Introduction / History The Galila people of southwest Ethiopia are considered to speak Gayil, a dialect of a language called Aari. The 65,000 or more Galila call themselves Gayil whereas outsiders call them Galila. This is a group which does not have the Bible in their own language and cannot understand the Aari New Testament scriptures. In 1960 Christianity was introduced to Gayil and it is likely that over 35% of the Gayil people are now Christians. The Gayil live in a high-altitude location (almost 9,000 feet or a little over 2700 meters), an hours drive beyond a town called Basketto.
Subsistence farming is their way of life where they raise crops of wheat, barley, t'ef (an Ethiopian grain), korarima (an expensive Ethiopian spice often exported outside the country), corn, and false bananas. They also raise livestock such as cows and sheep. They have not succeeded in raising tomatoes due to a tomato disease and they cannot grow other fruit due to the high altitude and often cold weather. In the highlands of Galila, there are thatched round huts for sleeping and cooking. There are springs for a water source, but they are not managed and are contaminated by animals and people before becoming drinking water. The Gayil desire outside help with needs such as working with their language and community development which includes water management and sustainable crops to create a more balanced diet. There is a genuine need and desire for the Bible among the Gayil people.