Ethiopia, the continent’s second-most populous nation, has a long, publicized history of severe issues with food insecurity and hunger. Given its proximity to Kenya, we short-listed Ethiopia for our second country project site in order to begin building a regional presence in East Africa. Our long-term goal is to expand to fragile states within Africa once we have the capabilities.
Amid in the rugged mountains of the Gamo Gofa Zone in southwest Ethiopia is a rural farming community called Boreda Woreda. Its closest city, Arba Minch, is three hours south by car. Boreda Woreda was selected because of its similarities to Kuria West, Kenya. The regions have comparable climates and rainy seasons, maize is a staple food and cash crop in both locations, and both communities demonstrate need in the four areas Nuru addresses. Establishing Nuru Ethiopia gave us the opportunity to apply lessons learned from Nuru Kenya in a different environment while reaching people experiencing a more severe level of poverty.
Nuru partners with local agricultural cooperatives to provide seed capital, training and mentorship. Farmers register with and buy a share of their cooperatives, and then gain access to farm input loans, technical training, extension services and group support structures. At harvest time, farmers repay their loans and commercialize their surplus produce to their cooperative. Learn how Nuru Ethiopia strengthened its program in 2015.
Nuru members learn financial management practices and receive access to group savings and credits services in crucial times of financial need. Learn why the majority of Nuru Ethiopia ‘savers’ are women.
To prevent disease and death – specifically among mothers and their children – the team is focusing on capacity building for prevention focused health workers; strengthening existing health systems in partnership with government and community and facilitating linkages; improving community knowledge, attitude and practice about healthy behaviors; and addressing access to safe water with participation of the community and local government on existing water sources. Learn more about Nuru Ethiopia’s Healthcare Program.
To promote child literacy, Nuru Ethiopia will focus on teacher training; strengthening the existing government education system of follow-up and support; community mobilization and involvement on literacy initiatives; and the preparation and provision of educational materials and enhancement of learning environment. Learn more about Nuru Ethiopia’s Education Program.
“I’ve worked on many projects before, but I always just implemented. This is the first time that I have been asked to design a program. (In other organizations) people do not innovate because they only do what they are told from higher up. Here, people can talk and share all ideas among each other and can build a better program.”
Bereket Akele, Country Director for Nuru Ethiopia