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APC-14: Reproductive health & family planning

Image: We use illustrations in our community discussions to explore the reasons why some mothers and babies thrive, while others struggle to survive.



Project Title: Increasing Pastoralist Resilience through Healthy Timing & Spacing of Births

This project builds pastoralist resilience through family planning by encouraging the community’s understanding of reproductive health while strengthening the connection to existing government services.



This project is based in the communities of our DevWASH-14 project: 8 kebeles1 in the BenaTsemay woreda2 and 8 kebeles in the Dasenech woreda. These are two of the most at-risk tribes in South Omo. There are more than 20,000 people in the area and more than 5,000 of reproductive age. Fewer than 1% of adults are literate. Water-borne diseases affect 86% of the people, communicable disease rates are 92%, and infant mortality is 9%.



The Ethiopian government is committed to investments in health services, but in the remote South Omo Zone the need to strengthen access to family planning services is widely recognized. Equally important are the challenges on the demand side for reproductive health and family planning. These communities do not recognize the need for, nor the benefits of, family planning. Cultural norms contribute to the difficulty of introducing family planning including: the low status of females, the lack of knowledge about family planning, and the lack of trust of government provided services.



This project tests an integrated approach to introducing the benefits of healthy timing and spacing of births. Using our community learning process, the APC-14 project is:

  • Exploring the link between child survival, family planning, and nutrition to increase the community’s understanding of the benefits of family planning
  • Elevating the status of females with functional literacy and skill building
  • Improving access to government services through community-supported donkey ambulance service
  • Building trust between communities and government health workers



The results of this project will be an integrated approach to helping pastoralist communities understand the benefits of healthy timing and spacing of births and participate in the national program of reproductive health services.

The project is well underway. We have:

  • Completed our baseline assessments of communities and services
  • Updated our functional vocational literacy curriculum to reinforce family planning, livelihood, and nutrition messaging
  • Hired and trained project staff
  • Designed and built an innovative donkey ambulance for community entrepreneurs interested in operating an ambulance service especially for expectant mothers, transporting them to distant government services.

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BizzyWeb AdminAPC-14: Reproductive health & family planning

IAS-14: Food security & income generation

Image: Preparing to plant moringa tree seedlings.



Project Title: Moringa Production Builds Resilience and Reduces Agricultural Disaster Risk in South Omo Zone

The IAS-14 project encourages moringa tree farming to provide a solution to multiple problems facing the pastoralists in the South Omo Zone of Ethiopia: food security, nutrition, the environment, and income generation.



The project serves more than 27,000 people in 20 kebeles1 in the drought and flood-affected woredas2 of Hamar and Dasenech, in the South Omo Zone, Ethiopia.



The South Omo Zone has been severely affected by recurrent droughts and floods for decades. The arid land is losing its ability to support the traditional livelihoods of pastoralist people who are dependent on grazing livestock and cultivating non-rotating crops of sorghum and maize. These communities need diversified foods that are drought tolerant, and they need new sources of income in order to thrive in the face of continuing climate and economic challenges.



The IAS-14 project provides smallholder farmers with resources and skills to diversity their diets and earn money selling food. We are planting 110,000 drought resistant moringa trees to enhance the environment, provide a plentiful and nutritious food, and introduce a new source of farming income.

The project is creating nursery sites supported by small-scale irrigation in the Hamar and Dasenech woredas. We are planting and cultivating moringa seeds for the seedlings that we will give to more than 7,000 households for cultivation and food consumption.

The project will also establish producer organizations involving 2,000 households who will participate in learning how to harvest and prepare moringa for market.

The project uses our proven community learning process to involve the communities, explain the nutritional value of moringa, recruit participating households, and teach them the skills for moringa cultivation and harvesting.



The IAS-14 project, like all of our projects, uses our community learning process to help communities change behaviors and adapt to their dramatically changing environment. The overall impact is that participants will be able to feed their families. In the process, participating tribal elders will discover why it is beneficial to allow women to participate in community-level decision making. Families will discover why they need to consume nutritious foods, and community-based organizations will learn to assume responsibility for monitoring and managing their community resources. The overall impact of the project is to improve the resilience of women and men smallholder farmers in moisture-deficit areas of Ethiopia.



110,000 moringa trees planted
5,500 households learn moringa farming
20 producer associations created



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BizzyWeb AdminIAS-14: Food security & income generation