Ethiopia boasts the 14th fastest-growing economy in the world and is attracting a great deal of foreign direct investment; however, over 40% of the economy is informal, and within the unregulated economy are children working in unsafe conditions. Ethiopians Fighting Against Child Exploitation (E-FACE) is a four-year project undertaken in collaboration with World Vision to improve the livelihoods of 7,000 vulnerable families and 3,250 youth.
MEDA's work will increase incomes for families primarily engaged in the textile sector by linking rural small-scale artisans to high-end markets, enhancing their production techniques and linking them to appropriate technologies, improved input supplies, and financing. Additionally, families will be connected to high-potential agricultural crops, such as apple and bamboo, to supplement their income. MEDA is also training 250 youth aged 14-17 as agricultural sales agents. Equipped with seeds, fruit tree saplings, supplies and information, they can work in safer jobs, and ensure that farmers in their region have access to needed agricultural inputs.
Working through local partners, MEDA is offering child weavers a program of rights and hazards awareness sessions called Keep Safe, and a referral system to get children into other areas of employment or back in school. EFACE also offers business owners incentives to improve workplace conditions and update antiquated equipment such as looms through access to loans.
Project Quick Facts
Goal: To reduce exploitative child labor by improving market access to textile and agricultural markets for 7,000 vulnerable families and improving working conditions and futures for 2,200 working youth.
Reaching: 7,000 families and 3,250 youth
Funding: United States Department of Labor
Project length: 2011-2015 (4 years)