My time in Asaita is on hold during the summer break. School holidays and stifling summer heat have led me to Addis Ababa for the next few months. I’m working at an international non-governmental organisation called CAFOD/SCIAF/ Trόcaire (CST) at their Joint Ethiopia Programme headquarters. All of the three organisations in the Joint Ethiopia Programme are related to the Catholic Church. CAFOD represents the Catholic Church in England and Wales, SCIAF is from Scotland, and Trόcaire is from Ireland. All of them fall under the umbrella of Caritas Internationalise in the Vatican.
Inspired by Catholic Social Teaching, the Joint Ethiopia Programme of CAFOD, SCIAF and Trόcaire strive to work effectively, efficiently and transparently with vulnerable and marginalised women and men, partners and other strategic stakeholders, to build capacities, empower communities and increase access to quality services for a just transformation, reduced vulnerability and integrated sustainable development in Ethiopia.
During the summer at CST I am teaching English to the staff, editing projects proposals and evaluations, and creating visibility material in the form of brochures about the organisation’s activities.
Editing reports and project proposals give me the opportunity to learn about CST’s work around the country, and it provides good exposure to the reporting demands of various donor agencies.
CAFOD/SCIAF/ Trόcaire works in partnership with national NGOs in Ethiopia to promote social justice in 4 thematic areas:
Sustainable Livelihood: improves and diversifies agricultural and non-agricultural production and productivity, increases access to and control over improved natural resources, reduces the risk posed to communities in areas prone to natural disaster, and contributes to global and national policy and communications. Particular emphasis is given to pastoralist livelihoods.
Civil Society Development: assists partners to be more accountable and effective, enhances space and coordinated action for dialogue between NGO’s and government, and engages in collaborative efforts using evidence-based inputs for policy discussions and thereby improves the access of citizens to quality social and other services.
Collaborative HIV & AIDS: improves access to comprehensive HIV prevention and care and support services and reinforce the quality and effectiveness of any such services.
Humanitarian Response: supports partners to prepare for and respond to emergencies in line with international standards and following a Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) approach that enhances vulnerable communities’ capacity to plan for, mitigate and respond to disasters.
Working at CST has turned me into an Addis commuter. I live in a house rented by the organisation, and have to take line taxis (mini-van buses) across the city to get to work. Doing this in the rainy season can mean getting really wet, but it is a welcome relief after the heat of the desert.