Ethiopia YMCA National General Secretary, Dagmawi Selamssa Tessema, has been in the youth development and leadership sector for nearly two decades. During this time his experience has focused mainly on youth education, reproductive health, livelihoods development, resource mobilisation, establishing and managing productive partnerships, and maintaining multiple stakeholder and funding partnerships. His experience in the non-profit sector includes being the co-founder of Hiwot Ethiopia (a youth-led organisation engaged in youth development programmes in Ethiopia); programme director and managing director for organisations that include Hope for Children Australia; and collaborations with international development organisations such as the Lucile and Packard Foundation, German Foundation for World Population, Oak Foundation, USAID, European Union, and Save the Children. Dagmawi has received a Bachelor of Arts (2008) from Unity University College; a Certificate in Youth Organisation Leadership from the Institute of International Education (2009); and a Certificate in Strategic Plan, Project Design, Grant Writing, and Monitoring, Evaluation and Data Management (2008), all in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He has also received advanced training on Reproductive Health Management from the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in the Netherlands. Prior to his appointment at the Ethiopia YMCA, Dagmawi’s Employment history includes being a founding member and Programme Manager at Hiwot Ethiopia (2004-2010); Managing Director of Horizon Youth Development (2012-2013); and being a sought after Training and Programme Development Consultant (2015-2016). Dagmawi’s primary goals for the YMCA begin with assessing the organisational structure before restructuring where necessary; creating innovative space, and replicating integrated, comprehensive and positive youth development programmes and services that can engage and benefit the youth population and community in a meaningful way. Dagmawi also stresses the need to ensure that high quality and efficient institutional structures and governance systems are laid down and communicated at national and regional levels to ensure that consistent standards are established and maintained throughout the region. For Dagmawi, Ethiopian youth face “multifaceted development problems” of which “poverty is the bottom-line. As a youth development practitioner I happen to observe that youth unemployment among college graduates has become prevalent and that aggravates other social problems. The lack of meaningful and active youth participation can be considered as the central problem of other development problems, which brings youth development and governance as a core problem.” The YMCA then becomes a space that could solve many of these problems. As Dagmawi points out, “The YMCA of Ethiopia can strengthen and scale up some of its core programmes and services, such as, health promotion, sport, and the like. Urgent action is in need to improve the quality of operation, monitoring, evaluation, and learning processes. Most importantly, the organisation has to assess its current interventions and develop innovative, replicable, and acceptable youth development programmes, which would be responsive to the current and emerging youth agendas and issues. This may include economic empowerment, job readiness, environmental issues, etc. Most importantly, YMCA Ethiopia can do innovative job readiness and youth employment support.” Dagmawi is passionate about his commitment to his leadership role: “I will serve the YMCA’s mission, not only as an employee, but also as a goodwill ambassador, who will exert every effort to establish partnership, and present its values and principles with passion and discipline. I believe and I will exert the utmost effort to be part of the collective voices and plans with other YMCAs on our content and internationally. I will see and seize potentials and opportunities for the development and growth of YMCAs locally and regionally.”
Mission Statement
Empowering youth for the renascence of Africa Mission Develop spiritually strong, mentally intellectual and physically fit young Ethiopian for the holistic transformation of the communities and the nation.
YMCA Ethiopia is a pioneer youth focused development organization in Ethiopia established in 1951 with envision for empowering young people for the renaissance of Africa. As YMCA Ethiopia is affiliated with the World Wide YMCA and African Alliance of YMCA, it shares the founding principles of Body – Mind – Sprit – which is symbolized by the time honored triangle and denotes holistic youth development approach. YMCA Ethiopia is a non-religious and non-political organization, re-registered as Ethiopian Residents Charity in 2009. YMCA Ethiopia operates in Addis Ababa, Tigraye, Oromyia, Amhara, and Southern nation and Nationalities (SNNPR) through ten well organized Local YMCAs/ branches and two project offices. The organization has nearly 20, 000 volunteer and associate/ registered members and over 40,000 young and adult participants directly benefit from education, health, and employment readiness and community services and programs. YMCA provides its services to all members of society regardless of gender, ethnic origin, religious affiliation and nationality. YMCA Ethiopia is staffed with 104 staff across the country.
