July 15, 2017

Glimmer Influences Widespread Change

Author: Glimmer

Glimmer brought together leaders from our Ethiopian partner organizations for a week-long workshop to discuss the unique challenges and solutions to working in rural Ethiopia. Equipped with new strategies and connections, our partners can implement their 2018 projects effectively, improve thousands of lives and contribute to the country's rapid growth.

Workshop Participants

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Together, the six organizations have 177 years of Ethiopian development experience.

Glimmer works with community-based associations that provide local expertise on cultural and societal needs. They are connected to the people and dedicated to addressing the roots of extreme poverty. We work closely with our partners to guide the project strategy and implementation. Through shared knowledge and learning, we can continue to advance our collective vision for rural Ethiopia.

Map of Ethiopia

Glimmer partner organizations by region.

Meet The Partners

A few of the community experts who make Glimmer’s work possible.

Portrait of Amsalu

Amsalu Hundie
Deputy Director and Operation Division Manager, Oromo Development Association

Ms. Amsalu Hundie is a powerful advocate for Ethiopian women. Her background in gender studies and work in women’s health has shaped her approach to development in Oromia. She believes in the power of behavioral change and supports capacity building programs like girls’ clubs.

Portrait of Teklewoini

Teklewoini Assefa
Executive Director, Relief Society of Tigray

Mr. Teklewoini Assefa is the founder and director of REST and an influential changemaker in Tigray. Tek’s work is rooted in his days as a freedom fighter in the 1980s. Under Teklewoini’s leadership, REST has played a crucial role in supporting the people of Tigray during challenging times, including the famine in 1984 and 1985.

Portrait of Tadele

Dr. Tadele Hagos
Executive Director, Tigray Development Association

Dr. Tadele Hagos emphasizes the importance of maintaining high quality work, especially when working in remote areas. TDA forms supervisory committees in their communities to provide daily quality assurance checks of materials and construction. Establishing a close partnership with the community is the first step for every TDA project.

Learning From The IKEA Foundation Villages

Glimmer led our local partners on field visits to the IKEA Foundation Villages. The Tigray Development Association and the Relief Society of Tigray are supporting the implementation of work in this area. They underscored the importance of a strong partnership with the community and offered strategies that other partners can apply across Ethiopia for building community support.

"We have a close relationship with the people. If a project is to be successful or if it is to meet its target, the people should be made the owner of that project."

Teklewoini Assefa,
Executive Director of the Relief Society of Tigray

Candid photo of Teklewoini

Glimmer’s progress in the IKEA Foundation Villages is evidence of the success of this community-based approach. Because early meetings indicated a need for agricultural income opportunities in this region, we have focused on improving the yield of small farms in Medebay Zana. Farmers involved in our loan and irrigation programs are seeing an increase in harvests from once per year to two or three times annually. Additionally, as we introduce new crop options, farmers have nutritionally diverse food to offer their communities. Our work has allowed us to create economic opportunities in rural areas and improve food availability throughout the larger region, increasing our impact through community support and engagement.

People walking next to canals
Woman watching a group of livestock

Partners visited the 130 acre irrigation system of canals and discussed soil management and livestock trainings.

Community meeting outside a building

Community members shared their experiences with livelihoods and education projects.

Group of people discussing
Gebre writing in a notebook

Group discussion centered on topics of sustainability, community involvement and capacity building.

Sharing Knowledge

Following the three days of field visits, all attendees gathered to discuss improvement opportunities for the next year. Partners shared their areas of expertise, and Glimmer encouraged them to schedule follow-up meetings with their peers to discuss their approaches and views in greater detail.

People watching a presentation
Group of people around a table

Presentations included best practices for management, community engagement and capacity building.

Two women posing for a photo

"The experience we got from REST in financial management and compliance is very helpful. This is not a simple thing. We are thinking of sending our experts to REST so that they can learn from this."

Bisrat Tenagashaw
Director of Amhara Development Association

Looking Ahead

Ethiopia has experienced remarkable growth over the past decade. New investments in education, health care, infrastructure, livelihoods and manufacturing are moving the country closer to its goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2025. Information sharing events, like Glimmer's workshop, improve the quality of our partners' development work and enhance our collaborative efforts to end poverty and build resilience in rural Ethiopia.