Our current 15 programmes in Ethiopia are situated in the Regions of Oromia and Amhara and are led by an experienced regional coordinator located in Addis Ababa. The present partners besides financial partners are primarily smaller NGOs with established women and family support programmes of their own. The Swisshand programme offers a wellappreciated addition to such. Legal restrictions concerning the granting of loans are able to be bypassed alongside cooperatives. Through Swisshand’s programme, those in need are given a chance to become entrepreneurs through received training courses, in hopes of securing a livelihood for their families.
Agriculture is as such a critical source of income.
The topographical location of Ethiopia poses as an opportunity for the cultivation of various natural plant species as well as various crop plants. Specifically, the cultivation of the coffee bean grants the best chance at a sustainable financial independence of a family. The agricultural economy with millet, manioc, yams, sweet potatoes, and legumes contributes to a vast majority of subsistence farming within the region.
As a result of widespread poverty and rapid population growth, more spaces of land for farming, pasture farming, and industrial agriculture are being used up. This causes a loss of employment and income opportunities for the families.
It may appear on a map as though our active programmes are distributed in close proximity of one another. The distances, however, are substantial and the roads during the rainy season become nearly impassable. To transport the produced goods to the nearest marketplace, hourlong walks across landscapes are to be expected. The natural landscapes and their particular climatic conditions in the regions of Oromio and Amhara, along with the ongoing drought and extreme precipitation incidents, have led to loss of important cultivation areas. In many families it occurs that the men are unable to work and remain unemployed following their participation in the military. The women are therefore often left to their own devices.
In Ethiopia only around 53 percent (2013) of children finish primary school. Commonly, they are told to contribute to the livelihood of the family at a young age. Through Swisshand’s training, parents, specifically women, are given the training to become independent and selfsufficient entrepreneurs, allowing their children the ability to continue visiting school.
A Swisshand programme in the slum region of the capital, Addis Ababa, is a prospective pilot programme. Of the 4.4 million inhabitants, many still live in very bad conditions.
Through the generated funds with help from Swisshand and on site cooperation, the people of this region should be able to be given the chance for a better and more sustainable livelihood.
The population of 110 million inhabitants is influenced heavily by the dominant two-thirds of Christian orthodox belief system. A majority of the most remote villages consist of a mix between Christians and Muslims and are composed of a variety of ethnicities. Such a diverse composition of ethnicities has led to civil unrest throughout the history of the country. Recent political advances give rise to a hopeful and peaceful future and introduce new chances for a better life for the people in Ethiopia.