The work we do to eliminate poverty in Ethiopia is funded through our charitable organization, Rainbow for the Future. It includes:
Helping Ethiopian Women Generate Income
In Ethiopia, poverty has existed for generations. But the worldwide economic recession and the severe food crisis throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa have intensified the burden on women living in poverty in Ethiopia. They now increasingly contribute to, and often assume sole responsibility for, the welfare of their families. In some areas, men are forced to migrate to cities, mines, or abroad, and this burden becomes particularly acute.
To earn money, women are creating their own jobs in small-scale agriculture, manufacturing, services, and petty trade. These income-generating activities are as diverse as small business promotion, cooperative undertakings, job creation schemes, sewing circles, credit and savings groups, and skills training programs.
Many development agencies, including Rainbow for the Future, are using credit as a development tool. Loans of as little as $80 have allowed women to start new farming activities, add value to existing activities, and develop off-farm enterprises. These loans have been used to purchase, rear, and fatten livestock, begin poultry production, start beekeeping, and produce and process food from their harvests. Other women have established market stalls, trading posts, shops, restaurants, and much more.
These loans go a long way toward eradicating Ethiopia poverty and reducing the chance of another terrible Ethiopian famine (although in Ethiopia, famine is still something many people have to deal with every day).
Boditti Self-Help Group Project
The overall objective of this project is to contribute to the well-being and economic betterment of poor people in areas around Bodit town. Specifically, the project is aimed at improving the income of 300 poor women by organizing them into 15 self-help groups. Indirectly, this project will also improve the income levels of more than 4,600 people in the area.
Loans of as little as $80 have allowed women to start new farming activities, add value to existing activities, and develop off-farm enterprises.
In phase two of this project, we are working with Ethiopian NGO Tarkanfi Sustainable Development, which will employ a multi-dimensional development approach, including using micro financing to address the core problems of urbanization, gender discrimination, and low and undiversified income sources in Yeka Sedan. This intervention will work toward reducing high school dropout rates, poor livestock productivity, and the heavy workload of women and children. Improvements in these areas can eventually help us eliminate poverty in Ethiopia for good.
Support for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children
Rainbow for the Future has committed to the children in the impoverished community of Kuriftu, Ethiopia. This is a place with very few happy stories in the past but on the verge of many new stories!
Kuriftu is a small community 120 km south-east of Addis Ababa. This area has a very high rate of HIV/AIDS (90%). Many have died, leaving children orphaned and destitute. There is a school, which is a school in name only. The buildings are old and run down; there are no materials, desks, or even blackboards. There is no water or toilet facility. The children gather in the school compound because there is nowhere else for them to go.
Rainbow for the Future is supporting 60 Kuriftu children per year. The plan is also to rehabilitate the primary school for all the children of Kuriftu so they can work toward a brighter future, because we all know that education is key to eliminating poverty in Ethiopia and ending the Ethiopian famine forever.
Photo: Rod Waddington