Dear Friends and Stakeholders, Peace Corps Ethiopia continues on an upward trajectory: The Volunteer population exceeded 200 for the first time in 2013 and will rise to over 240 in 2014. The program’s expansion would not be possible without the excellent support we receive from the Federal Ministries of Education, Health and Agriculture, as well as their regional counterparts. Likewise, we receive strong support from other U.S. Government programs, principally PEPFAR and USAID. Volunteers have continued their exciting work in primary schools, health centers, HAPCO offices, agricultural offices and other community-based organizations. Common to all of their work is the Volunteers’ efforts to build the capacity and skills of people in their communities. They are also engaged in some great cross-sector initiatives: Grassroot Soccer, Stomping Out Malaria in Africa, Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) and small space/high yield permagardening. We moved some ―big rocks‖ in 2013; the results should be even more productive Volunteers. We relocated Pre-Service Training to Butajira, yielding efficiencies that enabled us to increase the amount of training we give to Volunteers before they report to their communities. In Mekele, we opened a Regional Volunteer Support Office to complement the one we have in Bahir Dar. We will open a third in Jimma early in 2014. We also held our first All-Volunteer Conference, which gave Volunteers across sectors and regions an opportunity to meet, share ideas and collaborate. In August, we took acting Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet and 24 members of Congress to Ambo to observe firsthand the work of our Volunteers. They were so impressed that they formed a Congressional Peace Corps Caucus, spearheaded by Congressman John Garamendi (RPCV Metu). By year’s end, the Caucus had 76 members. Late in 2013, the Ministry of Education agreed to our proposal to refocus our Education program from primary school English teacher training to direct classroom English teaching in Ethiopian high schools. This takes advantage of a traditional Peace Corps strength and will better promote English language learning in Ethiopia. We thank you for your collaboration and look forward to working with you in 2014.
Gregory W. Engle — Country Director
Over 3,000 Volunteers have served in Ethiopia since 1962 in the areas of education, community development, business development, agriculture and health. The first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Ethiopia (including present-day Eritrea) in September 1962, with 279 teachers working in both secondary schools and vocational/technical schools. From 1962 to 1977, Peace Corps Ethiopia was one of the largest Peace Corps programs in the world. More than 3,000 Volunteers served in the country before Peace Corps terminated the program in 1977 due to the unstable political situation. The post re-opened from 1995-1999, but conflict with its northern neighbor Eritrea caused the post to close again. In 2006, the Government of Ethiopia and the U.S. Ambassador signaled strong support for the placement of Volunteers to strengthen communitybased HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment activities as part of PEPFAR. Subsequently, a new country agreement was negotiated and the post re-entered the country in 2007 with 38 health sector Volunteers. The Peace Corps has been involved in almost every facet of Ethiopiaâ€™s development over the past decades, making contributions in the fields of education, health, rural development, and small business development. Peace Corpsâ€™s current program focuses on three core areas: strengthening English-language teaching and learning, addressing HIV/ AIDS and other public health concerns, and promoting agricultural development including food security.
Peace Corps Volunteers live and work in communities in the Amhara, Oromiya, Tigray, and Southern Nations regions of Ethiopia. Each Volunteer collaborates with local counterparts to support the Ethiopia government’s strategy to create and strengthen their communities’ capacity in the areas of public health, conservation and resource management, and English language education. To best serve the needs of the Ethiopian government, Volunteers are placed in community health centers, HIV/AIDS resource centers, community-based organizations (CBOs), nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), district-level government offices, public schools, and teacher colleges. Over the past two years, Peace Corps Ethiopia’s Volunteer population nearly doubled in size, making our program the third largest post in Africa. In early 2014, a new intake group of 36 Community Health Volunteers and 29 Agriculture-Environment Volunteers will bring the population to 240 Volunteers. In addition to Volunteers serving their 2year commitment in communities throughout the country, Peace Corps Ethiopia has a vibrant community of 3rd-year Volunteers who have extended their service to work with Peace Corps’s three project sector teams as Peace Corps Volunteer Leaders, or with partner organizations such as the Clinton Health Access Initiative, JSI and A Glimmer of Hope, or as Peace Corps Response Volunteers with agencies such as the Horn of Africa— Regional Environmental Center.
