Women and youth are socio -economically empowered and benefit from the development of the country

YWCA is working to enhance availability of a safe decent and sustainable economic opportunity for women and youth in Ethiopia. Accordingly, the capacity of women and youth to create employment opportunities for themselves, generate income, manage and access financial services will be enhanced. Towards that end, YWCA is playing the key role on increasing the availability of financial literacy trainings, income generation activities and skills development opportunities as a main focus of intervention.

Women Self Help Group Program (SHG)

Self Help Group (SHG) approach is a three tier people's institution: SHG, CLA and Timeret. One SHG constitutes between 15-20 poor and socially marginalized women, CLA is a network of 8-12 strong SHGs and Timeret is a town/local level people’s apex institution that represents the entire community.

The SHG approach organizes 15-20 poor, marginalized and neighborhood women of similar socio-economic backgrounds. In most cases, particularly in urban areas, SHGs have weekly regular meetings where they discuss on their social and economic issues. Initially, SHGs are formed “without agenda” but when they meet, they start setting their prioritized socio-economic agendas. Internal rules and regulations that support the growth and survival of people’s institutions grow step by step from within. All members take different responsibilities at different times turn by turn, which implants equal empowerment among the members. The approach promotes regular weekly optional saving where the minimum amount that all SHG members can save is decided on but the maximum amount is left for individual members as a rule. Every woman in SHGs has access to loan from their group saving with agreed interest rate, loan amount, repayment time and plan. The approach believes that capacity building trainings and exposure visits help the poor to unleash their potentials.

Case Story of Successful SHG member, W/ro Ehete Getachew;

Ehete Getachew is one of the Women organized under the SHG program of YWCA in Adama,

 She narrates her experience; ‘when I and my neighbor first joined the self-help group, most of us are economically dependent on our husbands, and the money we receive from them was never enough to cover the living expenses of our family. At my SHG, the first weekly saving was only one birr. But, the meetings were an opportunity to discuss the different challenges we face as a women.


Because my SHG was formed and supported by YWCA, I obtained the opportunity to be trained on business, reproductive health, sewing and knitting skills. Eventually, my husband died and the responsibility to take care of my family had fallen on me. The situation forced me to borrow 200 birr from my group and started selling bread, which makes me realize my potential to earn money.

From then on wards, I have developed the skill and courage, to take more loan to expand and diversify my business. I continue taking big loans from my group and bought baking stove, washing machine, onion grinder and start using these equipments for income generation. With all my business activities, my income keeps on increasing and now I am getting more than 5000 ETB net income per month. Further to covering my family living expense, I was able to educate my four children and they have now reached to high school and higher education’.

Celebrating SHG Day in Hawassa



Celebrating SHG Day in Debreberhan



Community Based Training

Community Based Training is a unique, informal skills training organized in the community for the vulnerable and disadvantaged youths who miss out and are not able to access formal and institutionalized vocational training programs. It is an alternative livelihood approach that seeks to empower individuals and groups of people especially the youth by providing them with skills they need to effect change in their own community. The program targets youth of ages 14 - 25 with priority provided and accorded to; orphans, young mothers including teenage mothers and those with physical challenges among others.

The program works through implementation of Self Help Group Approach in the community. Self Help Groups are composed of mostly women from almost similar socioeconomic background and come together for empowerment of their households and communities at large.

This is an important structure for the operation of the program because it will;

  • Avail community own resources
  • Facilitate integration and fulfill community’ needs and rights
  • Support the development of the institution
  • Help in building the necessary network of stakeholders.

Thus crucial roles of mobilization, creation of awareness, dissemination of information, and identification of needs, youth participation in training and post training all contribute to the program's success and sustainability.

The CBT program will itself address to fill gaps by;

  • Enabling the vulnerable youth specifically to develop coping mechanism and resilience.
  • Supplement the meager income by the care givers, parents, guardians and this is not to take away their duties and responsibilities.
  • Offer opportunities to youth who would have been left out by the requirements of education systems as well as inadequacies of the care givers, parents and guardians. It should be noted that many households in the countries SHG is promoted to are headed by women. These female headed households are often vulnerable and insecure in their ability to provide Family’s most pressing needs. Hence, they are unlikely to be bear present cost to keep their Children in school in the anticipation of returns only in the distant future.


The overall goal of the CBT program is empowering youth to utilize their socioeconomic potential, promote self-employable opportunities and increase income levels.

In this context objectives are:

  • To create opportunities for the vulnerable youth in accessing livelihood skills for their improved wellbeing.
  • To enable the vulnerable youth earn a substantial income on a sustainable basis through the attained skills.
  • To support women under people’s Institution in attaining sustainable communities through empowerment of CLAs and CBT committees.
  • To bring services to the community working with the existing resources of the community.