With a prime objective to rehabilitate and settle drought and then war affected people from the temporarily relief shelters of Babile and Jigjiga to the Erer Valley and to provide them with the necessary agricultural and social services to make them self-reliant in food production and other basic necessities, Menschen fuer Menschen (MfM) had entered to Ethiopia in 1981.
The Foundation was led by the late Philanthropic German Man, Karlheinz Boehm. He is a well-known figure by Ethiopians and passed away on May 29, 2014.
MfM has been involved in Ethiopia's rehabilitation and development programs, And its involvement in the country has been intensified as efforts to transform and integrated rural development have been made.
Today MfM is operational in five administrative States covering an area of 57,000 Km2 assisting local communities regardless of religious, ethnic and political considerations.
During the past years, MfM has played a significant role in inculcating a sense of ownership and empowering poor communities through direct participation, initiating planning and implementing various development projects.
According to recent information from the foundation, more than 5.5 million people have benefited in Ethiopia through the MfM project intervention and over 4.5 Billion Birr have been invested to undertake different development activities during the past three decades.
With the goal of promoting an integrated rural development endeavors in the nation, MfM has several programs in its integrated rural development approaches. Among which agricultural activities, environmental protection, water and sanitation, health, education and women empowerment are the major activities done as of 2011 in Borona areas of the Amhara State, according to MfM Borona and Wogidi Integrated Rural Development Projects Manager Adane Sisay.
Educational and health equipment assistance, provision of potable water, prevention and control of HIV and AIDS and women empowerment are also the specific areas that are carried out by the Foundation.
In addition, in Wogidi Woreda of this same State, MfM has been expanding its intervention in the areas of water supply development with the recently inaugurated Lemi-Robite Water Supply Project. The Foundation will further expand its intervention in these two Woredas, he added.
Yimam Adem is a resident of the Kebele 06 in Borona Woreda. He told for crew of journalist visited the area that his agricultural and environmental protection activities are positively impacted by MfM. The extension services given by the experts of the Foundation have benefited him to produce apple and varieties of fruits that were hardly known in the Woreda. "Last year alone, at a single harvesting time, with this limited plot of land, I have earned 20,000 Birr from sale of fruits," he said.
Concurrently, he said that he can manage land degradation that had occured due to flooding in the rainy season through growing apple trees in his backyard, he added.
Another resident, Indris Hussen Addisu, an engineering graduate and private construction enterprise operator, recalled the sever times he spent in his early childhood. He also remembers the challenges he faced to have access to education. "In the rainy season, my friends and I had been suffering to cross the Qulbit/Mudilala river which is now controlled by the intervention of MfM through constructing bridge,"Indris said.
The river, according to him, had been a cause of deaths to many of his relatives, neighbors and the surrounding communities.
He added that due to the MfM Foundation intervention, a bridge is constructed on the river and problems associated with crossing it is alleviated. People in the area has now enabled to cross the river safely. He further said: "The bridge has lessen our burden and created us easy movement to health institutions especially, during emergency cases," he noted.
Adane also said that the Qulbit River Bridge has been constructed with the objective of connecting parts of Mehal Saint-Legambo-Agibar Saint. The three million Birr fund for the construction of the bridge is sourced found from the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and implemented by MfM, Adane said adding that the project will be fully completed in 31st of March 2018.
Dr Asnake Worku, MfM Coordinating and Planning Director also said that beginning from the start of humanitarian activities in Ethiopia, MfM adopted to build and strengthen social and economic assets with the objective of improving the wellbeing of local communities and bring about sustainable change in an integrated manner.