.THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who has given to our Big Give appeal. We are both delighted and sad to say that our matchfunding was used up in less than 48 hours, so gifts can no longer be doubled. However, we still need to raise funds to get this new initiative on a secure financial footing. So PLEASE continue to support the appeal this Christmas, even though your gifts are sadly no longer eligible for matchfunding.
In Koshe, children start school late and drop out quickly. Instead of learning skills in the classroom, they go straight to work, in the fields, in the home, on the streets, earning what pennies they can.
It’s a life of labour which starts in childhood and never stops… because without education you have no other options. And so the poverty cycle grinds on.
Global Care is working with our long-standing Ethiopian partners to bring change in Koshe. We have launched a new four-year programme to work with mums, helping them create better futures for their families.
We want to raise at least £45,000 this Christmas to establish a secure financial footing for the first two years of this new initiative. Can you help?
What will we do?
We need to challenge the family culture which fails to recognise the value of education. And we must help parents develop another source of income, so they no longer rely on their children’s wages.
We are establishing a series of women’s self-help groups, bringing together up to 225 mums from three villages in Koshe, in groups of 10-15. Each group will develop at its own pace, according to its own needs.
Our partners will initially focus on capacity-building, offering training from basic literacy to life-skills coaching, building skills, confidence and supportive relationships. Then each group will decide how to use the seed funds available, to start small businesses and other income-generating activities. Ultimately, the profits from those business initiatives could keep around 675 children in the classroom, gaining an education which could change their family’s future forever.
Why mums, not dads?
Men will not be excluded, but experience shows that if you want to deliver change for children, you must encourage mums. Culturally, Koshe is very male-dominated and women have limited participation in the community. Yet still women take all the responsibility of managing and feeding the household, and making decisions about the health, welfare and education of children. Frequently they make these decisions with unequal access to household resources, and it can be hard for them to advocate effectively for their needs or their children’s needs.
Our partners say self-help groups can be a very successful catalyst for change. Whilst being culturally sensitive, and respectful of men, the groups will empower mums with both knowledge and resources to make better choices for their children.
With as many as 40% of school-age children out of school in the poorest areas of rural Ethiopia, like Koshe, change can’t come soon enough.