Ethiopia is the only African country to never have been colonized, though it was briefly occupied by Italy during part of WWII. Ethiopia has been a leader in joining the United Nations, supporting the decolonization of Africa and establishing the Organization of African Unity. Today, Ethiopia is one of the world’s poorest countries, prone to the risk of famine. Bordering two nations at war, Sudan and Somalia, Ethiopia has itself known long-term conflict with Eritrea.
Malnutrition, poor sanitation, and inadequate health care translate to a high infant mortality rate at 104.5 infant deaths per 1000 live births. That’s roughly one in ten! Poor education opportunities hinder future development; 62% of Ethiopian women ages 15-19 are illiterate, as are 47% of males of the same age bracket. Of the poorest fifth of Ethiopian women, only 2% have completed fifth grade, perpetuating the vicious cycle of poverty for their children.
Bread and Water for Africa UK supports programs in Ethiopia to improve self-sufficiency and nutrition, and offers vocational training opportunities adapted to the needs of the communities in which our programs are established.
Through our sustainable agriculture programs and our local partner YETEEM, we train communities in the Afar region of northeast Ethiopia to cultivate land in a fashion adapted to its vulnerability to cyclical drought, paying particular attention to water management.
In addition, YETEEM offers other practical vocational training opportunities, in computers or in sewing for example, allowing for employment after training. To this day, every person trained at YETEEM found a job after or during training. This program provides practical competencies, helping people to participate directly in regional economic development. It also gives them and their families an even more important source of change: a sense of pride and hope.
In Ethiopia, we also work with another local partner organization, HUNDEE, in a programs designed specifically for single mothers and their families. We give these families a cow within a framework of a community cooperative. Milk products and butter are sold and also used for the consumption by the family.
This project has been a real success thanks to the women’s hard work and the active participation that allowed them to exceed the initial projections. But there are many more women who are still on the waiting list to participate in the HUNDEE project. These women have worked hard to improve the social and economic conditions of their lives and the lives of their families. Bread and Water for Africa UK is by their side to help in the development and the financing of new projects.
Grants to Ethiopia,
2004/2005: £ 20,000