Urban Development Project, Yeka, Addis Ababa

Urban Development Project, Yeka, Addis Ababa

The Urban Development Project in Addis Ababa was established in 1993 in Gulele to assist the disadvantaged residents of the area to develop skills and provide opportunities for residents of the area to improve their living standards. In 2011, the project moved to Yeka and continued its work. It is demonstrative of the Daughter’s commitment to women’s equality that in 2016, 90% of the 2000 beneficiaries of the project were women. The project employs income generation schemes, saving and credit activities and creates co-operatives in the areas, many similar to the projects mentioned above. In addition, there are environmental sanitation schemes which involve building pit latrines and public showers. These help women in particular considering the many health problems they experience which men do not. There is also vocational training provided for unemployed youth and a number of other important projects. Towards the end of the project, an external evaluator assessed its achievements and summarised as follows:

“The project’s level of success has been determined as a function of the key parameters of Relevance, Efficiency, Effectiveness, Sustainability and Impact-orientations. In this regard, an aggregate rate 4.3 out of 5, has been computed from the ratings for the individual parameters used to determine the level of achievement of DOC/UDP’s Livelihood Support Project. DOC/UDP’s achievements in initiatining and executing this exceptionally relevant project is commendable. Likewise, the levels of effectiveness and impact-orientation are largely impressive. Sustainability of the project is also highly guaranteed.”

Clearly the project is doing wonders for a huge number of people in the community, particularly women. No one better represents this than Netsanet. Here is her story.

Netsanet Hailu is 23 years old. She is living with her mother, two brothers and a sister. She is the youngest in the family. Her father died when she was only a year old. The five of them are living in a two room Kebele-owned house. The rent for a Kebele house is very low. Netsanet’s family is paying only 10 birr/month as house rent.

Urban Development Project, Yeka, Addis Ababa

Their major income was from the business of her mother who sells injera. Selling only injera is not a very profitable business. Her two eldest brothers are daily labourers. Her sister is a student. Nestanet has completed a grade 12 level education but couldn’t go further because of her low grades. Her only option was to assist her mother with the business of selling injera. Life was very hard and it was difficult to cover the family’s basic needs with the meagre income generated from selling Injera and the labour of the boys.

When she heard about DOC/UDP’s vocational skills training program, she immediately applied and was accepted. She attended a 12-month training program in tailoring, and got employment at Anatomy Garment Tailoring Company as a junior tailor with a monthly salary of 950 birr per month. After four months, she was promoted to junior supervisor with a monthly salary of 2000 birr per month.

Netsanet’s dream is to become a designer and she said she will work hard for that dream to become a reality. According to her, she is on the right track to success. She is very grateful to all who helped her change her life.