Ethiopia

Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa, and yet it still struggles with political unrest, high poverty rates and low education rates.

    Photo by Johannes Odé 

Ethiopia has experienced decades of political turmoil and the impoverished country is now under further stress due to the influx of refugees from South Sudan. About one third of the population lives below the poverty line, and as the adverse affects of climate change continue to threaten agriculture, the base of the Ethiopian economy, the population living below the poverty line could rise. About half of all children ages five to 14 work.

Located in East Africa and bordered by Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya and Sudan, Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and the world, interrupted only by a weak five-year Italian colonization. The country’s economy is based on agriculture, which accounts for almost 50% of its GDP and a majority of the total employment.

Our Work in Ethiopia

In Africa, The Hunger Project works to build sustainable community-based programs using the Epicentre Strategy. An epicentre is a dynamic centre of community mobilisation and action, as well as an actual facility built by community members. Through the Epicentre Strategy, 15,000-25,000 people are brought together as a cluster of rural villages, giving villages more clout with local government than a single village is likely to have while also increasing a community’s ability to collectively utilise resources. The epicentre building serves as a focal point where the motivation, energies and leadership of the people converge with the resources of local government and non-governmental organisations. Over an eight-year period, an epicentre addresses hunger and poverty and moves along a path toward sustainable self-reliance, at which point it is able to fund its own activities and no longer requires financial investment from The Hunger Project.

    Photo by Johannes Odé 

The Hunger Project–Ethiopia is comprised of eight epicentres. Together these epicentres serve an area with 195 villages and a total population of 149,300 people. The Hunger Project-Ethiopia has implemented epicentres in five districts in Oromiya, Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region and Amhara regional states.

The Hunger Project has been working in Ethiopia since 2004. Through its integrated approach to rural development, the Epicentre Strategy, The Hunger Project is working with community partners to successfully access the basic services needed to lead lives of self-reliance and achieve internationally agreed upon markers of success, such as the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Check out satellite views of our epicentre sites in Ethiopia. See them here:

Ophelia is a nurse helping to extended the epicentre’s health outreach

Ophelia lives in Asenema, Ghana, where she works at the health centre. The work can be challenging but Ophelia enjoys her job as a nurse, especially as it allows her to create a a connection with members of her community. The number of clinic...

Grace took a microfinance bank loan, now her business is booming

Grace is a businesswoman living with her husband and six children in Asenema, Ghana. Since taking a microfinance loan, Grace has been able to build her business, which has gone from strength to strength and given her financial independence. Grace...

In Ghana, Seth is bringing positive change in his community

Seth has been engaged with The Hunger Project’s activities since they started in Obenyemi, Ghana.   He was one of the leaders who mobilized the community to start the construction of the epicentre with a clinic and a bank.  “Previously we were...

Teresa is empowering women and educating her community on HIV

Teresa and her husband live in Obeyemi, Ghana. Their children are all married and work in other villages.  Teresa has been involved with The Hunger Project since they started in her area, and she was actively involved in the construction of...

Alberta is a health education champion and an aspiring midwife

Alberta works at a health clinic located in the epicentre building in Obenyemi, Ghana. The distance from her workplace and home means that she spends two weeks working in Obenyemi and then travels to Accra for a weekend to see her husband. Alberta...

Thanks to her business, Rebecka is able to send her children to school

Rebecka is a farmer, and she processes and sells palm oil in Boti, Ghana. She is married and has five children.  Rebecka has participated in the microfinance programme implemented in her community by The Hunger Project. Thanks to this...

Abraham has grown his agricultural business, enabling his children to attend school

Abraham is a farmer, husband and farther living in Obenyemi, Ghana. The agriculture industry engages just over half of the country's labour force. The industry make up a large portion of Ghana's economy whilst also providing 90% of the country's...

Regina helped build an epicentre for her community in Ghana

Regina is divorced and lives with her two daughters, aged 14 and 21, outside Obenyemi, Ghana. Both her daughters are in education. Regina is a farmer and grows maize and ocher to support her family. She has joined The Hunger Project's microfinance...

Reforestation projects aim to reverse soil erosion in Ethiopia

In the Machakel region of north-eastern Ethiopia, at first glance, there doesn't seem to be much going on. In the rainy season, the grass grows well, and the hills are green. But if you look a little closer, you will see significant erosion on the...

In Senegal, Cheikh Diouf is working to end hunger in his community.

Cheikh Diouf from Ndié has been a member of the grain bank at Ndereppe Epicentre, Senegal, since the start of 2006. He has also become a member of the newly established farmers’ association. This has enabled him to provide his family with enough...

Photography credits: Banner image – Johannes Ode