The annual report ‘Hope and opportunities for people in Ethiopia’ was published. The report describes the progress made in the Addressing Root Causes (ARC) project, which focuses on providing opportunities for youth at risk of migration, both refugees and host community members. The project is a cooperation between ZOA (lead), International Medical Corps, Norwegian Refugee Council and Plan International Ethiopia. Many youngsters in Ethiopia lack hope and opportunities. Through the ARC-project, we aim to create new perspectives.
The ARC-project started in 2016. In 2016 and 2017 the consortium members completed preliminary activities laying the foundation for programme implementation and attainment of the intended activities, outputs and outcomes. ZOA signed agreements with UNCHR and ARRA on behalf of the consortium members. Afterwards, regional agreements with relevant governing bodies in Shire, Addis Ababa and Jigjiga were signed by ZOA, NRC and IMC. Plan International Ethiopia, faced difficulties in finalizing the agreement because of the lack of understanding, on the part of the relevant government bodies in Addis Ababa, regarding the nature and importance of the HOPE programme.
Adapt to changing situations
Giving hope to young migrants, refugees and Ethiopian youngsters is not an easy task. The ARC-project faces difficulties: the current restrictive legal framework, uncertainty about when ongoing changes on the refugee policy and legislations will be implemented and the novelty of the programme approach to key government stakeholders in Addis Ababa as it endeavors to target youth at risk of migration with a 50:50 ratio of refugees and host communities. The security situation of the country, for which the Government of Ethiopia declared the state of emergency, affected the programme implementation as gathering of people was prohibited and was considered a serious offence to the law. These factors required the programme to adapt to changing situations.
Getting started with income generating projects
The annual report also describes many positive developments. ZOA (Shire), NRC (Addis, Jigjiga and Shire) and IMC (Dolo) accomplished the implementation of livelihood and awareness raising activities in the first-year, aimed at creating income generating. In Hitsats refugee camp, ZOA trained selected beneficiaries for three months on, amongst others, videography. Kokeb stated; “Before I joined the skills training, I was unskilled, jobless and losing hope. Now that I have enrolled in this training, I have gained skills and regained hope of using my skills to earn a living”. ZOA supported Kokeb and his fellow graduates to set-up a small photo studio named “Rimon Photo Studio”, to provide service to the refugee camp and host population.
Click to read the ARC-Annual Report 2016-2017