The history of REST is, in many ways, synonymous with the history of Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) and the gallant people of Tigray and their multiple struggles against the vagrancies of harsh environmental crises and human-made disasters. The ultimacy of the connection between the political struggle for freedom and liberty and livelihood struggle for survival and wellbeing is exemplified by REST ability to create the prerequisites that made it able during the past forty years to sustain both struggles. Such has been the level of endurance to deliver results which cumulatively contributing and improving the socio-economic and environmental conditions of the people of Tigray year-on-year. No wonder that these qualities have made REST one of the most trusted people’s organization, galvanizing the aspirations of generations giving voice to the voiceless, supporting those in need and console the aggrieved.
A future where poverty has been eradicated and all people enjoy equitable access to development opportunities and benefits.
REST’s mission is to contribute to the eradication of poverty in Ethiopia by promoting livelihoods on a sustainable basis within the context of stimulating wider economic dynamism and growth within the Regional State of Tigray.
The following articulates the core values and world at a time of extreme need and underlying REST’s existence as an organization, and all its operations and activities.
SERVING THE PEOPLE
REST as an organization emerged from a process of people’s struggle within Tigray, formed specifically to serve the people and act as their advocate with the external isolation. REST’s rationale for existence continues to be, first and continues to be, first and foremost, serving the people and assisting them in their struggle for development.
During the last 40 years (1978-2018), REST has shared with the people of Tigray the turbulent years of war, famine and unprecedented internal displacement and the exodus of hundreds of thousand refugees who left behind their homes, farms and the very land where they and their forefathers and mothers lived for millennia. During those dark days of the Derg regime of Mengistu Haile Meriam, our people endured tremendous suffering and untold misery of severe food shortage, one of the basic substances of existence. In those days, food was used as a weapon of war against our people. Instead of breaking their will or forcing them to move to camps of shame constructed by the Derg regime to control them and deny them any capacity to resist its evil designs, the people of Tigray refused humiliation and opted for joining the struggle. They preferred death in dignity to live in servitude. The young, ….