In Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, our partner Ellilta-Women At Risk (E-WAR) runs a number of programs designed to address the rehabilitation of women working on the streets, preventative education to vulnerable youth and raise awareness about the relevant issues amongst the local community.
In a country renowned for extreme poverty, E-WAR is not providing ‘charity’ but is equipping women with the skills to go from poverty to prosperity through new employment opportunities. They have the choice of training in a range of areas from food technology, to hairdressing, to soap or scarf making amongst others.
On a continent where HIV/AIDS is at an epidemic level, E-WAR is addressing the needs of a particularly vulnerable group – commercial sex workers – and in so doing is contributing to the reduction of the spread of HIV/AIDS. The project has already replicated itself once, and with the right support should be able to serve other towns and cities in Ethiopia – it could also serve as a model for other nations in Africa.
CRED has a long-standing relationship with E-WAR acting as donor, consultant, advisor and friend, and the success of Ellilta-Women At Risk is in no small part due to those who’ve donated to Cred through the years. We’re committed to supporting E-WAR as they continue to develop and grow the work that they’re doing and to that end, Cred is looking to attract additional UK funding from individuals, organisations and agencies to support this innovative project: an indigenous, adaptive & transformative model that has proved its credentials.
An important part of the programme is that of passing on business skills with a view to supporting women set up their own businesses or gain employment relevant to the local market. There have been many success stories, especially within the catering or clothing industries.
In the past, CRED has seed-funded business initiatives alongside E-WAR, including ‘Café Chocolata’. This café delicatessen was aimed at Addis Ababa’s embassy and ex-pat communities and for a number of years was a successful enterprise serving as a valuable training ground for a number of women.
Women now have opportunities to develop their catering and baking skills in a number of different outlets in Addis Ababa that E-WAR has developed apprenticeship relationships with.
One avenue of E-WAR’s business scheme which is currently thriving is their scarf production. A number of women who have completed the rehabilitation programme now hand-make fabulous scarves which are retailed online for sale in the US, through another partner of E-WAR ‘FashionABLE’.