YMCA Ethiopia Current Program Concept and Pillars Program Area One: Character Building (Body, Mind Sprit)/ Life Skills Development As many of the Africa YMCAs, Ethiopia YMCA’s projects and Programs are influenced by the Subject to Citizen (S2C) Model. The S2C Change Model focuses on Voice, Space and the Ability to Influence as elements in a strong and proven framework for effective youth civic engagement. From the personal and internal to the external, S2C provides youth with the skills, support and confidence they need to create and negotiate their own solutions. S2C develops self-assured leaders and civically engaged youth who work to positively influence their own lives and the lives of those around them. Established and Strengthened Youth Power Space (Smart up Youth Corner) Life skill, character building and youth leadership is a key component in empowering young people for holistic transformation. The smart up youth innovation center, which is using Power Space model, is incubating empowered young people through holistic youth development approach. The project is using a network of actors that support youth social entrepreneurship and active citizenship willing to collaborate with the Smart-Up factory. Youth participation: Center of Our Youth Development Concept Youth participation is a core value that underpins this action. It is based on the belief that young people are assets in development and that their role and participation in society is grossly undervalued. As well as monitoring the action through project steering groups, young people will play lead roles in implementing key activities. This will build young people’s skills and confidence to play a more active role in their communities and will also provide opportunities for community members and leaders to see young people taking on leadership roles, helping to promote sustainable changes in the communities YMCA’s National Youth Council Similarly, as for strengthening the governance structure through youth participation, YMCA inaugurated the YMCA’s National Youth Council to mainstream grass root youth participation, membership, and service learning/ volunteerism. Both National and Regional Youth councils will be serving as grass-root change agents to promote volunteerism and ensure active participation in realization of the YMCA mission at national and regional levels. The council develops youth agendas for program and governance meetings, it represents the YMCA youth voice at local, regional and international levels. Above all, the youth council will strive to train, develop and expose the youths for future leadership of YMCA and for leadership service in the community. Program Area Two: Preparing the Youth for work and Life (Job Readiness) The youth labour market is of particular concern in developing countries such as Ethiopia due to a high proportion of youth in the demographic profile. There is a belief that more youth in the population create difficult pressures on the labour market and a growing youth population can have important long run implications on youth unemployment. Now the population has increased to 102 million; It is projected to exceed 127 million by 2037. Today, 45 percent of Ethiopia is under age of 15 and 71 percent is under age of 30. Ethiopia has one of the highest urban unemployment rates worldwide at 50% of the youth labor force. According to a report by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, 87% of all registered job seekers are between the ages of 15-29. Sixty eight percent (68%) of employed youth (rural and urban) are unpaid family workers. Additional estimates of urban youth unemployment include the following: 6% --15-19 year old, 18% --20-24 year old, 11% --15-24 year old. Research shows that young people aged between 15 and 24 suffer the most because they lack adequate education, work experience and on-job experience sought by employers, as well as suffering from a mismatch between their skills and the labor market. YMCA Ethiopia strives to Increase access for marketable vocational training to help better transition from the world of school to the world of work. It facilitates safe and enabling space and facilities for employment/ job readiness. The organization has given more focus on prevention of illegal migration for young male and female, through fostering vocational training, Facilitate Industry-based apprentices, Support Certification of Competency Examination, Link with employers On the other hand one of the outcomes on safe and inclusive cities project, focuses on improving economic opportunities of young people who are working in the informal sector. In collaboration with woreda 6, 7 and 10 Micro and Small Enterprise offices, 54 informal worker young people were recruited and trained in financial literacy, market understanding, employability, entrepreneurship, and skill development. Program Area Three: Improve Healthy and Safer Sexual Practice YMCA has developed approach that integrates character building / life skills, transformative masculinity (men engagement) in the sexual reproductive health issues in promoting safer sexual and reproductive behaviors among young people in Ethiopia. The global YMCA brand – the Triangle approach (Body, Mind and Spirit development) has been integrated in branding the life skill approach for SRH peer learning and peer counseling. Y-Greats’ has borrowed concepts from Positive Youth Development (PYD) and Community Youth development (CYD), which recognizes integration of youth development goals, individual and collective potentials and capabilities. Focus on developing knowledge, skills, and experience, expanding choices, supports and opportunities (Greats’ Choice), strengthening the positive social supports (Greats’ circles and alliances), include circles from peers, parents, partners, teachers, employers; and promote active and meaningful youth participation, actions and leadership. Currently, YMCA of Ethiopia implements life skill based SRH information and education programs in Amhara, Oromiya, SNNPR, Tigraye and Addis Ababa, where a total of 10,000 out of school young people are reaching through age appropriate programs. Recently, the organization, in collaboration Ipas Ethiopia, has launched Life Skill Based SRH / FP program in Adigrat University where a total of 12, 000 young male and female are targeted. Program Area Four: Youth Enrichment/ Youth Power space Sport and youth development is an entwined development concept which has gained huge concerns through various youth policies, sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), African Vision of Agenda 2063, etc. YMCA sees sport as instrument to promote and support health seeking behavior; to promote and support safe space and productive engagement for children, youth and