The HRF’s Youth and Women Economic Empowerment Program(YWEE) along with the local government officials carried out an on-site visit to projects in the South Omo Pastoral Woredas. A field observation was conducted on February 23-24, 2024, at selected enterprises owned by youth and women beneficiaries engaged in goat fattening, raising day old chicks, gardening, and baking & selling ‘Enjera’ (flat bread) in the Turmi city administration, and Hamer & Bena Tsemay Woredas.

During the observation, the delegates from the HRF and government officials expressed their appreciation for the positive changes witnessed in the enterprises. They encouraged the enterprises to serve as role models for others by enhancing the employment opportunities they had created. Furthermore, they assured that they would continue to provide coordinated support and monitoring to further strengthen the enterprises.

W/ro Ladi Wolla, a resident of Luqa Kebele in Bena Tsemay Woreda, is one of the beneficiaries involved in goat fattening activities. She operates the enterprise with a team of nine members. Regarding the previous status of the enterprise members, W/ro Ladi Wolla stated that prior to forming the association with the support of HRF, most of the members had no source of income and relied solely on their partners for financial support. Some struggled to meet their basic needs on a daily basis. The low economic status of women subjected them to social pressure and challenges. W/ro Ladi shared that their recently established goat fattening enterprise has achieved a significant milestone. They successfully earned a profit of 40,000 birr from their initial round of goat sales in the market. She expressed gratitude on behalf of the local female pastoralists for the support provided by HRF. W/ro Ladi highlighted their commitment to further improving profits by planning to offer the goats for sale a second time in April 2024.

Similarly, W/ro. Mentamer Kuse, the chairperson of Selam ‘Enjera’ baking and distributing enterprise in the Turmi city administration, revealed that the association was established three months ago with the support of the HRF. The enterprise comprises nine female members. As of W/ro Mintamer prior to its formation, some of the members earned meager income by selling ‘Shofuro’ /coffee straw, and  the remaining members did not have any source of income and struggled to make a living.

Regarding the current status of the enterprise, she revealed that they bake and sell one hundred loaves of ‘Enjera’ (a traditional Ethiopian flatbread) daily in the market. The members of the association work in rotation, ensuring that the enterprise operates every day of the week.

W/ro. Mentamer, a mother of four children, highlighted her personal experience. She mentioned that prior to joining the association, she was economically dependent on her husband. However, since becoming part of the association, her situation has changed, and she now has the ability to fully support herself and pay for her house independently. This newfound economic independence has not only improved her financial stability but has also boosted her self-confidence.

W/ro Zinabuwa Duqa, the Social Cluster Coordinator in the Turmi city administration, emphasized the HRF’s comprehensive efforts in supporting pastoralist and semi-pastoralist women and youth in  Turmi city  and surrounding rural kebeles. She mentioned that the foundation is actively engaged in providing skill trainings and organizing youth and women at enterprise level to enhance their economic potential.

According to W/ro Zinabuwa, the majority if the local women pastoralists lack a reliable source of income and face unnecessary social pressures. She highlighted the foundation’s important role in addressing this issue by supplementing the government’s efforts and assisting in achieving the goals set by the government to overcome these challenges.

In her final message, W/ro Zinabuwa expressed concern about the pervasive traditional pressure on women, particularly in rural kebeles. She urged the foundation to broaden the scope of its projects and make them more accessible, in order to effectively address and alleviate these challenges.

Hailemariam & Roman Foundation

February 2024, South Omo

 

 

 

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