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.
i. Saving and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs)
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 Formation Process and Training
|Women Leaders Managing the SACCOS activities|
ii. Self-Help Group Approach
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;
|SHG members engaged in IGA activities|
iii. Women Enterprise Development
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:
- Access to Business Skills & Knowledge
- Providing Reach- Up, Start –up and Scale up training and Vocational skill
- Facilitating Business Competition among women in micro-business
- Organizing High level business women role-model event to inspire women in the informal sector
|Women in micro-business attending Business Skills and Knowledge training|
- Access to Financial Services:
- Organizing women into Village Saving and Lending Association (VSLA);
- Delivering Financial Literacy Training;
- Organizing Saving and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs);
- Creating linkage with formal financial institutions for credit access.
- Creating Access to Market Exposure:
- Facilitating for women to participate in bazaars and other market outlets;
- Profiling women business and linking nationally and internationally.
- Creating Supportive Business Environment-Enabling Conditions:
- Creating awareness on the constraints of women in micro-business through TV/Radio and other media outlets
- Provision of training on gender dynamics, life skill and entrepreneurial skill to husbands and sons;
- Establishing community child day-care services to relief women from reproductive role;
- Conducting dialogue and influencing discussions with various stakeholders.
|Husbands of targeted women attending gender dynamics, life skill and entrepreneurship training|
- Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLAs)
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;
|VSLA members performing regular saving and financial transaction activities|
5. Textile Value Chain
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