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Regenerative Project

Support disadvantaged women to achieve sustainable financial independence.

This 'ilanga' (sun beam, sun warmth, sunlight) project aims to support ten vulnerable single mothers to achieve sustainable independence. It is through training that mothers are empowered to become emotionally resilient and economically independent. These women are supported in setting up their own microbusiness or completing vocational trainings to secure employment. In the past women have chosen to train in cooking leading to employment in hotels, sewing or basket weaving micro-business training or training to become a bus driver, or car mechanic training.

Joint selection of mothers by the local 'ilanga' social workers, the local authorities, the Office for Women and Children's Affairs and the Civil Society Organization based on strict criteria (in precarious circumstances, under 40 years, single parent, motivated).

The ten women will receive three months of comprehensive Life and Business Skills Training including -

> Self-respect

> Ethics and personality

> Time management

> Commitment and breaking the vicious circle

> Employment readiness

> Parenting and advocacy

> Business Training

> Literacy training (if required)

The program also includes -

> Seed money for initial income generating activities.

> Financial, marketing and commercial advice.

> Psychological support (individual, family and group counselling)

> While each beneficiary is participating in training and establishing their business or securing employment their living expenses (rent, food and health insurance) is covered by this program.

The cost per woman is AUD$400.00.


Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals

No Poverty:  Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.

Zero Hunger:  The food and agriculture sector offers key solutions for development, and is central for hunger and poverty eradication.

Good Health And Well-being:  Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development.

Quality Education:  Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development.

Gender Equality:  Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

Reduced Inequalities:  To reduce inequalities, policies should be universal in principle, paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations.


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Impacts

  • Sustainable improvement in the living situation of the participating single mothers and their children
  • Reducing poverty through vocational training and establishment of micro-enterprises
  • Promoting and empowering single mothers to build self-confidence and to achieve socio-economic independence and lead a life of dignity.
  • Supporting children's personal and academic development
  • Improving the mental and physical health of mothers and children
  • Networking mothers so that they can secure emmployment

Outcomes

Over three years this program aims to achieve the following outcomes -

> Improve the income earning capacity of 180 beneficiaries, leading to self-sufficiency.

> Improve the emotionally resiliency of 180 beneficiaries and trained them to be confident and responsible citizens and contribute to the development of their families and their community.

> Teach 90 illiterate women to read and write.

> Facilitate regular self-organized meetings of the mothers in self-help groups to exchange experiences and joint problem-solving.

> Provide 150 vulnerable children with a Montessori pre-school education preparing them for kindergarten, including nutritious daily meals in the daycare.

> Provide afterschool activities, tutors and life skills training, as well as peer support group events for more than 300 vulnerable school children.

> Provide psychological support to 450 vulnerable children leading to them developing a strong psycho-emotional resilience so they can become confident and responsible citizens who contribute to the development of their families and their communities.

Project measurements include -

Regular internal assessments with project beneficiaries to record their personal situation, including home visits, consultations, psychological support, feedback from schools and parents, exchange of experiences and lessons learned.

Regular reports to local authorities, audits of local authorities.


Background

With 125 million people, Ethiopia is the second most populous nation in Africa after Nigeria. As the population grows at an alarming rate (2.5%), the living conditions of the poorest people continue to deteriorate. Ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries in Africa, with a per capita gross national income of $1,020 (32.6% earn less than $1.90/day). But this is not the only cause of Ethiopians' impoverishment; the COVID pandemic, droughts, locust plagues and the civil war in northern Ethiopia have made people's living conditions worse. Subsequent inflation, prevalent corruption, injustice towards people with little or no income, as well as tribal conflicts in many areas and internal displacements has resulted in the cost of living to rise dramatically in recent years, with an inflation rate up to 39%. Single mothers are among those who live in the most precarious conditions.

The livelihood challenges of vulnerable single mothers and their children is getting tougher and tougher; accessing shelter, food, education and health care is very difficult. Sometimes women and their children are rejected by their families, so they struggle daily without support, often living with their children on the streets, begging for so they can feed their family. The children of single mothers often end up as street children if their mother does not make a sustainable income.

The 'ilanga' project takes the needs of these mothers, who are forgotten by the society, seriously. ilanga is a non-profit organization that started to support vulnerable single mothers in 2016, becoming a registered charity in 2019. The board consists of 5 directors; a mix of Swiss and Ethiopians, and on the ground in Ethiopia, ilanga works like a local organisation with the team made up of 15 Ethiopian born team members, along with several volunteers.


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