Education remains the largest sector in Peace Corps Ethiopia, with 114 Education Volunteers currently serving as English language teacher trainers in Ethiopian primary schools and Colleges of Teacher Education. They actively collaborate with local counterparts to promote effective teaching methodologies and improve English proficiency for both teachers and students. English clubs, reading programs, methodology trainings, improved libraries and computer rooms, and gender programs are some of the main activities our Volunteers have carried out in host communities large and small. Teacher trainings focus on developing a reflective teaching practice and incorporate topics such as early literacy, active learning methodologies, textbook adaptation and supplementation, and classroom management. Since 2011, Education Volunteers have served as part of the USAID program known as ITELE (Improving the Teaching of English Language in Ethiopia). Based on the results of USAIDâ€™s Rapid Appraisal of the project this past spring, Volunteers have shifted their focus to emphasize co- and model teaching as a means of demonstrating and promoting the most modern English language teaching techniques. In response to the challenge of access to English language resources that fit the context and proficiency levels of Ethiopian teachers and students, our Education program began a materials development project in 2013. Volunteers identified four initial focal areas: TEFL teacher training, student and teacher English cubs, supplementary listening tasks for the English for Ethiopia Textbooks, and early grade reading. Small teams of Education Volunteers are completing manuals, audio recordings, and supplementary materials that will soon be distributed to all, serving as resources for them and their host communities for years to come. In September 2013, fifty-seven new Education Volunteers entered service. This group will be fully engaged in the current ITELE program through the end of their service in 2015, which will also mark the completion of the ITELE program. Our next class of recruits is due in July 2014 and will embody the evolution of the Peace Corps Ethiopia education program. Reflecting a refocusing of our efforts, this group will serve in high schools and CTEs and will engage in direct classroom English teaching or co-teaching (TEFL), teacher support and development, and using information and communication technology as an English language learning resource.
Gender Equality 3,415 young people participated in activities promoting gender equality, empowerment, leadership development and healthy lifestyles through primary school gender clubs, sports events and camps. Volunteer-led programs were designed to inspire and promote healthy self-esteem, decision-making skills, and to encourage girls to further their education.
English Proficiency of Students 129 Volunteers worked with 14,871 students to promote improved proficiency in reading and writing in English as well as informal English speaking skills through English clubs, reading circles, creative writing competitions, sports activities, radio broadcasts and debates.
English Proficiency of Teachers By creating opportunities for teachers to practice their English language skills with a native speaker in a natural setting, 113 Volunteers established Teacher English Clubs to deliver English skills trainings to 1,380 primary school teachers.
The purpose of the health program is to improve individual and family health in Ethiopia through the reduction of infectious diseases and development of healthy behaviors. Because of the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS problem in Ethiopia, this sector previously had a stand-alone HIV/AIDS focus funded by PEPFAR (Presidentâ€™s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). Our volunteers concentrated their work on HIV prevention efforts as well as care and support for the people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS (PLHIV). A big challenge that Community Health Volunteers faced, however, was the presence of other priority health issues in their communities. Because of this, in 2013, we redesigned our project to include the broader health issues that communities want to address and started to adequately equip the PCVs with skills and knowledge to address pressing community health issues such as nutrition, water hygiene and sanitation, and malaria. In 2013, 60 Community Health Volunteers worked to increase the capacity of people to take charge of their own health. Volunteers were active in HIV/AIDS education and awareness programs in their communities, local primary schools, high schools and universities, creating linkage/referral systems and economic strengthening for PLHIV and OVCs, coordinating community-wide malaria, hand-washing and Girlâ€™s Day events, organizing and providing health-related trainings and education on malaria, improved nutrition for mothers and children, and hygiene and sanitation, and community mobilization for health issues with the aim of reducing disease and early mortality in every Volunteer community.
HIVâ€”Awareness, Prevention, Care and Support 2,025 young Ethiopians participated in HIV prevention and healthy lifestyles trainings through Peace Corps-led interventions such as Grassroot Soccer, Camp GLOW and World AIDS Day. 388 People Living with HIV and Orphans and Vulnerable Children were reached with economic strengthening interventions and business skills training.
Water Sanitation and Hygiene Community Health Volunteers and their counterparts organized community-wide events for Earth Week and National Hand-Washing Day, targeting 3,932 primary school children with trainings on proper hand-washing techniques and basic sanitation. In addition, Volunteers and their counterparts trained 202 Health Extension Workers, teachers, and other community members on community disease prevention through improved sanitation and hygiene. Three Community Health Volunteers and their counterparts constructed composting toilets at local primary schools, ensuring that 7,322 primary school children benefit from improved latrines.
Nutrition In an effort to improve nutrition and food security among resource-poor people living with HIV, Community Health Volunteers and their counterparts facilitated nutrition workshops in conjunction with Urban Gardening techniques. More than 660 PLHIV learned permagardening techniques for improved nutrition.
