The Cheer News

Equipping Ethiopian Farmers to Earn an Income

The Shurmo Education and Livelihood Development (SELD) project in Ethiopia has been supported through our Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) partnership with International Needs Australia (INA) for many years.

INA’s in-country partner is Bole Bible Baptist Church Childcare and Development (BBBC). Together, they help to develop local skills to ensure updated, productive and effective farming techniques.

SELD aims to address the issue of food insecurity. Its goal is that 80% of participating households can afford to feed their families at least two meals a day.

Participants learn farming methods and are supported through loans, training and small business development

It also links women and men to income-generating activities and training – particularly widowed mothers and vulnerable farmers – with the aim of increased household income. Participants learn farming methods and are supported through loans, training and small business development.

Tsigenesh has nine household members to feed. With only 500m2 of the usable garden, the family was facing a food shortage, with limited meals of inadequate size. Tsigenesh worked as a casual labourer but struggled to find regular work. Her husband, Temesgen, did wood trade work. His wage, while regular, was low.

Their situation meant the family to take out informal loans with a very high interest.

The SELD project selected Tsigenesh to receive a small loan and training in basic business skills. With the loan, she began buying and selling maize. With this income, she planted carrots for selling and consumption.

Tsigenesh’s increased income means her family can now eat three meals a day. It also means her children can receive a quality education.

The family are now able to save money, something that wasn’t possible until they took part in SELD.

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