The new Switzerland-wide campaign by Helvetas portrays two families from Ethiopia and one from Bolivia, whose lives have improved from one generation to the next. With this campaign, the Swiss NGO shows how supporting 'self-help' works. It shows that development cooperation has a concrete effect, indeed.
20-year-old Sahilemariam runs her own tailoring shop in Ethiopia. 24-year-old Tewachew is doing her apprenticeship as a cook. 13-year-old Janeth is from Bolivia and no longer has to worry about access to clean drinking water.
Ethiopia and Bolivia are two of the 29 partner countries of Helvetas.
In Ethiopia, among other activities, the independent Swiss development organisation has initiated the vocational training project ‘SKY - Skill and Knowledge for Youth’. Under this project, in the form of compact courses, young Ethiopians are taught the theory and practical aspects of professions that are in demand in the labour market. Both Sahilemariam and Tewachew participated in and benefitted from the SKY programme. In Bolivia, Helvetas is active in the field of water and supports the supply of clean drinking water to rural areas. Janeth belongs to the generation of those who benefit directly.
Stepping away from Poverty
For the grandparents and parents of the three young adults mentioned above, their everyday lives seemed unimaginable. Sahilemariam's mother had fled from droughts. Tewachev's father worked as a simple small farmer. Janeth's grandmother had become ill due to the consumption of contaminated drinking water. A comparison between the generations shows that development cooperation works. It enables the less privileged people to lead a more self-determined life. With a little support from their own resources, the families managed to break out of poverty: a continuous and lengthy process.
The stories of these families also remind us that the lives of many people have changed for the better. Since 2000, the mortality rate among children under the age of five has halved; and more than a billion people have escaped poverty in the past 25 years.
By way of its Switzerland-wide campaign, Helvetas is raising awareness of such successes; successes that have been made possible due to the solidarity of the people here in Switzerland.
You can find concrete information on the activities of Helvetas in Ethiopia in this multimedia report.
Read more about the vision and mission of Helvetas.