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Thriving communities through women’s economic empowerment, improved climate resilient livelihoods and the engagement of Civil Society Organisations in Ethiopia

Project Name

Thriving communities through women’s economic empowerment, improved climate resilient livelihoods and the engagement of Civil Society Organisations in Ethiopia

Project Location


Project Natures
  • Church and Community Mobilisation
  • Livelihood Development
Project Objectives
  • Mobilise and enhance the outreach capacity of local churches to encourage believers to care for their neighbours and support vulnerable families in the community.
  • Promote the adoption of conservation farming practices among local smallholder farming families, enabling sustainable agriculture and improving household food security. This will also help enhance their resilience in the face of natural disasters and the impacts of climate change.

Small farmers from impoverished families and local churches.

No. of Beneficiaries

Approx. 1,700 households and 12 churches.

Key Activities
  • Train and encourage churches to flexibly utilise internal resources to support outreach efforts, engage with the community, and assist marginalised groups within the community.
  • Livelihood expansion: Invite community representatives to receive disaster risk reduction training; establish and train mutual support groups to encourage continuous small-scale savings. Provide microcredit assistance to group members for small business development, facilitate experience sharing and information exchange, and collectively address household economic issues.
  • Promote sustainable agriculture: Train farmers in the practice of conservation farming.
Project Period

Sep 2022 to Aug 2025


Approx. HK$1,150,000


She desired to establish her own small business like her neighbors but lacked the entrepreneurial capital, and no one was willing to lend her money for starting a business.

Joining the SHG has been of significant importance to Aster. Previously, she had no income of her own and felt isolated due to the poverty of her household, which set her apart from neighbors who had stable income. After joining the SHG, Aster started saving weekly and then established a small business selling grains and butter. Over time, she diversified her income sources, including poultry farming, beekeeping for honey production, and dairy farming for milk and dairy products. Her first small loan application through the SHG was only 300 Ethiopian Birr (ETB). As her business income increased, her repayment capacity improved, and she was able to apply for a loan of ETB 5,000 from the SHG. Aster said:

The day I joined the SHG was a turning point in my life because it brought new hope.

The SHGs established by TDA, a partner organisation, are social-economic groups that support women. Each SHG has its own constitution, structure, and accountability system. The members of the SHG pool their savings to create a ‘revolving fund’ for the group, which is used to provide small loans to members interested in entrepreneurship. The SHG also provides a protection fund to alleviate the economic pressure caused by family emergencies. TDA offers various business and leadership training to the SHGs, assisting them in gradually becoming self-sustainable. Additionally, multiple SHGs in the same region are connected by forming a Cluster Level Association, expanding the support network for SHGs.

Aster’s remarkable business performance caught the attention of the Cluster Level Association, which helped her connect with larger credit institutions, enabling her to obtain additional loans to further expand her business. When Aster joined the SHG, she was a high school dropout. Still, now she has acquired a diploma in accounting, operates her business independently, has savings in a bank account, can provide nutritious food for her family, send her children to school, and owns assets.

The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures forced Aster to sell perishable agricultural products like milk and cheese at discounted prices, impacting her business and income. However, compared to some of her neighbours who became unemployed or had only one small business, Aster feels that her business is more resilient due to the support of the SHG and her savings, giving her a stronger capacity for recovery.


Partner Name

Terepeza Development Association (TDA)

Year of establishment


The Year Our Partnership Started


Partner's Mission

TDA works with local churches to promote economic empowerment, sustainable agriculture, natural resource management, leadership training and more in rural Ethiopia to foster community development and improve the lives of poor communities.

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