LWF member church | The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus

Time frame | 2013-2015 (second project phase)

DMD programmatic area | Capacity for Diakonia

Background | Meshegeda Sike in south-central Ethiopia is a densely populated area. Approximately 50,000 people there live in poverty. There is little infrastructure and limited access to water, health facilities and education. Harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) are common and cause serious health problems for girls and women.

Goals | The project aims to:

  • strengthen the livelihoods of 1700 poor and vulnerable households
  • increase agricultural output and use of natural resources
  • improve health through better water, sanitation and hygiene
  • promote gender justice among the communities and advocate against harmful traditional practices such FGM

Impact | The project is in its second phase and is bearing fruit.

Improved farming practices have boosted crop output in six administrative districts. There is an increased awareness of the need of sustainability and more responsible use of natural resources.

Villages have new wells and pit latrines. Water-borne diseases have been reduced and people need to spend less on medication. There is more awareness of how to prevent the spread of HIV.

Women have a stronger socio-economic status. Family members share tasks more equally. Girls are able to focus more on their schooling and are getting better grades.

The number of girls forced to undergo FGM has dropped. Village council are applying bylaws to punish families who subject their children to FGM or other harmful traditional practices.

Donors | Church of Sweden, EED

One Family’s Experience

More Time for School

“The newly constructed stove does not require as much wood as the more traditional one we used to have.

We do not have to spend so much time anymore trying to find the right type of wood so my five girls have more time to study for school. None of them have been circumcised.”



More to Eat

“Since we’ve been using the new agricultural practices, our family has more to eat. We even managed to sell some of our products and therefore were able to construct a new roof for our house.”

“I share more household activities with my wife, we make decisions together and I even learned how to cook coffee and serve it to a guest. That used to be a women’s task.”