Sidamo, Ethiopia

Submitted by Rudi Dundas | Location: Ethiopia | NGO: Project Concern International (PCI) | Date: October, 2014

PCI Global in collaboration with Blue Planet Network has put in WASH programs supplying clean drinking water benefiting several communities in the Yirga Alem area of Sidamo in Ethiopia. Bekelech, a woman from Bera Chale, recounts that “before we had to drink dirty water out of a hole in the ground. We had to walk two hours each way to get there! Dysentery was a big problem. We spent a lot of our money for medicine to help [with] our health problems. Now our health is improved and the water is near our homes, so we don’t need to walk so far – only five minutes away. So my children can now go earlier to school and my shoulders don’t hurt so much anymore!”

They have also started Women’s Empowerment (WE) groups in the area to help women work together as a community in order to provide support for micro loans to start new businesses and social benefits that strengthen their families and self esteem. Roman was a member of one of these Women’s Empowerment groups, “Before the WE group, I had no money of my own and was not confident enough to stand up and speak in front of others. With my first loan, I was able to rent a small house and sell prepared foods. Now I have earned enough to buy new chairs for my little cafe, new clothing for my children and even for my husband! He is now very supportive of my business, and my confidence has grown as I meet and talk to people every day in my cafe.”

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