“…the entrepreneurship training was an eye opener. It enabled us to see how one can go up the ladder of success in life. We learned how we may set a goal we wish to reach at, start with a small amount of money that we used to think is useless and start moving, step by step, toward the goal that we have set.” A young IGA beneficiary from Wajitu Harbu village in Welmera woreda
An experience exchange event on which youth and women beneficiaries of Income Generating Activities (IGAs), that succeeded in generating their own regular income and those that are about to be involved in the program has been organized at Holeta Town on the 26th of June 2014.
MELCA-Ethiopia has been working with the communities of Welmera woreda in its Suba-sebeta project area for the past 8 years now. One of the programs the organization is undertaking in this woreda is supporting the disadvantaged members of the community, especially youth and women, to generate the income they need for living by being involved in various IGAs of their choice. Research evidences show that these are the group of society that create pressure on natural resources, especially forest, to make living, as most of them have no their own source of income.
So MELCA-Ethiopia supports these groups with the aim of improving their living condition and also alleviating the pressure on the forest coverage in the area and environmental degradation.
MELCA has been supporting, through IGA, a total of 162 unemployed community members in Welmera woreda since 2008. Out of these 95 are women while the remaining 67 are youth.
MELCA provided entrepreneurship trainings and seed money for these beneficiaries, at different times since 2008, so that they would be able to get involved in an income generating activity of their respective choice. As these beneficiaries are members of the rural community, most of the activities they involve in are beekeeping, home gardening, animal fattening, poultry and farming.
Being involved in one or more of such activities, these beneficiaries have shown a marked improvement in their living since they have become beneficiaries of MELCA’s IGA program.
Tsehay H/Sillase is one of the beneficiaries from Suba village. She explains the benefits she obtained from the program saying, “After taking the entrepreneurship training I started by two chickens I got from MELCA. Then I saved all the money I get from selling eggs and managed to buy a sheep. Then MELCA gave me additional 2750 birr. With this I got a private farmland on lease, bought different kinds of seeds, like potato, onion, wheat and barley and started farming. At this stage I stopped making charcoal that I used to do to get some money to feed my children. I even started saving some money.
Four months after I started the farming I got an encouraging profit from the harvest and I continued working on it along with breeding sheep and poultry. Now I have changed my shattered thatched roof house in to a corrugated iron sheet house. I am well able to feed my children and send them to school. In general there is a big difference between my previous and current living condition and it all happened mainly because of the change in my attitude after participating in the entrepreneurship training and also the seed money provided by MELCA”
A young beneficiary called Kuma Bekele from Wajitu Harbu village also said about the benefits he got from the program, “…the entrepreneurship training was an eye opener. It enabled us to see how one can go up the ladder of success in life. We learned how we may set a goal we wish to reach at, start with a small amount of money that we used to think is useless and start moving, step by step, toward the goal that we have set. So we changed this in to practice. MELCA gave us a small amount of money that helped us start the movement. We used it as a leverage to lift us to the stage where we are today. “
So the event is organized to celebrate such success and create an opportunity for new beneficiaries to learn from their successes.
Mr. Tesfaye Lateni, Welmera woreda administrator and a guest of honor on the occasion said, “…MELCA-Ethiopia is one of the leading NGOs in our woreda that are actively participating in development endeavors planned by the government. One of these plans is reducing poverty through creation of employment opportunities. MELCA’s support in this regard is special in that it carries multifaceted purposes. On the one hand it plays the role of reducing poverty by enabling the beneficiaries generate their own income and on the other hand it protects the environment by minimizing deforestation.
So far, more than 160 youth and women in our woreda have become beneficiaries of the program and succeeded in changing their living with in a very short period. We hope much more unemployed youth and women will get the support of the program and become successful in establishing their own source of income in the near future. To this end, Welmera woreda administration will continue to work in close collaboration with MELCA as usual. Finally I would like to say congratulations to the IGA beneficiaries so far for the success they achieved through hard work and call up on new beneficiaries to commit themselves for a better achievement”
Speaking on the occasion, MELCA’s director Dr. Million Belay said the factor that resulted in the successes the beneficiaries have reached at is mainly not the support they got from MELCA but the change of attitude they acquired. It has made them to think high and have a long vision in their life and be equipped with the discipline required to lead them to their desired goal. He also added that this experience should be expanded and reach as much unemployed community members as possible and to that end, the concerted effort of MELCA and concerned government offices of the woreda should continue with even more vigor.
A total of 162 beneficiaries, 95 women and 67 youth, were awarded a certificate of recognition for the successes they achieved. More than 500 people including new beneficiaries selected from various kebeles in Welmera woreda, invited community members and government officials at woreda and zonal levels attended the occasion.