Developing  Youth Livelihood and Entrepreneur skills

The potential of entrepreneurship for unlocking youth-led livelihood development is a critical challenge in Ethiopia. Poor microfinance services and inadequate policies and strategies along with the low level of enforcement and poor infrastructure account as the major problem contributors to the low levels of entrepreneurship employment opportunities for the youth in Ethiopia. The youth Livelihood program at EDA has great alternative potential that could help to reduce the current youth unemployment rate in the country.
Offering credit facilities, business management skills, mentorship, and coaching services to young school dropout and undergraduate students enterprise operators and creation of the enabling environment (reinforcing of policies and strategies) for entrepreneurship are identified as the major contributors for entrepreneurship-related employment opportunities. EDA has been addressed over 14,500 unemployed youth with quality marketable business training in Ethiopia. According to the EDA report, 98 % of all trained youth successfully run their group and individual business activities in Amhara regional state and Addis Ababa.

Capacity Building of Agriculture Livelihood

Smallholders in EDA operation areas are benefited from the climate-smart agricultural schemes. Various smallholders-led interventions positively impact lives by developing the potential of farmers to be actively involved in the processes of change to minimize the negative impacts of climate change.

EDA  provides direct and indirect capacity building activities such as providing farmers with information on climate change and its impact on their yields and livelihoods, building farmers skills and knowledge to deal adequately with climate variability, laying the foundations for individuals to build various capitals, directly assisting in coping and adaptive livelihood activities, financial assistance to build livelihood capitals and engaging in impact offsetting strategies. EDA empower over 4568 smallholders in the rural intervention areas both Amhara and Oromia since 2010. Value addition in their product helped the smallholder to compute in the market in the form of the value chain to establish a business relationship with the export market. These determinants of adaptive capacity provide interesting input in terms of guidance for management options to enhance the adaptive capacity of the communities in the face of climate change. Such results are significant in informing policy and practice at the national and local levels.

Supporting Children Vulnerable to Abuse

EDA focuses on vulnerable children as a group with the lowest levels of well-being and worthy of the greatest investment. The program introduces an analytical framework that looks at the individual and environmental factors that contribute to child vulnerability, as well as the application of resilience-building into policy design with the appropriate government ministry.

EDA as a learning organization develops cross-cutting well-being strategies with a focus on vulnerable children, in order to build their resilience to overcome the range of adversities experienced from an early age. EDA believes that investing in vulnerable children is not only an investment in disadvantaged individuals, families, and communities, it is an investment in more resilient societies and inclusive economies. Since 2009, EDA has addressed and rehabilitated over 18,000 abused, trafficked, and at-risk children and youth in its operational areas.
All EDA programs follow the key indicators set by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) policy recommendations which are stated in three areas for action:
1. EDA Invest in young people and places that have been left behind through

(i) targeted quality childcare, early education, and life-long acquisition of skills;

(ii) effective access to quality health care, protection from abuse and exploitation, and risky movement in collaboration with stakeholders both at the grassroots level and regional and national levels, and

(iii) optimal stakeholders’ participation in the form of a community-led development approach and strategy for sustainable growth.
2. Strengthening, building efficient and responsive community members and structures through

(i) aligned policy packages across the whole system in society and stakeholders;

(ii) integration and mainstreaming the same with the existing project and program implementation; and

(iii) assessing policies for their impact on inclusiveness and growth.

Gender-Based Violence's (GBV) and Target Community 

EDA implemented this activity using brainstorming to help participants understand the different expectations towards and demands on girls/ young women and boys/young men in contemporary society. It allows participants to explore concepts of gender equality further. The guidelines of the GBV are used to design and implement the project as a cross-cutting activity in all EDA programs. Different activities were conducted during a discussion on questions of gender inequality and socialization into gender-based stereotyping. This methodology will help the participants to internalize and understand their context for reflection.

Impact of Gender-Based Violence: During conversations, the participants look at various examples of gender-based violence and discuss the consequences for the individuals concerned and for society as a whole. This kind of discussion will be conducted to address the GBV issues at all levels to the mainstream in the community structure.

As a development organization, EDA may play a role in offering this protection – e.g. social services and avail referral linkages with the appropriate institutions. EDA believes that the state has a responsibility to support services, but in our context, the government supports very little of the victims, they will be provided by third parties such as civil society organizations like EDA. Since 2009 EDA has addressed and supported over 23,679 victims in its operational areas.


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.

Gender-Based Violence's (GBV) and Awareness Raising

Awareness-raising is a process that seeks to inform and educate people about a topic or issue with the intention of influencing their attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs towards the achievement of a defined purpose or goal. GBV is a cross-cutting issue in all  EDA projects. 

