Listening to Alemayehu Teshome speak, it is clear that the NEPAD Spanish Fund continues to make a difference in the lives of ordinary Africans. Mr Teshome is the Founder and Executive Director of Livelihood Improvement for Vulnerable Ethiopians (LIVE Addis), a non-governmental organisation that works on empowering disadvantaged women and youth to improve their livelihoods.
“Thanks to NEPAD, we managed to give hope to more than 450 youths by providing vocational and life skills training to help enhance their employment opportunities and better their lives. Through our various training courses, 96% of our beneficiaries have been able to get employment or have started their own businesses,” he said.
LIVE- Addis’ main goal is to enable Women and Youth in Ethiopia to become productive, competent and self-reliant by creating employment or self-employment for them.
With support from the NEPAD Spanish Fund, the NGO provides vocational and life skills training for Women and Youth. The institutions’ focus area in vocational skills training includes modern building finishing, food preparations and catering, vehicle mechanics, sewing and designing, videography and photography, metal and wood works and enterpreneurship and small business trading. They also offer other awareness training on Gender equality, reproductive health and life skills.
Echoing his sentiments, are some of the beneficiaries who also expressed their gratitude for the opportunity given to them by LIVE-Addis. They spoke of the challenges they had before partaking in the skills development training.
Fanu Kasa, a former LIVE-Addis beneficiary is now employed by Ayu Garments as a seamstress after undergoing the vocational training offered by the institution.
“Before getting an opportunity to train at LIVE-Addis, I was unemployed with no source of income. I was struggling financially and could not afford basic necessities such as food and decent shelter, especially for my children. When I applied for the programme, I was ecstatic to be admitted and worked hard during the training Programme. Now I am employed by “Ayu Garments” and able to take care of my daughter,” she said.
Another beneficiary, Yonatan Wondmu who is now employed as a trainer at Lovely Beauty training centre spoke on his experience and challenges as an unemployed and unskilled youth in Addis Ababa before starting his training with LIVE-Addis. “I used to live in a village where financial resources were scarce and it was difficult to make adequate money to provide for myself and other family members. When I saw the advert in my village to apply for a training course with the institution, I grabbed the opportunity and was selected. Now, after doing training with this training academy, I have even managed to secure employment with the academy to train new recruits and now life is so much easier.”
In February, the Gender team went on a field visit to LIVE Addis, to monitor and document progress made by the NGO in implementing the project. During the visit, the team undertook community visits, interviewed beneficiaries and assessed their perspectives on the project and how it has changed their lives. The team also collected success stories, shared lessons learned, highlighted significant accomplishment or and offered recommendations for sustainability after the funding ends on 31 March 2015.