Sparking growth for 10K Ethiopian farmers, weavers

by MEDA - Mennonite Economic Development Associates
Nov 30, 2012

Thank you for making a difference!

Fenta Zeleke
Fenta Zeleke

Entering the holiday season, we all have many things to be thankful for – whether it be friends, family, good health, employment, or basic necessities. However, not everyone in our world is as blessed.

As you already know, in Ethiopia, men and women struggle to find employment and a steady income. One in three Ethiopians live below the poverty line and almost half the population is malnourished. Unable to provide basic necessities such as food, clothing, water, and shelter, parents struggle to create a better life for their children.

That’s why we want to say THANK YOU for making the EDGET project (Ethiopians Driving Growth through Entrepreneurship and Trade) possible. You have helped to provide 10,000 farmers and weavers create more sustainable livelihoods by facilitating access to growing markets, new technologies, affordable financial support services, and enhanced production techniques.

Here’s how your donation has helped Fenta and Solomon make a fresh start:

Meet Fenta, a female farmer
Fenta Zeleke, a 45-year-old mother of three, tends an acre of land in northern Ethiopia. Extreme weather conditions have decreased crop productivity in the area, so Fenta’s yields aren’t sufficient to feed her family. Through EDGET, she received training and agricultural coaching for an improved seed variety. For the first time, Fenta had a surplus to sell in the market, earning her $167. She used the money to fulfill her dream of buying a bull. With support from EDGET, she wants to increase her land and buy another bull so she can cultivate her land with her own oxen and end her long-time dependence on neighbors and relatives.

Meet Solomon, a male weaver
Solomon Chamo began weaving as a child after growing up watching his father’s skilled practice. Until he joined EDGET, Solomon’s weaving was only earning him a small income for his family. After training in financial management, he feels more confident about managing his money and has started saving for future purchases. “Now I’m able to provide for my family’s daily food needs,” Solomon says. “Before the project, I could only feed my family two times a day, now we can eat three times a day. I’ve started to provide for my daughter in a way that gives me pride…clothing, improved food, and items to keep her clean.”

This fall, an intern with EDGET produced a video of another success story with a rice farmer. We know you will be touched by the happiness he has realized by learning new farming techniques that yield stronger crops.

Have you wondered how we truly help farmers and weavers discover new livelihoods for their families? Check out this infographic to learn how we strengthen the value chains between producers and their markets.

With MEDA’s assistance, Ethiopian rice and textile producers will continue to improve their crops and goods, connect with urban markets, increase their profits, and participate in the broader benefits of national economic growth. With an average of five people per household, EDGET will bring positive change and new hope to 50,000 lives.

Thank you once again for your generous donation to the EDGET project. If you’d like more information, visit our website or email

Stay informed about MEDA’s work. Follow us on:
- @medadotorg
– MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates)
- MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates)

You’ve made a difference in the lives of families struggling to support themselves. We are grateful to you for opening your heart to those in need.

Solomon Chamo
Solomon Chamo
EDGET Project Infographic
EDGET Project Infographic



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Organization Information

MEDA - Mennonite Economic Development Associates

Location: Waterloo, ON - Canada
Website: http:/​/​
MEDA - Mennonite Economic Development Associates
Project Leader:
Linda Whitmore
Waterloo, ON Canada

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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