Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus – Development and Social Service Commission
At the turn of the 19th Century, instituting the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) began proclaiming the Gospel with the help of Lutheran and Presbyterian Missions in Ethiopia. As a result of these joint efforts, congregations, parishes and synods were established that brought about instituting the EECMY as a national Church on January 21, 1959. The church embraced the evangelism and development works as major components of its ministry which were already progressing hand-in-hand from its inception in 1970s.
The development and social services of the church were led by its development department which was established from its institutionalization as a national church. In November 2009, EECMY-DASSC received its license as Ethiopian Resident Charity Organization from the newly established government agency for Charities and Societies. Over the years, the development work of EECMY-DASSC has gained long experiences and good reputations as a result of successful implementation of different development and social activities, comprising of food security, emergency relief, natural resource management, water, sanitation, and hygiene, health services including HIV/AIDS prevention, education, child and youth development, gender and development and capacity building by covering most of the administrative regions of the country.
EECMY-DASSC has longstanding and reliable partnerships with different national and international organizations which have been providing major financial and expertise support to all sectors of services of the Commission. Well established church structures in most regions of the country have provided leverage to EECMY-DASSC to become familiar with specific geographical, social and cultural circumstances of communities and localities and serve their priority needs. Church structure being part of the community facilitated grassroots level works of the Commission to reach the most needy and vulnerable communities.
EECMY-DASSC has strong network with other actors and has secured firm acceptance by local, regional and federal government bodies and collaborative relationships are being progressively strengthened. Development interventions initiated by communities and supported by EECMY-DASSC are contributing to the realization of the poverty reduction aims and national development policy targets.
The Livelihood Development program
The Livelihood Development program is identified to address multiple dimensions of poverty prevailing among the community. The framework considers five core asset/capital categories (human, financial, social, natural and physical) and relationships between these assets upon which the livelihood of the people are built. Improving the assets of the poor and increasing their access to and utilization of the assets is believed to address multifaceted poverty (material and non-material aspects). Promoting environment friendly climate smart agriculture is one of major focuses as it is the important pillar in improving livelihood of the community.
In recognition of the prevailing challenges such as rapid population growth, heavy dependence on rain fed agriculture, low production, degradation of soil fertility, recurrent drought, periodic floods, and degradation of natural resources, and building on positive policy environments for contributing towards the national development priorities and global commitment, EECMY-DASSC chose Livelihood Development as one of the pillar program themes for the coming five years. The program focuses on food security and nutrition; natural resource management; income generation and asset building and water, sanitation and hygiene.
The program, therefore, strives to achieve the following goal and strategic objectives:
Sustainably improve and enhance livelihoods of the rural and urban poor and vulnerable people.
- SO 1: Enhance community capacity, asset building and improve food security at household level.
- SO 2: Improve access to safe water supply, sanitation and hygiene
- SO 3: Improve pastoralist community’s livelihoods
- SO 4: Create enabling environment to reduce situations inducing migration and human trafficking
Improve the wellbeing and productivity of children and youth through rehabilitation, protection and provision of quality and inclusive education.
- SO1: Improve the lives of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) to grow to productive adulthood
- SO2: Improve wellbeing of children with special needs
- SO3: Empower unemployed youth through vocational skills
- SO4: Enhance girls’ education
- SO5: Enhance quality of education in church and community run schools
Health and nutrition
As an important international and national development area, EECMY-DASSC plans to build on its existing experience to continue working towards improved health status of its target community. The focus of this program will be on Sexual Reproductive Health, communicable diseases, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Nutrition, Sanitation and Hygiene.
Improve the health and nutrition status of the target communities
- SO1: Improve the sexual and reproductive health status of the target community (adolescents, youth, mother and child) through Social and Behavioral Change Communication (SBCC), system strengthening and health care services
- SO2: Reduce the impact of communicable diseases among the target community (e.g. Malaria, Tuberculosis) by enhancing the skills and knowledge of target group
- SO3: Improve nutritional status of the most vulnerable target community focusing on maternal and child nutrition
- SO4: Improve health status of the target community affected by neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)
In the coming five years, gender and development, disaster risk reduction, care for environment and climatic change adaptation are the key areas to be considered as crosscutting issues.
Learn More at http://eecmydassc.org/eecmydassc/