community, nurturing peace building behavior and initiatives. YMCA has currently two strong sport gymnasiums and facilities in Addis Ababa (Addis Ketema YMCA) and Amhara region (Bahirdar YMCA). In addition, the Organization has mainstreamed various sport activities through all ten branches in Addis Ababa, Amhara, Tigray, Oromia, and Southern Nation and Nationalities of People Regional state (SNNPR). At present, hundreds of adolescents, youths and community members participate in various sport activities including football, basketball, box, tennis table, badminton, karate, gymnastic/ aerobics, etc. Program Area Five: Community Service and Engagement YMCA implements a Day Care program, under Community engagement pillar, to empower Young single mothers engaged in income generating activities while their kids stay in YMCA centers to have basic cognitive skill. Currently, the program benefits a total of 60 children in Addis Ababa and Adwa, Tigraye. Similarly, YMCA serves 40 disadvantaged children (from low income family, immigrants) through Alternative Basic Education program located in Addis Ketema YMCA. YMCA Ethiopia has gone far supporting over 600 Orphans and Vulnerable children through provision of psychosocial support including in school feeding, family support seed money, school materials and school fees to reduce school dropout among disadvantaged children in target areas. Safe and Inclusive City Project The level of safety in Addis Ababa has decreased in recent years and comprises mainly of ethnic tensions, robbery, street petty crimes, and gender-based violence. These tend to occur in urban informal settlements, resettlement areas in the outskirts of the city, markets and transport hubs. Arada sub city is one of the sub cities hugely affected growing new trends associated with safety and security issues. YMCA Ethiopia with the support of Plan International Ethiopia works to contribute toward the broader agenda and aspiration of “safe city” projects range from reducing crime rates and improving public safety to driving economic growth and improving general citizen well being. Specifically, the project intends to reduce urban violence that affect men and women; empower and support disadvantaged / vulnerable men and women to access descent job; be active participant in empowering young women and men to influence urban governance and planning on safety and economic opportunities in Addis Ababa.
Country Profile
Ethiopia Country Profile The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a country in the northeastern part of Africa, popularly known as the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, and Somalia to the east, Sudan to the northwest, South Sudan to the west, and Kenya to the south. With over 102 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the second-most populous nation on the African continent that covers a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometres (420,000 sq mi). Its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa, which lies a few miles west of the East African Rift that splits the country into the Nubian Plate and the Somali Plate. Some of the oldest skeletal evidence for anatomically modern humans has been found in Ethiopia. It is widely considered as the region from which modern humans first set out for the Middle East and places beyond. Ethiopia was one of two nations to retain its sovereignty from long-term colonialism by a European colonial power. Many newly-independent nations on the continent subsequently adopted its flag colors. The country was occupied by Italy in 1936 and became Italian Ethiopia (part of the Italian East Africa) until 1941. Ethiopia was also the first independent member from Africa of the 20th-century League of Nations and the United Nations. In 1974, the Ethiopian monarchy under Haile Selassie was overthrown by the Derg, a communist military government backed by the Soviet Union. In 1987, the Derg established the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, but it was overthrown in 1991 by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, which has been the ruling political coalition since. Ethiopia and Eritrea use the ancient Ge'ez script, which is one of the oldest alphabets still in use in the world. The Ethiopian calendar, which is approximately seven years and three months behind the Gregorian calendar, co-exists alongside the Borana calendar. A majority of the population adheres to Christianity (mainly the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and P'ent'ay) and the historical Kingdom of Aksum was one of the first states to officially adopt the religion, whereas around a third follows Islam (primarily Sunni). The country is the site of the Migration to Abyssinia and the oldest Muslim settlement in Africa at Negash. A substantial population of Ethiopian Jews, known as Bete Israel, also resided in Ethiopia until the 1980s. Ethiopia is a multilingual nation with around 80 ethnolinguistic groups, the four largest of which are the Oromo, Amhara, Somali and Tigrayans. Most people in the country speak Afroasiatic languages of the Cushitic or Semitic branches. Additionally, Omotic languages are spoken by ethnic minority groups inhabiting the southern regions. Nilo-Saharan languages are also spoken by the nation's Nilotic ethnic minorities. Oromo is the most populous language by native speakers, while Amharic is the most populous by number of total speakers and serves as the working language in the federal government and as the lingua franca of the country. Ge'ez remains important as a liturgical language, both for the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and for the Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jews). The nation is a land of natural contrasts, with its vast fertile west, its forests, and numerous rivers, and the world's hottest settlement of Dallol in its north. The Ethiopian Highlands are the largest continuous mountain ranges in Africa, and the Sof Omar Caves contains the largest cave on the continent. Ethiopia also has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa. Additionally, the sovereign state is a founding member of the UN, the Group of 24 (G-24), the Non-Aligned Movement, G-77 and the Organization of African Unity. Its capital city Addis Ababa serves as the headquarters of the African Union, the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Standby Force, and many of the global NGOs focused on Africa. In the 1970s and 1980s, Ethiopia experienced civil conflicts and communist purges, which hindered its economy. The country has since recovered and now has the largest economy (by GDP) in East Africa, having the largest population in the region.
Tel: 251-11 4 701035, Email:- Website:- Facebook:- YMCA Ethiopia P.O.B Box 34340 Addis Ababa