Letters From Leadership
How We Grow
From the CEO, Alicyn Yarbrough
As I reflect on 2021, the challenges facing the world and Ethiopia have been beyond anything I could have imagined. The unforeseen political conflict, environmental crises and economic instability have continued to rattle Ethiopia. And challenges will keep coming. The most vulnerable communities are hit the hardest, which further fuels poverty, disrupts lives and displaces people.
While daunting, Glimmer has not wavered in our efforts. We have not recoiled in fear or uncertainty. Rather, we have expanded our reach so that we can support sustainable futures for generations to come. Our work in 2021, from providing emergency relief to exploring planet-positive solutions, is helping farming families cope with crisis, improve food security, grow household assets, and regenerate the land—all important indicators of individual, communal and environmental resilience.
We are seeing signs that our approach is working—even in the face of Covid and the conflict. Glimmer launched implementation in the rural Amhara community of Libo Kemkem prior to the pandemic. This project proved to be an important testing ground for our updated model to support the most vulnerable. In 2021, we found that hunger decreased, households were saving more, and expectant mothers were seeking medical care—indicating that our model is equipping families to thrive even during severe crisis.
During my time as CEO, I have been reminded that we cannot do this alone. As we faced compounding challenges in 2021, we were encouraged by the unwavering trust and understanding shown to us by our supporters. Our funders have stood steadfast by our side throughout the ongoing conflict. And as we continued to learn and evolve our model in 2021, we connected with organizations aligned with our mission to tackle shared challenges together. As crises deepen globally, we continue to seek support from partners, peer organizations and our network of donors to create collective impact in Ethiopia.
The stories of individuals who have transformed their lives have turned our hope into knowing. Our model is eliminating poverty and illuminating lives even in the darkest of times. In a time when unrest is pulling families apart, our work is helping families come together and thrive in the face of crisis. The tireless efforts of Glimmer’s team in the US and Ethiopia, the support from donors, and the results we are seeing indicate that we will emerge from the insurmountable challenges stronger and more motivated than ever.