The Resilient Environment, Agriculture and Livelihoods (REAL), formerly Conservation and Natural Resource Management (CNRM), was launched in 2012 following Peace Corps Ethiopia’s entrance into the global Peace Corps partnership agreement with USAID and the Feed the Future initiative. The original CNRM project’s direction has therefore evolved from its previous focus on protected area management and ecotourism to enhancing agricultural systems in order to improve food security at the grassroots level. REAL Volunteers provide core support at the village level to improve the food security status of the communities they serve. Volunteers, in collaboration with their counterparts, work in predominantly rural communities to strengthen the current technical capacities of local NGOs, CBOs, government agencies, and other underserved institutions. The REAL project maintains much of its former environmental focus by striving to effectively improve agricultural systems and food security through sustainable agricultural practices, agroforestry, environmental education, and sustainable management of natural resources. Volunteers work with leaders in agriculture, health, nutrition, education, and business to mobilize their communities, helping those communities develop a local response to global food insecurity. In 2013, 30 REAL Volunteers worked directly with agricultural offices, women’s and farmers’ associations, and youth organizations to strengthen systems and partners’ operations in order to ensure community access to and utilization of nutritious food. All Volunteers in this project are trained on specific technical skills such as permagardening, tree-planting, water-harvesting, environmental education, and fuel-efficient cookstoves, providing them with a toolkit of focused activities that will help address agricultural and environmental challenges in Ethiopia.
Permagardening Permagarden trainings and installations are one of the primary Peace Corps contributions to the Feed the Future initiative and are becoming increasingly well-known in Peace Corps communities and amongst our Feed the Future partners. Peace Corps offers this training to all of its Volunteers to equip them with the basic knowledge needed to promote and train the concepts and techniques with some of the most vulnerable and marginalized households in the areas where we work. In 2013, Volunteers provided full package permagarden trainings to over 300 participants in different parts of the country. During the course of the trainings permagardens were constructed as demonstration and teaching instruments. The training encompasses water management, compost preparation and double digging. Volunteer efforts also include training of trainer sessions for health and agricultural extension workers, preparing demonstrations at farmersâ€™ training centers and model farms, and presentations for large groups.
Tree Nurseries As a way of conserving and rehabilitating the environment, Volunteers across the country provide training on how to raise plants and nurture tree seedlings to school environmental clubs, youth associations and womenâ€™s associations. In 2013, 24 Volunteers with their counterparts worked with primary school environment clubs, students and teachers to prepare school tree nurseries, benefitting more than 1,300 participants.
Tigray Trek 282! Over an 8-day period in November 2013, a team of 7 Peace Corps Volunteers ran 282 kilometers (175 miles) from Hawzien to Alamata in the Tigray Region, stopping in 8 towns along the way to facilitate discussions and activities to raise awareness about HIV and to empower youth to take action against the spread of HIV in their communities.
Camp GROW Camp GROW (Growing and Renewing Our World) is the first of its kind to be held by Peace Corps Ethiopia Volunteers. The week-long camp was developed to help campers discover the â€œCircle of Lifeâ€? by talking about ecological concepts, microorganism form and function, tree planting, permagardening, nature appreciation, wildlife biology and human impacts on the environment. Twelve Volunteers, 9 Ethiopian counterparts, 29 campers and guest lecturers were involved in this camp.
Kombolcha Earth Week Four Volunteers in Kombolcha, East Amhara, delivered a weeklong environment and health program at primary schools and the health center in their community. They kicked off the week with a panel discussion on Water & Sanitation, Trees & Conservation, Home & Commercial Waste Management, Industrial Waste & Pollution and Malaria Prevention. In the days that followed, the Volunteers, their counterparts and students painted seven murals at five primary schools, planted 110 trees, collected 35 sacks of garbage and planted a permagarden at the health center, reaching more than 700 participants with environmental education.
Congress Pays a Visit! In August 2013, Peace Corps Ethiopia was honored to host the largest Congressional group ever to visit a Peace Corps country – among the delegation were 22 Congressional representatives, a senator, former Ambassadors and prominent academicians. Accompanied by Acting Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet and 9 Volunteers, we took the group to Ambo, Oromiya region, where Education Volunteer Alicia Smith, and Community Health Volunteers Jennifer Klein and Josh Cook wowed them with presentations at Alicia’s primary school and Jen and Josh’s health office. The group was highly engaged and impressed!
