Ethiopian DREAMS..!




3,000 people (570 families)




3,000 people (570 families)

Project story

Ethiopian DREAMS for thousands in poverty

Problem statement and context
Despite the national economic growth, the job market opportunities lag behind. High population growth, climate change, poor agricultural services and lack of financial services are major factors in the increase of unemployment for youth and women, particular in rural areas. This affects their outlook on life and many of them have a lack of ambition and a poor sense of fulfilment

This project builds on an earlier agricultural livelihood project in the rural Hawassa Zuria area, located in the southern part of the country. The project will address at least 3.000 poor people (570 families), with special attention to youth and woman. Most of them try to earn an income with activities from home or have a small farm with low production.

Without the much-needed life skills and jobs, many of the youth and woman feel that they are a burden on their families and communities. They become apathetic towards their surrounding and do not feel that they really belong to the community. As a response, migration is the most used coping mechanism.

‘The project has built my capacity through trainings. The staff of the project visited me regularly and this always gave me courage. I have my own business now and my family is no more dependent on my husband’s small income. My life is improving. In the future, I hope that my business will grow into a big venture.’ –  Emameye, 40 year old mother of four children

Our DREAMS approach has proven itself in improving the livelihood of economically deprived and marginalized people. It stands for Developing Resilient Entrepreneurship and Marketing Systems.

Community leaders, government employees and Dorcas staff will make the youth aware of ways to start their own business. If they are interested the youth will be invited to participate in a life skills and entrepreneurship training. So called community business groups are formed based on existing relations between youth and their business ideas. As part of the training process, these groups work on a
business plan and by doing so become eligible for a soft loan from the government.

The business topics are diverse and include among others: pottery, coffee shops, small restaurant or in agriculture like poultry, fattening, vegetables or bee keeping. As part of economic empowerment of vulnerable youth we support them in getting assets through savings, use of local materials, networks, relations and knowledge. Creating community awareness on migration risks and self-employment is an essential part of the project to reduce (illegal) migration and create flourishing communities. Networking with
government departments and banks is a must as they provide relevant services, e.g., the ‘Youth Revolving Fund’, which is a key local loan mechanism accessible for young people.

The project has started in 2022 and will continue in 2023, 2024 and 2025. The total costs are $470.000 to be invested in business opportunities, social and entrepreneurial skills, community awareness on migration and self-employment, project staff and admin costs, community mobilization and access to finance. Since half of the total budget is already covered by other stakeholders, the remaining request for funding is $265,000 for 3 years, meaning $88,000 per year.

Dorcas Ethiopia, local government departments, banks, specialized business trainers and especially the people in the Hawassa Zuria area have achieved the following results:

  • Enhanced community awareness and leadership on use of local resources for self-employment;
  • 50 community based economic structures will be self-sustaining;
  • 570 households (about 3,000 people) will have an increased income, livelihood and food security;
  • 60 young adults will have a decent job;
  • Reduced illegal migration, due to more jobs and improved awareness on related migration risks;

Together we work for those in need. Together we can make DREAMS come true. So, people thrive and flourish, using their God-given potential. 

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