Ethiopia's Movement for Ecological Learning and Community Action

MELCA works for a healthy ecosystem, vibrant culture and improved lives of communities. CEC member Million Belay shares success stories from the Suba-Sebeta and Sheka communities, where livelihood improvements are protecting fragile forests.

Endeshaw Ayno and his family grow vegetables as an alternate source of income that does not damage forests Photo: MELCA - Ethiopia

MELCA applies a number of approaches, including community dialogues and workshops, working in five program areas:

  • Environmental Education (SEGNI)
  • Environmental Advocacy
  • Participatory mapping
  • Income Generating Activities (IGAs)/Improving Livelihoods
  • Soil and Water Conservation/ Rehabilitation of degraded areas

Initiation of a new way of living in the forest of Sheka

Endeshaw Ayno, of the marginalized Menja community in Sheka, used to sell fuel wood and charcoal for a living. Then he received awareness-raising training from MELCA. “When compared to my previous life, it is like being born a new. Within two years since I started producing the vegetables, I have an ox, a cow and a horse for transporting the vegetables to market. I am sending my four children to school,” he says. Read full story >>

Celebration of Population, Health and Environment (PHE) Day by a School in Holeta Town

Members of student clubs are raising awareness in school and their wider community with regard to family planning, personal hygiene and sanitation as well as protection of the environment. A strong multi-media component is supported by the provision of tape recorders, CD/DVD players, megaphones, amplifiers and sound recorders to the five model schools. Drama (plays) is another important area of activity. Read full story >>

Livelihood Improvements for Better Living in a Healthy Ecosystem

MELCA-Ethiopia is trying to integrate its effort of building a healthy ecosystem with creating alternative ways of generating income for poor families, who mainly depend on forest and forest products for their livelihoods. In the selection of beneficiaries, special attention is given for disadvantaged groups of the society, such as women, the youth and marginalized community members. Participant Kebu Boki of Welmera woreda explains: “I was known for cutting trees and selling firewood and charcoal. I could not even think of doing another thing. But after I was selected by MELCA and got the training, my living has been changed a lot. It was an eye opener. Now I have no problem of feeding my children and sending them to school.” Halume Gallo of the Menja community received training in beekeeping has totally abandoned the cutting of trees to make firewood and charcoal. “I am planning to have a big income from selling honey during the next harvest season. Now we live in the forest not to destroy it, rather to protect it,” she says. Read the full story >>



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