Date of foundation of the YMCA: 1951 Full/Associate/Related Membership in the World Alliance of YMCAs: Related Full member of the World Alliance of YMCAs since: – Number of local Associations: 7 Number of total members and participants (all over the country): 10’790 Men: 2’382 Women: 5’727 Under 30: not available


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
“The Mission of Ethiopian National Council of YMCAs is to contribute to the spiritual, physical, intellectual, cultural, economical and socio-political well-being of young people and marginalized groups of the community through programmes & activities that promote peace, and the development of the Spirit, Mind and Body.”
Founded in 1951 in Addis Ababa, YMCA of Ethiopia started its active programmes in 1953. After successfully carrying out its charter obligation for two and half decades, the defunct Military Regime (Dergue) dissolved the Association on 30 August 1976. In 1992, it was re-established by the government and hence the current Association came in to being. It is a volunteer led Association with programmes on HIV/AIDS, street children education, physical fitness and trainings on character building and seminars on different themes.
Due to constant development and change in our country, which affect both the social and economic sphere, the programs of C-YMCA are continually changing to adapt the needs of the communities in the best possible way. Even though the following programs are on different developmental stages, they are all being implemented, developed and managed in close collaboration between the local branches, local unions, the national council of C-YMCA and the local communities, where the activities are implemented. This in-depth collaboration is of great importance to us to ensure that our programs are successfully developed and are driven by engaged and competent people. The lack of spaces, training, knowledge, civic engagement, activities, opportunities and voices to influence constitute a bottleneck that results in a negative impact on youth. We believe that youth training and activities comprise development of different kind of personal and social skills and are an essential part of stability building, leading to economic and social development. Therefore, we believe in the importance of developing YMCA-clubs in both rural and urban communities and schools all over the country. Most of our programs are implemented through these clubs, in primary and secondary schools, as this is the best way to assess and address the young peoples’ lack of space, activities and training. Furthermore, the clubs create and maintain the youths’ voices to influence for positive change in their own lives as well as in their local communities, their country and their continent. Participating in our programs and specific activities provides young people and children with skills useful for the increase of awareness on different issues, personal development, level of well being and quality of life. A good life This program seeks to improve the living conditions of social vulnerable groups in the society, such as prisoners and refugees. Through training and activities our aim is to fulfill basic human needs and provide the groups with a feeling of hope and dignity, as all lives matter to us. From subject to citizens The philosophy of S2C looks to increase the civic involvement of the youth by developing their voice, access to space and ability to influence for positive change. In Cameroon, we are training catalysts to educate and spread the word about the importance of youths’ engagement in local communities to the members in their local unions. Africa We Want This program is a pan-African network, based on the Agenda 2063, developed by the African Union, focused on the empowerment of young people to take charge and responsibility for our social, economic, political and cultural development. It is an integrated part of our school-club philosophy, as it aims at equipping the youth with skills to be the leaders of tomorrow. Green Ambassadors Nature is God’s gift offered to all generations. Therefore, the aim of this program is to create and maintain sustainable environmental awareness among youth and children. Through training and activities in the Green Child project we educate in sanitization, avoidance of deforestation and renewable energy to promote ecological harmony and safeguarding of God’s creations. National Training Camps The national training camps create a space for youth throughout the country for exchange and discussion of relevant issues such as Christian values, personal development and education. The national training camp is organized once every second year and gathers around 500 young people from all over the country. The camp lasts between seven and ten days and it is an opportunity for both our members and others interested to be together and gain great social as well as learning experiences. Each year, the national training camps are highly appreciated among the participants and for us it a big privilege to keep organizing them. International Exchanges The program consists of cultural exchanges of experiences and values with international partners. This includes exchange of interns, students, volunteers as well as organizing and participating in different national trainings. In Cameroon-YMCA, we had the honor to receive our first two interns from Denmark from August to December 2016.
