Giving Ethiopian Women Professional Opportunities

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Posted on 8/29/2013


Tigist sews traditional dresses at her sewing machine provided by ChildFund.
Tigist sews traditional dresses at her sewing machine provided by ChildFund.

A lack of educational opportunities and unemployment are two of the leading causes of generational poverty. Without the means to acquire new skills, many youths face an uncertain future and may find it increasingly difficult to emerge from poverty. Although direct financial intervention is part of ChildFund's work in many of the world's poorest countries, we believe that other approaches have to be taken to empower people. This is the case in Ethiopia, where youth unemployment is one of the country's most urgent problems.

Investing in the Future

In Ethiopia, many youths — particularly girls — lack the opportunities to learn skills that will lead to employment. With few skills, these youths' chances of finding work is greatly diminished, perpetuating the cycle of poverty. This is why ChildFund introduced a gift in our Gifts of Love & Hope catalog that allows you to donate a sewing machine and training to Ethiopian youths.

ChildFund has worked in Ethiopia since 1972, and during our time in the country, we have identified sewing as one of the most productive skills that Ethiopian girls can acquire. By learning to sew, young women can remain in their communities instead of being forced to seek work in urban areas where women are often exploited. In addition, learning to become seamstresses further empowers these youths, as they can apply their newfound skills and knowledge to start their own businesses. For just $275, you can provide an Ethiopian girl with the equipment and training she needs to embark on a fruitful career.

Inspiring Entrepreneurship

Sewing is just one area in which Ethiopian youths are working toward a brighter future. In celebration of International Women's Day 2012, Mekdes, an 18-year-old Ethiopian girl, received a scholarship through ChildFund and our Twitter followers to pursue a career as a hairdresser.

"In the future, I have a plan to get further training in a boys' beauty salon, and I have a plan to open my own beauty salon," Mekdes says.

These are just some of the ways that ChildFund helps to empower youths around the world, but to continue these projects, we need your help. Please consider making a donation through our Gifts of Love & Hope catalog, or sponsor a child today. Your support will make a lasting difference in the life of a child or youth.