EDA takes a holistic approach to community development. We believe that it is necessary for individuals, families, community and government to work together in order to attain positive, sustainable change.
Our Capacity Building for Communities initiative allows us to reach this goal. In this this program, before we launch a new project, we draw together stakeholders to identify possible limitations and roadblocks. The group develops a strategy that ensures that the project successfully reaches the maximum number of community members in the target group. EDA ensures that community members have the training and the tools they need to be successful in a project.
EDA’s Community Based Organizations program brings community members with similar livelihoods or goals together to form self-help groups or savings and credit associations. By working together, community members help and support each other and benefit from the knowledge and experience of the group.

Our agricultural projects enable farmers to increase their crop yields and the sizes of their herds.  This, in turn, has increased food security in rural areas, while improving the livelihood of rural families. We have provided the expertise and equipment to enable small farmers to increase their yields by up to 300%.  New farmers accepted into the program receive seed funding as well as a young dairy cow, sheep, honey bees or laying hens. EDA also provides the seeds, tools or equipment they will need to establish their farming operations.

To date:

  • 3,306 poor households have benefited from the distribution of EDA grants, loans and livestock
  • 29 two-parent families and 42 single mothers have started dairy farms or market gardens
  • Over 450 pastoralist families have become successful selling bee colonies and honey, a livelihood that suits their semi-nomadic lifestyle
  • Farmers have organized themselves into self-help groups that encourage savings and provide interest free loans to co-operative members

Sexual abuse, trafficking for labor and the sex trade and harmful traditional practices including early forced marriage and female genital mutilation affect the lives of children and youth across Ethiopia. EDA has been working to support these vulnerable young people since its inception in 1996.


Our Integrated Multi-Spectral Child Protection program focusses on children and families to prevent exploitation and abuse. Working with children, families, community-based organizations and key government agencies we have raised awareness of the dangers of abuse and exploitation to 18,470 individuals (7,388 males and 11,082 females).


To date 1,300 young victims of trafficking have been intercepted and found a haven in our safe houses. The majority of these children and youth have been successfully re-united with their families. An additional 6,436 orpahns, vulnerable and abused children have received additional support in education, health, nutrition, legal support, and psycho-social services.

EDA is committed to the wellbeing of all youth, and especially those you are at-risk or vulnerable. For the past decade, this commitment has been expressed through the Youth Initiative Program. More that 9000 unemployed youth who have been accepted into the program have received vocational and entrepreneurship training.
Once this training is complete, participants may be eligible to receive small grants to set up their own small business. Often, a grant of only $150 US, will be sufficient to start these young people on the road to success and self-sufficiency.
Other young people in the program prefer to enter the labor force. Of those 500 youth who have been trained in hotel management, 95% found employment in hotels and restaurants.
Many youth in the program have been hired to work on EDA projects. Currently, 100 young women are employed at our WaSH business centres and bio-gas plants.

The poor and vulnerable across Ethiopia are seriously impacted by the lack of clean drinking water, limited access to toilets and showers, public health services, and improper disposal of human and household waste.
EDA has initiated the Water, Health Sanitation (WaSH) program to address the issues related to water and sanitation. We have worked with schools and communities to provide training and increase awareness of the importance of clean drinking water and waste management. WaSH programs have had a positive affect on the health and wellbeing of more than 12,000 Ethiopian school children and their families.
WaSH projects include:
• The construction of 17 bio-gas powered restaurants, which are fuelled by the bio-gas captured from adjoining public toilets
• The installation of water access points for drinking water and hand washing in 34 schools
• The construction of 100 pit privies in schools, with separate facilities for girls and boys
• Training in hand washing, simple home water treatment and menstrual hygiene in schools
• Installation and management of refuse bins and compost sites

EDA community health initiatives focus on the health of children, mothers and those women and men who are suffering from HIV/AIDS. We have constructed, equipped and staffed 2 community health care centres, one of which has been upgraded to an advanced care centre with full a pharmacy and lab facilities.
Highlights of the EDA community health program include:
• Basic health care is provided to 20,000 community members annually, with12,000 vulnerable children receiving free medical check-ups and treatments
• Our maternity clinic has reached 90% of the pregnant women in the target area and has almost doubled the percentage of safe deliveries to 85%.
• We have delivered HIV/AIDS awareness workshops to over 50,000 community members
• 500 women and men have received HIV/AIDS voluntary counselling and treatment at our clinics

The education and protection of needy children is the primary goal of Emmanuel Development Association.
We strive to improve the education of all needy children, but especially those who are orphans, vulnerable, and the victims of abuse and trafficking. To date, almost 4 million Ethiopian children have benefited from high quality EDA education programs in 85 primary schools and early childhood educations centers. Our educational support services also include vocational and life skills training for at-risk youth and victims of human trafficking, and basic literacy training for adults.
Our education capacity building programs include the construction of schools, initial and ongoing training for early childhood and primary teachers, provision of books, learning materials, computers and playground equipment. We work in cooperation with the Ethiopian government, and as of 2019, 8 of the EDA schools had been turned over to the government.

Our education programs are highly successful. In 2018 alone, almost 2,000 new students who were previously not in school enrolled in our primary and early childhood education centres. Grade 5 students in our programs saw an average increase in grades on national exams from 57% to 70% in one year.