MCDP gives well-though attention to the economic empowerment of the community in general and women in particular. It pursues different models and approaches for economic empowerment such as saving and credit cooperatives, enterprise development, self-help group and village saving and loan association models. The specific activities that MCDP does under each of the model/approach are described below.
Saving and Credit Cooperative is one of the developments Model that MCDP pursues to economically empower marginalized people in its operational areas. To date, MCDP has organized several Saving and Credit Cooperatives. It has also been doing the following:
- Provision of training on cooperatives concepts and its formation;
- Provision of training on cooperative managementand business skill training;
- Training on IGA identification and planning;
- Seed money injection to the cooperatives and follow up;
- Link the SACCOs with the government structures for sustainability;
- Support SACCOs with equipments-ICT facilities and furniture ICT facilities;
- Provide training on ICT for ease management of their management functions;
SACCOs in MCDP
The primary objective of the SACCOs scheme is to build the economic capacity of the disadvantaged members of the community especially women by providing Basic Business skill, Entrepreneurship and leadership trainings and loan access to members so as to start and expand their business and help themselves and their families. The scheme has granted the women and men a chance to generate income to sustain their families. Financial resource ownership is another advantage the women and men gained. In earlier times, these target beneficiaries had no capacity to save money as most of their profits were taken back to the moneylenders who lend them with high rate of interest. With continued capacity building support from MCDP, the cooperatives have now established links with the business community, bought bank share, and increased individual member’s borrowing capacity from 5,000 ETB birr in 1998 to 30,000 ETB in 2019. In addition, the SACCOs hired 7 accountants to manage their financial transaction and this contributed for creation of job for unemployed women. Currently, there are 70 legally organized cooperatives and have 10,928 (F 6297, M 4631) members with a total capital of ETB 20,827,399. The scheme is being implemented in Addis Ababa, Welete in Oromiyia region and Chencha, Ditta and DereMalloWoreda in SNNPR.
Women Leader at SAACo
Self Help Group (SHG) is an informal self-initiative group of people with a common objective of working together for their economic, social and over all area of development. MCDP recognizes the SHG approach is as one of powerful development models which takes into account poverty not only as materials deprivation but also a continuous process of disempowerment. MCDP has been using this approach as means for transforming individuals and communities from poverty and hopelessness to a state of self-esteem and empowerment.
SHG system has a hierarchical structure with three levels:
- The Self Help Group (SHG):Grass roots level group made up of 15-20 women in the community who are neighbors and homogenous in their social and economic status.
- Cluster Level Association (CLA):Second level where by 8 to 10 strong SHG form a CLA.
- Federation: At the apex level, 8 or more strong CLAs come together to form Federation.
At each of these three levels the groups have distinct roles and responsibilities to ensure social and economic empowerment of women in particular and the community in general.
Hence to enhance their roles and responsibilities, MCDP does the following:
- Provision of training on the Concepts of SHG, CLA and Federation, Basic Business Skill/BBS, Entrepreneurship, Book keeping,Leadership Skill and Conflict management;
- Equipping SHG Members on Social Development Skills
- Awareness creation on reproductive health;
- Organizing Business Competition among SHG members;
- Provision of Vocational Skill Training
SHG members in Handicraft and Soap and Detergent production Vocational Training for IGA
Wise investment of CLAs union
Involving CLAs (Cluster Level Association) in investment enable to cover the administrative costs of the CLA and of their respective Federation. With this understanding, 11 CLAs representatives at Addis Ketema Project area organized as a CLA union. This union established its by-laws and elected 5 executive committee members to carry out a small investment. Accordingly, a one-time capital was raised for this investment called Wise investment. Plastic tents, chairs and tables were purchased to renting them out for individuals and institutions to generate income so as to attain the aforementioned purposes. Due to improvement of the business, the union was able to purchase additional 3 tents with various size, 250 plastic chairs and bride-groom chairs. As a result, its current income and capital is increasing.