Grassroot Soccer is an innovative HIV-prevention intervention which uses the popularity of soccer to teach young people HIVprevention and life skills. After signing on as a n a ti on al i mpl eme n ti n g partner in 2012, the first Peace Corps-led Grassroot Soccer implementation took place in Alamata in the Tigray region. This trial implementation was incredibly successful and helped lay the groundwork for what has become one of the flagship cross-sector programs for Peace Corps Ethiopia. In 2013, GRS staff from South Africa conducted Training of Trainers workshops for 54 Volunteers and 55 Ethiopian counterparts. By the end of 2013, more than 500 Ethiopian youth had participated in GRS interventions in all four regions where Volunteers serve. 2014 promises to be an incredible year for Peace Corpsâ€™s Grassroot Soccer program in Ethiopia, with plans to double the number of trained Volunteers and counterparts. The hope is that with more than 200 Volunteers and counterparts trained in the Grassroot Soccer curriculum, we will reach more than 1,000 youth with HIV-prevention and life skills strategies. We are confident that with continued training and support from GRS South Africa, this program has a very promising future in Ethiopia!
Daring to Change Perspective! For Peace Corps Ethiopia, GLOW stands for Girls Leading Our World. Universally one of the most significant events during a Peace Corps Ethiopia Volunteerâ€™s service, Camp GLOW is a youth development workshop modeled after an American summer camp, where young people ages 12-16 come together from all over the country with Volunteers and Ethiopian counterparts to learn about leadership, gender equality, health, environment, English language, life skills, and much more. Camp GLOW is not just for girls; by involving boys in Camp GLOW, we are helping to empower Ethiopiaâ€™s future leaders to change their perspective, and to expand the way they look at themselves, their country and the world. Camp GLOW creates an opportunity for the youth of Ethiopia to interact with other young people from diverse backgrounds in a safe, fun environment; while learning to develop leadership and healthy life skills, the campers also develop friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. In 2013, Volunteers and their Ethiopian counterparts designed and facilitated 12 week-long summer camps, hosting nearly 600 Ethiopian campers in communities across Ethiopia. As Peace Corps Ethiopia grows, we expect the Camp GLOW program to grow as well. In Summer 2014, Peace Corps Ethiopia will support 15 Volunteer-led camps reaching more than 700 Ethiopian youth.
Stomping out Malaria in Africa is a Peace Corps initiative aimed at significantly supporting the international effort to eliminate malaria from Africa by mobilizing Volunteers in malaria-impacted communities all across the continent. To date, 24 Peace Corps posts in Sub-Saharan Africa have joined the initiative, creating a network of more than 3,000 trained Volunteers. In 2013 our Stomp Ethiopia program got a significant boost by creating a team of regional coordinators, defining our mission and developing our scope of work. The Stomp Ethiopia program mission is: Through targeted training and mobilization of Volunteers, and by building strategic partnerships, Peace Corps Ethiopia will make an immediate and measurable impact on malaria awareness and prevention in all malarial areas where Volunteers serve. As a new team, the Stomp Ethiopia coordinators focused on equipping and e mp o w er ing ev er y volunteer to complete at least one malaria project in his or her community; targeted trainings were given to every intake group, focusing on imparting practical knowledge about malaria and disseminating feasible sectorspecific activities that Volunteers can complete within their communities. We are building a new foundation for what we hope the Stomp Out Malaria Ethiopia initiative and team will look like in the future. In 2013, 43 Volunteers worked on 51 malaria projects, such as communitywide World Malaria Day parades, awareness-raising at school assemblies, malaria awareness and prevention murals, leadership and healthy lifestyles camps for youth, and behavior change projects at primary schools and Colleges of Teacher Education, reaching 9,400 participants.
Butajira Welcomes Our Trainees! With traditional Ethiopian hospitality, Butajira welcomed its first group of 57 Peace Corps Education Trainees in July 2013. For nearly three months, these Trainees lived with local families who helped them integrate into the community and learn valuable cultural norms and values. During their Pre-Service Training (PST), Trainees received over 350 hours of intensive technical, cultural, language and basic development training through classroom sessions, practicums and even ―on the street‖ immersion exercises. During PST, groups of Trainees created approximately 12 – 15 local elementary school clubs providing the students an opportunity to improve their English while encouraging their creativity and increasing their overall confidence and empowerment. Three months after the Trainees finished PST and were officially sworn in as Peace Corps Volunteers, they had the pleasure of returning to Butajira with their local community Counterparts to receive additional training on Project Design and Management. This training taught Volunteers and their 55 local Counterparts from across Ethiopia how to design, implement, and manage a community driven project in order to achieve the most sustainable results. Peace Corps Ethiopia looks forward to returning to Butajira once again in Spring 2014, when 65 Health and Environment Trainees will enjoy the city’s warm hospitality, a quality training experience, and of course more delicious chimaki (juice) in Ethiopia!
Peace Corps Ethiopia P.O. Box 7788 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Tel: +251-11-320-0316 Fax: +251-11-320-0315 peacecorps.gov facebook.com/peacecorps pcethiopia.org
Published on Feb 28, 2014