Frau mit ihrem kleinen Kind in ihrem eigenen laden in Äthiopien

Focal Area

Human Development and Income

Income

"When people have an income they can depend on, they can contribute actively to the development of their homeland."

In the rural regions of Ethiopia, most people survive through a hand-to-mouth existence living off the land. But it is becoming increasingly difficult for families to obtain a livelihood using the traditional farming methods. We have thus been introducing various measures designed to provide people with alternative forms of income.

Help us to increase the income and thus improve the life of families in Ethiopia!

It makes an extraordinary difference to the lives of families when they know they have an income they can depend on! And those living in our project areas will tell you about the extent that this is the case.

A secure income has beneficial effects on nearly all aspects of life. Those with a reliable income can feed their families, give their children an education and take better care of their health.

Currently, some 70% of the population in Ethiopia live off the land. The areas each family cultivate are often very small while soil erosion and climate change represent major problems. Many families can hardly survive on what their fields yield. The situation is further exacerbated by the fact that available land is becoming ever scarcer so that young people have few perspectives in this connection. Women are particularly disadvantaged. There are very few opportunities for them to earn their own income. This means there is an urgent need for young men and women to have alternative means of gaining a livelihood apart from working in the fields.

Donations

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Self-determination and development

With a dependable income, people have the opportunity to manage their lives themselves and contribute to improvements where they live. Our measures are designed to provide those living in our project areas with the opportunity to establish a means of earning a livelihood and take better care of themselves and their families that does not involve the need to pursue farming.

Self-determination and development

With a dependable income, people have the opportunity to manage their lives themselves and contribute to improvements where they live. Our measures are designed to provide those living in our project areas with the opportunity to establish a means of earning a livelihood and take better care of themselves and their families that does not involve the need to pursue farming.

What we do

Our activities in our focal area of human development and income are as follows:

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Provision of microcredits and training programmes for women
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Training in improved handicraft, such as sewing, weaving and pottery
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Provision of technical courses, such as in IT for young people
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Training for the establishment of solar entrepreneurship
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Support of cooperative businesses (working, for example, in the sectors of apiculture or mushroom cultivation)
Junge kauft Süßigkeit in einem Laden in Äthiopien

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The microcredit success story

Poverty has a particular impact on women in Ethiopia. It is often the case that a microcredit is the only opportunity for women who are widowed or divorced - and are thus unlikely to own land - to start up their own business and ensure the survival of their families. Before women are granted a credit, they are required to participate in a training course to learn the basics of commercial enterprise and simple accounting. Women are enabled to successfully get their business ideas off the ground. The women also provide each other with mutual support through regular meetings.

As a result of the good initial support from Menschen für Menschen and the strong solidarity among the women, almost all women can successfully start a business and repay the loan including small interest. After women have established their credit group business and have repaid the microcredit (on their own group account), they can then decide whether to admit new members to their group or whether someone else in the group should be granted a further credit through the group account. They usually decide in favour of the first option, thus giving other women the chance to start their own business.

The businesses run by women and their microcredit associations make important economic and social contributions to rural regions, initiating positive changes throughout the area.
Mutter und Tochter stehen in einem ihrem Laden

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Support for women – development for everyone

Having their own income - and thus more independence and self-determination - is particularly important for women. When the economic situation of women improves, it has a positive effect on the community as a whole. The level of equality between women and men is improved while women find that their voices are better heard. It is often women who are committed to ensuring their children receive education or exhibit more interest in vaccination and family planning programmes. It is in this way that they can contribute to sustainable developments within their regions.
 
But men also benefit when the economic and social situation of women improves. Many men find it an almost intolerable burden to provide for their families on their own so it is a major help when their wives also contribute to the family income. And they are thus only too willing to help their wives when it comes to starting a business. The businesses in question frequently take the form of a small shop, a café, sewing workshop or local trade in grain. By attaining financial independence, women become more self-confident and their position in society improves. They can thus act as role models for their daughters and the future generation.
Ein Mann repariert ein Handy

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Young people with an outlook

About half the population of Ethiopia is under the age of 20 years. And the greatest wish of these young people is to secure their own livelihood. We help them exploit their potential and find alternative sources of income that are not derived from farming.

In Ethiopia's rural regions we offer courses in hairdressing and technical subjects, such as mobile communications, computer and automotive technology. These young adults, who often have some prior professional experience, are helped to extend their knowledge, learn new skills or start a new business. They not only have the opportunity to suitably support their families, but they also contribute to the economic development of their locality.

And when it comes to those reliant on farming, we also assist young adults to find alternative sources of income. The members of our cooperative apiculture and mushroom cultivation associations learn the business theory and practice and are supplied with the necessary materials and tools. Neighbouring regions have begun to emulate our cooperative concept – thus ensuring such developments spread beyond borders.
Frauen in Äthiopien töpfern in einem Kurs

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Occupations with a future

Those who do not have access to land can usually only work as low-paid day labourers without long-term prospects. Their families face an uncertain hand-to-mouth existence. To help such landless people, it is essential to teach them artisan trades so that they can earn an income that is not dependent on working in the fields. Those who already have some prior skills can enhance these and learn how to make a living from activities such as weaving and pottery. The learning of new techniques and of how to correctly prepare the materials enables them to create high-quality products that they can sell.

What we've already achieved:

Frau erhält Geld aus ihrer Mikrokreditgruppe

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29,786 microcredits for women

A total of 29,786 women have taken advantage of our microcredit programme and are thus able to earn their own independent income.
Mann in Äthiopien bei einem Webkurs

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5,515 participants in improved handicraft trainings

More than 5,515 women and men have participated in our improved handicraft trainings in the fields of sewing, weaving or pottery, among other things.