Emmanuel Development Association (EDA) is an indigenous development NGO, established in 1996 by its founder and Executive Director, Dr. Tessema Bekele. EDA envisions a bright future and protection for Ethiopian children. This vision was instilled during Mr. Bekele’s childhood by his single mother, who encouraged him to focus on his education and become someone who would give care and support to orphans and vulnerable children. Aspiring to help children and families below the poverty line, Mr. Bekele resigned from his job and accepted his severance pay of Ethiopian Birr 10,000, which he used as seed money to establish EDA.

The overall mission of EDA is to improve the lives of vulnerable children, youth, and women through integrated and community based development programs. With this vision, EDA’s activities are conducted in consultation and participation with beneficiaries and partners, fostering transparency and accountability with all of its partners. This has gained us the confidence and respect of our beneficiaries,government partners, and the donor community.

EDA’s program objectives focus on four interlinked areas, so that achieving one objective reinforces the achievement of other objectives. Ultimately, the four objectives contribute towards the achievement of one central goal—improving the wellbeing of children.

Here are EDA’s objectives over its current strategic period (2015-2019):

Objective 1. Improve child education and protection for 145,270 vulnerable children

Objective 2. Increase access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) and community health services for 45,000 children and 100,000 community members

Objective 3. Enhance livelihoods of 41,000 households through improved environmental development

Objective 4. Strengthen capacity of 90 community based organizations (CBOs)

Note: Due to the dynamic nature of our development work, these objectives may be subject to change.

Success Stories

Twenty years ago, Bekelech was a single mother who was unable to feed or educate her 4-year-old daughter. Her husband had been killed in the war and she could not find employment.
Bekelech dreamed of opening a stall in the local market in her impoverished neighbourhood near Addis Ababa. She was accepted into the EDA family help program and provided with business training and a start up grant of 3,300 Bir ($115 US) for initial rent payments and to purchase the grains that she would sell.
She worked hard to realize her goal and is proud of her achievements. Today, Bekelech is independent and financially stable. Her daughter was able to attend primary and secondary school and has recently graduated from university as an accountant.
Bekelech recognizes the work that she put into her business, but she is also grateful for the help and support provided by EDA. “I wouldn’t be the kind of person I am today without EDA”.
Visit our Success Stories page to read more about impoverished Ethiopians whose live have been touched by EDA.

EDA Programs

Child Education and Protection


EDA WASH and Community Health


Environment and Agriculture


Livelihood and Youth


Community Building and CBO


EDA Community Health


Latest News

  • Amhara

    EducationEDA education projects take a holistic approach to ensure that both boys and girls have equal opportunities to access quality education.Poor reading and writing skills in the lower grades have a negative impact on a child’s academic success through primary, secondary, and post-secondary education. EDA has partnered with private stakeholders, the school community, the government, and Debra Berhan Teachers Training College to provide young students with a safe school environment and a solid academic foundation.
  • Addis Ababa

    Education, Training, and Capacity Building ProgramThe EDA Education Program has established 23 alternative basic education centers for more than 20,000 marginalized children who need extra support to be successful in school. Of these children, 95% have already moved on to formal primary schools and some have gone on to higher education.In the EDA Youth Training Program, more than 9,000 youth have been trained in vocational fields including metal work, wood work, and hotel management. Many of these at-risk youth have become self-reliant business owners. The youth who successfully complete our training programs become mentors and in turn hire other unemployed youth in their small businesses.
  • Akaki Kaliti

    Akaki –Kaliti is one of the ten urban zones of Addis Ababa. This busy industrial area is located in the southern part of the city, 20 km from the city center. It has an estimated population of 220,740 (114,095 females and 106,645 males). A large percentage of the families are headed by single women.