In honour of “Waste and Recycling Workers Week”, we would like to highlight those around the world who work hard to make our streets a cleaner place! A special thank you goes towards workers in Korah, Ethiopia who pour their energy and time each day clearing garbage and managing waste.
Korah is situated on the edge of Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa: a slum region that has grown around the city’s garbage dump. It is an area that is far from clean, with waste and garbage often littered along main roads and through the side streets. Street cleaners work hard each day to help reduce the garbage and other waste that gathers on the street throughout such a populated region.
Some of the women in our Family Empowerment Program (FEP) greatly rely on work opportunities such as street cleaning. These jobs give the security and income that so many in Korah need to provide for their families. Korah is an area where unemployment is high, and work is often difficult to find. Various street cleaning programs - such as a government program called “Safety Net” – have been a helpful opportunity for many of our women in Korah.
The “Safety Net” program seeks to empower workers to become self-sustaining entrepreneurs of their own cleaning practice. “Safety Net” gives structure, provision, and concrete direction where our women can earn income to help provide for their families. Once a worker has completed two years of the program, workers submit a work plan that includes details for their own personal business or a group business with others. In their work plan, they can identify training they would like to receive, as well as their areas of interest. Upon receiving their business from “Safety Net”, the worker will also receive a grant to get it started. These savings are accumulated throughout the program for each worker, to help these women get on their feet.
We are grateful to street-cleaning programs such as Safety Net, which empower our women to be self-sustaining. We are thankful for street cleaners who take time each day to face a daunting task of maintaining an area such as Korah. We are proud of our own women in Hope for Korah’s FEP program who work hard cleaning the streets to provide for their families and fight to break the cycle of poverty in their own lives.
Written by Karissa Schat, HFK Programs and Office Manager