked, life is worth very little.

How much is a life worth? By what criteria do we evaluate a person?

If these are the criteria, in Gambella and especially in the villages of Pugnido, Otiel, Two, Thatha ... life is in the last place of this ranking, indeed it does not even appear.

In view of Easter, I hope that this reflection, one made with eyes wide open on reality here, can make us all think about where the true value of life is.

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