There is a faint sour smell in Adwa, in Ethiopia. It is widespread, it's hot, it's windy and dusty and yet it does not bother. It goes in waves, depending on where you are.When one approaches in the most difficult places, where humanity is in constant struggle with itself, with its own dignity and the very definition of mankind, that slight tremor turns into stunning, head first, limbs and heart then.In the Adwa prison, the women's section houses 34 women with their children, 12 children are wandering or sitting souls, with a vitreous gaze, angry or melancholy, they are prisoners of the government of Ethiopia, in this structure built by the Italian government at the time of the colonization.A bridge between disorder and order, between poverty and pomp, between the lower and upper people. A bridge between the first and second world war. A mixture of crimes and massed beds desists the guards to do their job, curbed by the absence of minimal security conditions. The meal is provided once a day, always the same, enjera and shirò, they cook it on the ground and distribute it from a plastic bucket, the little ones with their dangling bowl await their turn. The sour smell reaches its peak when it turns out that the shower water is allowed once a week and to make up for the inconvenience they use cans to save water and that the children always carry from one side of the courtyard to the other .
The boredom is palpable the sound of a small TV interrupts the long silences, there are no toys and every day is the same as the other.
These women are behind bars for various reasons. Azieb is 19 years old, is eight months pregnant and has to serve a year and eight months for stealing a cell phone, she will give birth here. Desinet G / Meskel is 5 years old has heart problems, does not receive treatment and does not go to school because his mother, Georgis Z / Michael has to serve two years for beating a man. Elfnesh Agos has also beaten a man and is left to serve four months, she has a 6-year-old son who has not started attending primary school. Alem Berhe has killed her husband and is serving a life sentence. Outside the prison, she lives alone her 12-year-old son who takes care of her sister. Others are mostly victims of debts. The initiative previously hoped for and dreamed of has been supplanted by the lack of payments of small loans obtained to start a new business, a new life and a decent future for their children.
These are some stories of these women.
In all civilizations and in all eras the towers of Babel and the infernal circles existed but none, by heart, contemplated that a child could be avoided freely.