TEMPISH is building a new mill to advance female entrepreneurship to improve the social and economic standing of women.
Ethiopia is the most populated landlocked country in the world and the second most populated country in Africa. Because Ethiopia’s plentiful water and land resources are used inefficiently, the country still struggles with extreme poverty and famine. The economy relies heavily on agriculture, but frequent droughts and few irrigation systems have kept production low. In rural areas of Ethiopia, farming is the main source of employment. Those living in underdeveloped, rural areas lack access to basic needs. Many areas are experiencing chronic food shortages and malnutrition. Two-thirds of the population do not have access to potable water, proper sanitation and hygiene, basic education, and health services. Women are disproportionately affected by poverty, especially those who are the sole-supporters of their households.
We have partnered with TEMPISH, a Czech company that makes a variety of high-quality skates, skateboards, and other sporting equipment, to build a mill in a small village near Chuko, Ethiopia.
The goal of the project is to ensure that participants acquire the skills and capital necessary to improve their livelihoods. We work with single women, many of whom are widows, who are the sole providers for their family. By providing access to training and microloans, hardworking women in this community are better able to pay for basic necessities like food, medical care, and schooling for their children. After receiving microloans, many women opt to start their own small businesses, which not only benefits their families but enriches the entire community.
As part of the program, female leaders in the community help to organize various self-help groups that offer business and self-empowerment classes. Together with TEMPISH, we are working with the women from these self-help groups to help them realize their potential. One of their main goals is to create a business or co-op that is able to support their entire group. Owning and operating their own mill has long been their dream, as it both fulfills a great need and creates even more business opportunity.
Currently, the women must carry heavy loads of their crops from their small, poor villages to the city of Chuko, where they pay to have them ground. Unfortunately, the quality of the grinding can differ greatly. The journey to and from the mill, while carrying their heavy crops and flour, takes these women a full day.
With the support from TEMPISH, we plan to build a mill right where these women live so they will no longer have to travel long distances. Not only will they be able to use it to grind their own crops, they can rent the mill to others in the community, providing a much-needed service while also generating more money for their families. With the time and money saved from the addition of the mill, new businesses and ideas are sure to grow. Not only will the mill strengthen the individual women, it will also strengthen their co-op and community.