Country Profile
Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule with the exception of a short-lived Italian occupation from 1936-41. In 1974, a military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile SELASSIE (who had ruled since 1930) and established a socialist state. Torn by bloody coups, uprisings, wide-scale drought, and massive refugee problems, the regime was finally toppled in 1991 by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). A constitution was adopted in 1994, and Ethiopia’s first multiparty elections were held in 1995. A border war with Eritrea late in the 1990s ended with a peace treaty in December 2000. In November 2007, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commission remotely demarcated the border by geographical coordinates, but final demarcation of the boundary on the ground is currently on hold because of Ethiopian objections to an international commission’s finding requiring it to surrender territory considered sensitive to Ethiopia. Population: 85,237,338 Age Structure: 0-14 years: 46.1% (male 19,596,784/female 19,688,887) 15-64 years: 51.2% (male 21,376,495/female 22,304,812) 65 years and over: 2.7% (male 975,923/female 1,294,437) (2009 est.) Birth Rate: 43.66 births/1,000 population (2009 est.) Death Rate: 11.55 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.) Infant mortality Rate: total: 80.8 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 18 male: 92.06 deaths/1,000 live births female: 69.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.) Life Expectancy: total population: 55.41 years country comparison to the world: 195 male: 52.92 years female: 57.97 years (2009 est.) HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 2.1% (2007 est.) HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 980,000 (2007 est.) HIV/AIDS – deaths: 67,000 (2007 est.) Ethnic Groups: Oromo 32.1%, Amara 30.1%, Tigraway 6.2%, Somalie 5.9%, Guragie 4.3%, Sidama 3.5%, Welaita 2.4%, other 15.4% (1994 census) Religions: Christian 60.8% (Orthodox 50.6%, Protestant 10.2%), Muslim 32.8%, traditional 4.6%, other 1.8% (1994 census) Languages: Amarigna 32.7%, Oromigna 31.6%, Tigrigna 6.1%, Somaligna 6%, Guaragigna 3.5%, Sidamigna 3.5%, Hadiyigna 1.7%, other 14.8%, English (major foreign language taught in schools) (1994 census) Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 42.7% male: 50.3% female: 35.1% (2003 est.) Government Type: federal republic Capital: Addis Ababa Geographic coordinates: 9 02 N, 38 42 E Time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) Independence: oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world – at least 2,000 years Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal Currency: Birr (ETB) Population below poverty line: 38.7% (FY05/06 est.) Transnational Issues: Disputes – international: Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to abide by the 2002 Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission’s (EEBC) delimitation decision, but neither party responded to the revised line detailed in the November 2006 EEBC Demarcation Statement; UN Peacekeeping Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), which has monitored the 25-km-wide Temporary Security Zone in Eritrea since 2000, is extended for six months in 2007 despite Eritrean restrictions on its operations and reduced force of 17,000; the undemarcated former British administrative line has little meaning as a political separation to rival clans within Ethiopia’s Ogaden and southern Somalia’s Oromo region; Ethiopian forces invaded southern Somalia and routed Islamist Courts from Mogadishu in January 2007; “Somaliland” secessionists provide port facilities in Berbera and trade ties to landlocked Ethiopia; civil unrest in eastern Sudan has hampered efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Ethiopia Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 66,980 (Sudan); 16,576 (Somalia); 13,078 (Eritrea) IDPs: 200,000 (border war with Eritrea from 1998-2000, ethnic clashes in Gambela, and ongoing Ethiopian military counterinsurgency in Somali region; most IDPs are in Tigray and Gambela Provinces) (2007) Illicit drugs: transit hub for heroin originating in Southwest and Southeast Asia and destined for Europe, as well as cocaine destined for markets in southern Africa; cultivates qat (khat) for local use and regional export, principally to Djibouti and Somalia (legal in all three countries); the lack of a well-developed financial system limits the country’s utility as a money laundering center. **Information retreived from CIA – The World Factbook:
YMCA of Ethiopia P O Box 34340 or 26580 Addis Ababa ETHIOPIA Tel: 251 – 11 – 2768261 Fax: 251 – 1 – 513548 Email: