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In 1973, Valerie Browning, a young Sydney nurse, volunteered to go to Ethiopia to help the victims of a devastating famine. She had little or no conception of Africa or Africans, and yet the continent and its people would become the guiding force of her life. Galvanised by the suffering she witnessed in Ethiopia, on her return to Australia she became a human rights and aid activist for the people of the Horn of Africa. Valerie's work led her back to Africa again and again, involving her - at considerable risk to herself - in the armed liberation conflicts of the region. Even as she discovered brutality and corruption at the heart of these political movements, she also found love, marrying Ismael Ali Gardo, whose people, the Afar, roamed Ethiopia, Eritrea and the Sudan as nomadic herdsmen. Ismael's life mission was to help the Afar - desperately poor, uneducated, landless, and the victims of oppression in every country they once roved freely. Soon it became Valerie's too, as she embraced their culture and threw herself into their cause. In one of the most inhospitable landscapes on earth, Valerie and Ismael have waged an incredible struggle, bringing health and education to a people who would otherwise have nothing. Valerie's story is both an astonishing adventure and a testament to how determination and passion can achieve extraordinary things.
Meet the Authors
Valerie Browning is a remarkable Australian midwife and community development specialist, she visited Australia in May 2008 for the launch of a biography of her life titled Maalika, by author John D Little.
Valerie lives and works in the Afar region of Ethiopia with her husband, Ishmael Ali Gardo.
Together the couple established the Afar Pastoralist Development Association, a partner organisation of AngliCORD.
-Editorial Review. ] CtB remi-X 06/05/08
John Little is one of the world's leading authorities on helping athletes become bigger, stronger, and faster. He lives in Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada.