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Supporting women in Ethiopia through devastating drought

21 February 2023

Borena Ethiopia5

In Borena, Ethiopia, droughts continue to threaten families’ livelihoods, year after year.  Without rain, cattle are dying, and families are unable to rely on their livestock to survive.  

But, thanks to donations from across Scotland and support from Jersey Overseas Aid, our partners are teaching women in Borena how to combat the changing climate through sustainable, innovative and empowering practices. 

In this uncertain environment, women learn how to effectively manage money and build savings through literacy classes and financial training. 

Tuku Gulicha, one of the project participants, said: 

"As a result of this project, we have been able to save even during the dry season.

"The main challenge we face right now is a five-year-long drought for which we require assistance.

"The project taught us how to save and start a loans and savings system in our own group, support one another, and keep sending our children to school. "

Although Tuku fears the effects of extreme weather, thanks to this project, she has a support network, healthy savings in case of emergencies, and can send her children to school.  

Importantly, women receive training that encourages equitable sharing of household chores.

Now, there is hope for women in Borena and their children, despite the drought. Thanks to this project, women can run successful businesses within a supportive family environment and, crucially, they have a safety net when the rains fail. 

Previously, the communities didn’t know about the importance of empowering women. Now, women and men are sharing equally at the household level…  

Yi Gariam Project leader

There is no longer harassment of women. Husbands are no longer forcing women through power. They are collaborating through discussion, meetings – they are dividing the workload between them. This project is sustainable because it challenges the discrimination that exists.

Yi Gariam Project leader

Jersey overseas aid