Although Ethiopia has made progress in the fight against poverty, this problem remains widespread. And while recent years have seen Ethiopia’s overall poverty rate drop significantly, life has gotten harder for the poorest of the poor.
Birhan means “light,” and the Birhan Social Development Training and Consultation Center is a beacon of light offering help and hope. Birhan operates in one of the poorest districts of Addis Ababa and offers education to the underprivileged. Under the direction of Dr. Jember Teferra, Birhan’s goal is to make disciples who can reach out to help the poorest of the poor. Birhan’s college and training center serves those who are unable to cover the cost of education, allowing the underprivileged to gain opportunity through classes and skills training.
- Over 30% of Ethiopia’s population lives on less than $1.25 a day.
- More than half of Ethiopians lack access to education.
- As urban poverty grows in Ethiopia, the need for programs to help break the cycle of poverty grows. Many come to cities like Addis Ababa in search of jobs, but unemployment remains high. Those who are unemployed are more likely to be in poverty, which makes it less likely they will be able to access the education they need to find employment.
- Birhan’s college and training center serves those who are unable to cover the cost of training, allowing the underprivileged to gain opportunity through education.
- Many of Birhan’s alumni now work with the college, blessing others with their knowledge and helping give those living in poverty the hope of a future.
The Birhan Social Development Training and Consultation Center was begun in 2004. Before 2004, the ministry was known as the Institute for Urban Workers under the Integrated Holistic Approach Urban Development Project. Today Birhan is legally registered as an NGO by the Ethiopian Resident Charity and Societies Agency and is also accredited by the Ministry of Education, Technical and Vocational Educational Training Agency.
Birhan has been an Oakseed partner since the early 1990s. Oakseed assists Birhan with prayer support, sponsoring poor school children, supporting Birhan trainees, and filling in the financial gaps when shortfalls have occurred.
- Pray that Birhan will be able to finalize the deed for the land the college is built on and that the process of handing over equipment from the old project will go smoothly.
- Pray that God will provide needed funding for Birhan to expand their ministry, including setting up a website and offering Master’s level coursework at the college.