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World of Difference

Welcome to Ethiopia, where your faithful support is providing skills for families to lift themselves out of poverty.

A smiling woman standing next to a wall
A stamp graphic that says "Ethiopia, World of Difference"
A stamp graphic that says "Ethiopia, World of Difference"

Welcome  inikwani dehina met’ahi / እንኳን ደህና መጡ  inikwani dehina met’ahi / እንኳን ደህና መጡ ( English translation ) ( Amharic )


Self-help groups enable small groups of people to support each other, both financially and through mutual encouragement. Members begin by saving small amounts of money, which are used to start new businesses or to help when times are tough. This has proved to be a hugely effective way to overcome poverty and enable communities to build a sustainable future.

Faithful regular givers, like you, are making a World of Difference, helping to reach more families with these life-changing groups...

How your support transforms lives

World map graphic with a pin on Ethiopia

Where is Ethiopia?

Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa, in the east of the continent near both the Arabian peninsula and the Red Sea.

Ethiopia in numbers

The human kindness of milk

Your support is helping families to live life to the full...

A woman feeding hay to a cow

Chuchu's life has been transformed thanks to joining a Tearfund-supported self-help group

An illustrated stamp of a cow

‘I want to make cheese! Cheese, yeah. I love cheese very much,’ says Chuchu, a cattle farmer from Datu near the city of Hawassa in southwest Ethiopia. She’s enjoying life in her community and all the opportunities provided by the milk her cows produce. Her next plan is to produce Ayib (አይብ), a fresh Ethiopian cheese.

‘What I like about the Datu community is that we love and care for each other. We share things. We help each other during tough times. In my community, there used to be tension between ethnic groups. There was violence. Now, things are fine.’

This is a huge change in Chuchu’s life and for her whole community, thanks to your faithful giving. But it wasn’t always this positive. ‘Back then, I didn’t have a job. My husband drove a horse-drawn cart. After the money left over from buying the weekly shop, I had just 50 birr.’

That’s about 70p. Hardly enough to make plans to start a business. Or, so you might think. In fact, it turned out to be plenty. And it’s all thanks to Seble Wongel from Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church Development Commission, a Tearfund partner that works with local churches to transform communities through self-help groups. But how could 70p help transform a family…?

A group of women sitting outside around a table with a building in the background

Chuchu (left) with her self-help group, that has helped her to buy cows

‘Seble Wongel trained us,’ says Chuchu. ‘She told us that if we saved the money we would not have to ask our husbands for it. As our savings increased, we’d be able to take loans out to start a business. Then we could help ourselves and our families.’

Self-help groups are small-scale community savings schemes that offer members broader mutual support. They allow people with very low incomes in communities to save together and access low-interest loans from these savings. These can finance everything from school fees to small-business start-ups.

The groups’ focus often extends beyond money to building people’s resilience to challenges such as drought and flooding. Tearfund’s self-help groups began in 2002 in Ethiopia with just five groups. Today, there are more than 20,000.

A woman feeding cows in a barn area

Chuchu feeding the cows she now owns thanks to her Tearfund-supported self-help group

Chuchu saved with the group and, after forming a business plan, she took out a 25,000 ETB [£350] loan to buy a cow. Through the sale of milk, she now has three cows, her husband has a Bajaj (a motorbike taxi) and they were able to buy a house.

‘I am happy with the life I have now, says Chuchu. ‘God has helped me to lift myself from my old life and enable me to be economically independent. Now I am equal to my neighbours and can enjoy social time with them.

‘I can feed my children and buy them the school materials they need and I am happy that they are as equal as their friends. If I didn’t work and my husband didn’t do his job, we wouldn’t be able to send our children to school.

‘God has helped me to lift myself from my old life and enables me to be economically independent’

‘God willing, we have many plans that our children will do well at school, go on to higher education and graduate with good grades. We now have this house and we plan to build a big house in the future. We pray a lot and I am a leader in the Kale Hiwot Church here.’

Thank you for your faithful support, which is helping to make whole life transformation possible for Chuchu, her family and thousands more like them across the world.

Two polaroid style photos, one with four women the other with someone counting money

Chuchu and her self-help group who save money together and provide loans to members to start small businesses

A smiling man holding a garden hoe

Kaleb was jobless and unable to earn a living before a Tearfund partner helped him learn farming skills

A way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland

Terepeza Development Agency (TDA) is a church-based Tearfund partner, working with unemployed young people to help them learn new skills and make a living. With a large and growing population under 30, getting young people into work is one of the main challenges that Ethiopia faces.

Kaleb, a young man who lives in Wolaita Sodo with his family, was out of work and struggling to make a living before TDA selected him, along with 14 others, for employment support. When the government allowed the use of a plot of land that had been abandoned during the war, TDA trained and encouraged Kaleb to plant crops.

A group of people with farming tools standing in a field

Kaleb (far right) and a group of young people in his community started farming an abandoned field

‘TDA gave us better seeds and helped us to secure loans to get the money to achieve our plans,’ he says. They trained us and provided a solar water pump to provide water for vegetable gardens. They were alongside us all the way, helping in every way possible.

‘We planted cabbage and pepper. Then continued to care for the vegetables… On our first go, the crops grew well. We sold our cabbages for 31,000 ETB [£435] and the peppers for 10,000 [£140].

‘Our hard work has been rewarded by the fruits which we harvested. We are proud that the desert has been transformed into a living soil capable of producing fruit.’

‘See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.’
(Isaiah 43:19)
A man watering crops

Kaleb's hard work has helped to transform a barren field into a flourishing farm

Kaleb and the team have big plans for the future: ‘We aren’t stopping here,’ he says. ‘We are working on soil conservation by creating water canals. When we complete this, we won’t need to bring water to our land.

I hope to be happy in the remaining years that God has given me… With God's help, I've accomplished everything I've wished for in my life.’

Through your prayers and your giving, you are empowering our local church partners in communities like these in Ethiopia and across the world to help families recover and thrive. Poverty is not God’s plan. You are. Thank you.

Landscape of fields, trees and hills

Revisit previous destinations

Missed a stop? Explore past updates and see how your kind gifts are making a world of difference.

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We hope you’ve enjoyed your time in Ethiopia. There’s another exciting destination coming soon… but you’ll have to wait and see where it is!

©2024 All Rights Reserved. Registered Charity No.265464 (England and Wales) No.SC037624 (Scotland). Tearfund, 100 Church Road, Teddington, TW11 8QE 020 3906 3906 [email protected] Images and copyright Mahad Usman (Ayaana)/Tearfund

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