A YEAR IN
ETHIOP09IA SUMMARY REPORT
U. A. E.
A savings and loan scheme in action.
Country Office Programme Unit
Our priorities in Ethiopia • Working with communities to protect the health of children and their families
• Nearly half the population have no safe water, and just over three quarters lack decent sanitation facilities
• Recurrent drought this year left around 4.6 million people needing emergency food assistance
• One in four children in rural areas are not enrolled in primary school
GOOD REASONS why Plan works in Ethiopia
• Raising the standard of education for young children, pupils at school and adults • Helping families to increase their food supplies and boost their household income • Raising awareness of children’s rights and increasing children’s role in community decision-making • Helping to lessen the impact of HIV/AIDS
Tending to the family goats.
Shama ETHIOPIA FACTS G
Rua Rufiji ha
Capital: Addis Ababa
a s t Population: e r n A f r81i million c a
Climate: Elevation and geographic location produce three climatic zones: the cool zone above 2,400 meters where temperatures range from near freezing to 16 °C; the temperate zone at elevations of 1,500 to 2,400 meters with
International Boundaries Highways Primary Roads Major Rivers Intermediate Rivers Lakes
temperatures from 16 to 30 °C; and the hot zone below 1,500 meters with both tropical and arid conditions and daytime temperatures ranging from 27 to 50 °C. The normal rainy season is from mid-June to mid-September (longer in the southern highlands), preceded by intermittent showers from February or March; the remainder of the year is generally dry.
Economy: Ethiopia was the original source of the coffee bean. Coffee beans are still the country’s largest export commodity. Ethiopia is also the 10th largest producer of livestock in the world. Other main export commodities are khat, gold, leather products, and oilseeds. Additional small-scale export products include cereals, pulses, cotton, sugarcane, potatoes and hides. With the construction
of various new dams and growing hydroelectric power projects around the country, it has also begun exporting electric power to its neighbors. However, coffee remains its most important export product and with new trademark deals around the world, including recent deals with Starbucks, the country plans to increase its revenue from coffee. Most regard Ethiopia’s
large water resources and potential as its “white oil” and its coffee resources as ‘black gold’.Tourism is a growing sector, particularly in the coastal area, around Mount Cameroon, and in the north.
A YEAR IN
ETHIOPIA 09 SUMMARY REPORT
FOCUS ON: SECURING FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD INCOMES Ethiopia suffers from recurrent droughts during which crops fail and children go hungry. So Plan is working with poor families to boost their food supplies and incomes. We provide food to malnourished children and those at school. We support training in better agricultural techniques, help families to diversify their crops and raise livestock. We also offer vocational and small business training and assist communities in establishing savings and loans associations to help families improve their financial security, and so be able to buy food if crops fail.
SAVING TO SUCCEED
A community co-operative meeting.
The Bigger Picture
Plan is working with children, families and whole communities to address the problems that Ethiopia faces. This report can only tell a small part of that story. As a further insight, last year we also: • Protected children from disease caused by poor sanitation by helping families to construct or upgrade 1,469 toilets • Raised the standard of children’s education by supporting training for 358 teachers • Raised awareness of the effects of HIV/AIDS among about 25,000 people in Addis Ababa. Your support as a sponsor is crucial to achieving these positive results. So on behalf of the communities, partner organisations, and most of all the children we work with – thank you!
f you need a loan in Bilo, a village in southwest Ethiopia, then Zenash is the person to talk to. She was one of the founders of Guddetu, her village savings and loans association. These associations are based on the simple premise that if you can save even the smallest amount, you can join. With the support of Plan, savers contribute to a central fund that grows and can be drawn on for loans or in times of particular hardship. Loans are repaid with a small service charge on terms the members can afford. Zenash is now the secretary of Guddeta, a responsible position for someone who had to finish her education when she left primary school. Like many parents in this poor, rural community, Zenash’s mother and father did not have the funds to keep her in education. Families here are subsistence farmers, living off the land just to survive. Children are vulnerable, particularly girls. Many parents believe that schooling is not a priority for girls, since they will eventually marry and become mothers. For them, education is a luxury they cannot afford. Zenash married and now has three children of her own. She is determined to break the cycle of poverty and give them a better start in life than she had. But it has not always been easy. Her husband works hard; he farms a small plot of land, works for other farmers and when he can, hires his services as a daily labourer. But often, he’s barely been able to earn enough money to feed the family.
“For many parents, education is a luxury they cannot afford.” To learn more about Plan’s work in Cameroon visit plan.org.au/ourwork/southernafrica/ethiopia
Produced for Ethiopia by the Australian National Office.
Regular saving So it was with some trepidation that Zenash borrowed 100 Ethiopian birr (about £6) from Guddeta to buy a ewe. Yet this would turn out to be the best decision she ever made. “With the first loan my intention was just to buy a ewe and sell it back after fattening,” she says. But unbeknownst to her, the ewe she bought was already pregnant. “It gave birth after two months,” Zenash recalls, “and it was a joy for the family.” Growing success Zenash’s lamb will fetch 250 birr at the local market, making her a tidy profit. She has already paid back her loan and taken out another one to expand her trading activities. Even better, the ewe is pregnant again. Zenash is well on her way to a more secure and prosperous life. Her children are already better fed and healthier. There are other benefits, too: “Apart from financial services, I and the rest of the group members enjoy social solidarity,” says Zenash. “We mutually support and visit each other during childbirth and other social events.” Like the other members of the Guddetu group, Zenash has a new purpose. She is planning ahead for a better future for her children. Some names have been changed for child protection and privacy purposes.
Zenash works too. “I usually buy anything cheap, mostly cabbage, in my village to sell in Serbo market, with some profit margin, but it was all used up on food and other expenses,” she says.
“With some trepidation, Zenash borrowed 100 Ethiopian birr. Yet this would turn out to be the best decision she ever made.”