June 2019: Ethiopia / Durame: Breaking poverty trap

PBF in Southern Ethiopia: Breaking poverty trap

Ethiopia, as one of the poorest country in the world suffers from poverty, unemployment and inequality. Understanding the poverty situation and its impacts in Ethiopia, PBF has been involved in a number of activities such as health care, education, sanitation, housing, creation of employment opportunity, entrepreneurship which have great impact on poorest of the poorest. Some of the PBF activities in Durame include: school (Doano School and Abune Francis), Bee Farming (Doano), fountain project, support for students from poor families, employment opportunities such as Leinam Stationery. All of the above activities are in one way or the other are helping the poorest to the poor to get out of the vicious circle of poverty. For example, bee farming in Doano Village has several benefits for the farmers who do the farming and the community at large: source of income, food, pollination, biodiversity… One of the recently noticed impact of bee farming project in Doano is that it has become lesson and initiated tens of farmers start bee farming especially following lessons and direction of Jossy and Abel. It has become long-lasting lesson for the community to see Jossy and Abel (having Master’s degree and privileged job) climbing over big trees, going to village and instructing farmers to invest their time and resources in Bee farming among the community of Doano. There are now many bee farmers in the village than they have ever been before PBF along with friends in the South (Jossy and Abel) got involved in the bee farming. I strongly believe that we can make an amazing documentary on the bee farming in Doano village and the lessons passed to the community.

For now, I will focus on the report on only one activity of PBF in Durame, Photocopy and stationery in Durame. The rest, we shall organize and report it when needed in and completed.

Leinam (Translated: We will flourish) photocopy and stationery 

Organization: The Leinam Stationary is a licensed microenterprise focusing on retailing small stationeries and photocopying.    The enterprise is fully funded by PBF. The group unemployed youths composed of three members and two hired individuals run the enterprise.

Who is the responsible: The Group of three unemployed youths run and are responsible for the business. Formerly, Abel oversees the business. Now, I (Yossy) and looks after and helps the group whenever needed. Otherwise, the group has bank account

Revenue and Expenses:  PBF fully funded the start up. All the materials in the Leinam is brought by the kind donations of PBF.  Since PBF is providing fund for the youths to get out of the vicious circle of poverty, the group to whom the materials and resources have been provided needs to really take care of all the materials property and help themselves and their families through the income the group and the employees run. The materials in the Leinam include:

  1. Photocopy machine (very cheapest and basic one): copy and Scan Assignments, references, group and individual Assignments, group and individual projects,
  2. One desktop laptop: type and print assignments, projects,
  3. Printer: print assignments, projects, homework,
  4. Laminator: to laminate Individual, and group Assignments, group works, projects, homework
  5. Binder: for binding individual, and group Assignments, group works, projects, homework
  6. Stationery: Just basic level stationery such as pens, pencils, exercise books, sheets of

Profit: The business is mean to provide employment opportunity for those who are unemployed and just little mechanism to create employment opportunity for those who seek some income to survive and get out of absolute poverty.  The two employees get paid 800 birr, and 1200 birr per month respectively. The group who owns share from 800-1000 every month and started saving 500 birr every month just for contingency. The group has about 5000 birr in their account which they use to buy materials such as paper for photocopy, ink powder, color,..

Relatively, this income, which the members and employees at Leinam earn is so little that someone may finish in a dinner or lunch party. However, this is everything for someone who doesn’t have any source of income. Simply, the income which comes from Leinam stationery makes up everything for the survival.

For example: Genet Doboch which you see on the picture has been hired by Leinam stationery recently. She has a certificate in computer basic training. She could not do anything with her certificate since there is huge unemployment in  and around Durame, let alone for her with diploma certificate in computer, those with University Degree or higher are forced to stay at home due to unemployment (which in turn leads to anxiety, depression, and possible addiction, and crime (research)). For Genet, being hired in Leinam stationery and photocopy is everything: the triumph is huge and the impact is multidimensional: psychological, social, physical…..). She now walks from her home which is about 6 kilometres from Leinam Stationery. She says, “…it so depressing to be unemployed, when you are capable of working and making life better. The inherited poverty in our family wants to continue forever in our family”. Thanks to PBF that opens ways for hope and mechanism to make life better. PBF’s support for those who are in poverty is a greatest contribution in Durame and elsewhere to get the poorest of the poor out of the viscous circle of poverty trap. This is evident that PBF is helping the community of Durame sharing the roles of Governmental and Non-Governmental organization.

Location: The stationery is located in Wachemo University, at Durame campus. The campus provided the room as a mechanism to promote governments plan to reduce unemployment.

Who are the visitor? The visitors are mainly students in Wachemo University, Durame Campus. Of course, any individual who visits Durame campus and want to use the shop can do it anytime.Since Durame Campus is a bit away from Durame town, Leinam stationery saves students and other customers’ time and money to go all the way from the Camps to the town.

Please, share this information!