Located on the shores of Lake Tana – headwaters of the Blue Nile – Bahir Dar boasts of its booming tourism industry, its four universities and its bustling trade. All are factors in it having the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia. The town’s 10,000 sex workers also contribute to the high rate and are themselves increasingly vulnerable to infection. Lack of opportunity for these young girls, combined with the fact that only 15% of high school graduates in Ethiopia are accepted into universities result in a huge population of unskilled and unemployed youth.
Start up funds and partnership:
The initial funds for this project come from the Cosmetology Training initiative. When huge delays were projected in the construction of a Vocational Training Institute ( which would include a Cosmetology School) DevXchange volunteers in Bahir Dar, began to research alternative national partners to implementing a vocational training program in hairdressing. Priority was given to local organizations that wanted to address the escalating HIV/AIDS problem in Bahir Dar and find alternative career paths for survival sex-workers.
The 2016 Plan.
The plan now seeks out the poorest of young women and men before they turn to seek to make a living on the streets. The DevXchange New Livelihood Project is implamented by our local partners, The Mulu Wongel Church. The committee, selected by the church, carefully searches for candidates among the hundreds if not thousands of potential candidates for training in vocational skills. Demelash and Asdunek, project facilitators, follow up after the training of these young women and will find employment for them in their field and in some cases help them start their own business.
How it works:
Your Part: $49 a month for one year provides vocational training for an at-risk girl who would otherwise be pressured to enter the sex-trade.
Our Part: We provide guidance to and accountability on behalf of the Mulu Wongel Church to ensure high-quality implementation of the project.
Mulu Wongel Church: They select the girls to enter the program, facilitate the training and mentoring and ensure their general well-being during the program. Upon completion of the training they also assist the girls in finding secure employment.
Together with your support of only
$49/month for one year,
we can change a life.