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 improve natural resources, for example through reforestation, and promote agriculture adapted to climate change. In this way we increase the resilience of particularly poor smallholder farming families. Unemployed young people and women are a particular focus. Vocational training and microcredits help them to earn an income.
In the three-year project, we plant over one million seedlings of native tree species, which we provide from the project’s own planting schools. Our reforestations on slopes and erosion ditches offer many benefits. New forests bind climate-damaging CO2 – a contribution against global warming. Above all, however, the trees act as erosion protection and water storage. Their roots prevent the rapid surface run-off of precipitation and thus prevent further erosion of the topsoil. The groundwater reservoir is regenerated and feeds springs and streams all year round.
In addition to this indirect promotion of agriculture, we also offer direct aid to small farmers. We provide microcredits and access to improved seeds and productive livestock. We also impart new knowledge in agricultural training courses: How can the best possible yields be achieved on small farmland, with depleted soil and in times of climate change? For example, through the concept of “agroforestry”, which allows diversified harvests on small areas: Fruit shrubs grow under tall trees and vegetables are grown on the ground.
Landless young people cannot benefit from this. We organise self-help groups for them, offer them vocational training and start-up capital to set up their own businesses, for example in the retail trade or in the processing of agricultural products. We also initiate and strengthen cooperative groups for mothers. The women receive education and microcredits together and can thus become small entrepreneurs.
Whether landscape protection, the spread of adapted agriculture or support for unemployed young people and women: The interlinked activities contribute to food security and a sufficient income for the rural population. A total of 5,400 families with around 32,000 people benefit.
Many small farmers harvest far too little. Their families only have enough food for a few months of the year. From May to October they suffer from food shortages. The children are susceptible to diseases due to hunger. Their physical and mental development is left behind.
The backward agriculture is only one cause for the shortage. The deforestation of trees and woodland leads to the washing away of topsoil and to a reduction in the water supply for agriculture. The destruction of natural resources contributes to the fact that harvests remain small. Recently, farmers have also been affected by global climate change with erratic rainfall.
As there is a lack of crafts and industry, a particularly large number of young people are unemployed. As they do not own land, many know no other way out than to cut down trees and sell them as firewood – a major factor in the further desertification of the landscape. Other young people migrate to the cities. Without an education, however, they remain without prospects even there and only increase the number of day labourers who live in extreme poverty.
Women in the rural district are traditionally disadvantaged and burdened with a high workload. For example, they are responsible for procuring drinking water and firewood. Sustainable development is only possible if the women can develop socially and economically.
© 2020 Menschen für Menschen