1. It can mobilize the power of public opinion in support of an issue and thereby influence the political will of decision-makers.

2. There are multiple awareness-raising strategies, methods, and tools that can be used to convey and spread messages, and to gather the support necessary to influence public opinion.

Depending on the topic, awareness-raising efforts may include the following activities: IEC materials, Radio, TV and other media outlets. issuing press releases, briefings, and commentaries; disseminating reports, studies and publications; making written or oral submissions to local governments and committees; working with the media; holding public meetings and events; convening conferences and workshops; and creating and contributing to educational materials.

3. Information may be disseminated through a range of different means or tools such as radio, television, video, film, the internet, social media, mobile phones, newspapers, newsletters, leaflets, poster campaigns, and the arts. A variety of visual tools such as stickers, logos, 

T-shirts, armbands, bracelets, and banners may also be used. According to EDA annual, over 3 million target communities are reached.

Why is it important?

Awareness-raising and dissemination of information to the society that EDA is operating, general public, local government stakeholders, donors community and law enforcement institutions, and like-minded organizations about the SDGs is critical to create an enabling environment for accountability, promote participatory and inclusive processes for follow-up and review, and build ownership of the 2030 Agenda. For example, awareness-raising can be used to promote an understanding of existing access to education, health challenges, child rights, equalities, inclusiveness, and rights in relation to the SDGs as well as opportunities to participate in public consultations on issues related to the community. EDA has a strong passion that Empowerment is necessary in order for citizens to be able to hold their government accountable for their development at all levels. All people – including marginalized and vulnerable groups – should be aware of and understand the commitments their government has made under the 2030 Agenda and how they can meaningfully engage in SDG implementation and accountability processes. Raising public awareness of the SDGs is also essential to foster the political and social change needed to achieve the ambitious agenda.

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

Why is primary health care important?

Key facts, according to the WHO.
• About 930 million people worldwide are at risk of falling into poverty due to out-of-pocket health spending of 10% or more of their household budget.
• Scaling up primary health care (PHC) interventions across low and middle-income countries could save 60 million lives and increase average life expectancy by 3.7 years by 2030.
• Achieving the targets for PHC requires an additional investment of around US$ 200 to US$ 370 billion a year for a more comprehensive package of health services.
• At the UN high-level UHC meeting in 2019, countries committed to strengthening primary health care. WHO recommends that every country allocate or reallocate an additional 1% of GDP to PHC from government and external funding sources (WHO, 2019).

"PHC is a whole-of-society approach to health that aims at ensuring the highest possible level of health and well-being and their equitable distribution by focusing on people’s needs and as early as possible along the continuum from health promotion and disease prevention to treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care, and as close as feasible to people’s everyday environment." WHO and UNICEF. A vision for primary health care in the 21st century: Towards UHC and SDGs.

EDA PHC program entails three inter-related and synergistic components, including comprehensive integrated health services that embrace primary care as well as public health goods and functions as central pieces; multi-sectoral policies and actions to address the upstream and wider determinants of health; and engaging and empowering individuals ( children, families, and communities) in its health center for increased social participation and enhanced self-care and self-reliance in health

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.

Good quality early childhood development (ECD) is pivotal for improving equitable education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. ECD refers, to organized group care outside the family for children ages 3 to 6 years to develop some skills needed for academic readiness. Over the past two decades, many actors—including the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), education ministries, civil society, non-governmental organizations, and global development partners—have contributed to supporting access to quality ECD services, including pre-primary education, in low- and middle-income countries. ECD programs and systems have been strengthened through institutional leadership, design, and implementation of curriculum, improvements to teaching qualifications and training, and advancements in data collection and research. The ECD sector has experienced widespread challenges in Ethiopia.

The government of Ethiopia has a very good policy and little has been done to implement the policy at all levels. EDA has constructed over 40 model ECD schools within the government schools’ system for replication the same by all actors, particularly the local government school system to scale up in the system. The 270 ECD teachers were trained with the necessary methodologies to adapt the interactive teaching and learning strategies and approaches. Compelling evidence shows that early childhood development programs can boost early learning, especially for marginalized and disadvantaged groups.

However, access rates for disadvantaged and marginalized children in early childhood development programs are far below those for children from lower economic groups. The magnitude of benefits in early childhood development, however, is conditional on quality. The ECD sector should encompass a wide range of program models, curricula, staffing patterns, and qualifications. The fragmentation in this educational space can create inequality through uneven levels of quality provisions and a lack of coherent goals.

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

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