Menschen für Menschen Switzerland is focused on stopping impoverishment in towns and rural areas
and on creating livelihood opportunities.
There are several ways you can help people in Ethiopia. Here you will find all donations with concrete examples.
We are improving the living conditions of 1,000 children from the poorest families in the city of Debre Berhan, giving them the opportunity to help themselves and to overcome poverty.
The first visit shocked our inspection team: Outside intervention was clearly required to improve the desperate situation. Our foundation made the decision to develop a comprehensive children’s project: To support the families of 1,000 children in different ways to reduce their hardship in the short term and help them to help themselves for the long term.
Ensuring children from the poorest families have the opportunity to go to school is essential. The first task therefore is to establish the basic prerequisites: Some children are too weak to go to school because of malnutrition. Others are sick, lacking a basic understanding of hygiene or access to clean drinking water. Improving nutrition, hygiene and drinking water is therefore as important as providing the children with school uniforms and supplies.
We show people how they can build a better future for themselves, setting up self-help groups for mothers and teaching them how to access micro credit to start small businesses, for example.
Our project initially is focused on children of single parents or those showing signs of malnourishment or malnutrition. Our selection procedures relied on the joint decisions of local community groups (including women, elders of the community and church representatives) and local authorities. These community based organsations identified children for the project, ensuring the greatest possible objectivity. These allowed us to provide individual support for children in the most need and their families.
This level of hardship is relatively unusual even here in one of the poorest countries in the world: Entire families live in the slums of Debre Berhan in tiny shacks, often with only a tarpaulin sheet or an open latrine separating them and their neighbours. The health risks are obvious, but it is also degrading.
The families often tell a similar story: They come from overcrowded villages with fields that are too small and degraded to feed the inhabitants. But their hopes of a better life in the city are soon dashed. With no education, they rely on poorly paid casual work as market runners or building site labourers. In a country with no social system to speak of, the children are forced to leave school and contribute to the family income – but with no education, their fate of a life in poverty is sealed. Breaking this cycle by improving general living conditions and access to education is vital.
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