Besides, the union takes up social, economic and political issues that are beyond the scope of an individual SHG and leads the People's Institution towards empowerment. It is working with police to maintain peace and security in their Surrounding. They conduct meeting regularly to discuss on security and related issues such as child abuses in collaboration with police and Women and Children Office in their area. It also carries out its roles and benefiting community members are contributing for prevailing peace, justice and human Rights in their woreda. The union is so active that it has strong network with women league of the Woreda, Iddirs, health office, women, children and youth affairs office, police and Woreda administration to protect children and women from abuses, gender based violence, harassment, trafficking and neglect. Moreover, the union is carrying out their roles to improve the performance of SHGs and facilitating various community services to their local areas.
Due to COVID 19, the CLA union is now working with Woreda administration office and private individuals to provide consuming foods such as audible oil, flour, wheat and sanitation materials like sanitizer and soup for households who are low socio-economic status in the woreda. In addition, the union lent its tents and chairs for woreda health office to diagnose COVID 19. Thus, the union of CLAs which was once meant to serve own cause; now come to be active development actor. The works of union has been recognized by the local government and have been inspiring other CLAs in other project site to follow their path.
MCDP believes that creating well-equipped women in running and leading business has paramount importance in alleviating both the practical and strategic need of women. To this end, MCDP has plunged in creating opportunity to women in micro-business, especially in the informal sector, thereby empowering them with economic and social dynamics. Accordingly it has been doing the following:
Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA) is a group of 15-30 people who save together and take small loans from those savings and it is member- managed group. The VSLA approach is one of the development models which facilitate financial services to the marginalized segments of community members. It promotes saving and enable members to practice loan taking and repayment process and thereby developing their confidence for decision-making regarding financial management. It provides small amount of credit services for micro-business operators, which formal financial lender institution cannot offer and it also helps to weaken the illegal lenders who exploit the very poor and perhaps the entire community. In general, VSLA approach has two main features in it. The first one is it promotes saving and thereby provides small amount of loan for members from those savings. The second one is it strengthens social bondage and connectedness among members and it also serves as a platform for members to discuss on various social issues.
Thus, MCDP uses VSLA approach as one of its economic strengthening models and it provides technical as well as material supports for VSLA groups. MCDP does the following to strengthen VSLA groups:
Provides continuous trainings for members on VSLA practices- establishment procedures, financial literacy, loan management and share out
Provides kits for VSLA groups such as saving box, passbook and stationery materials;
Assists VSLAs to upgrade to saving and credit cooperatives (SACCOs)
VSLA members performing regular saving and financial transaction activities
The textile industry is a critical part for the development of the Ethiopian economy. In particular, there is a long history in traditional hand weaving, which is a niche sector within the textile industry. Though its growth is still unsatisfactory, traditional weaving is one of the primary sectors which exploit children in Ethiopia, especially in SNNPRS/Gamo Gofa Zone and Addis Ababa. The weaver household themselves are being exploited by traders and the market system across the chains of this sector. This is due to the fact that the market system in value chain of this sector is distorted and lacks smooth information flow.
Having understood this situation and as a child focused organization, MCDP intervenes in this sector, firstly, with the objective to withdraw those children who are engaged in hazardous work and secondly, to improve the livelihood conditions of the weaver households. To realize the above mentioned objectives MCDP performs the following:
- Introduces modern weaving tools such as winding tool, spinning machine and others thereby reducing the demand for child labor by avoiding the traditional weaving tools, which are labor intensive by nature;
- Promotes child labor free weaving products;
- Provides training on quality, design, productivity, pricing and others to the weaver households;
- Facilitates access to weaving inputs to the weaver households;
- Works to balance the chain profitability across all stages of the weaving sector ;
- Creates local and high-end market linkage for weaver households.
The Value Chain assists actors in the chain to have information, Skills, Finance and Market.
Promoting Child Free Product