“To see resilient communities that
ensures sustainable changes in the lives
of children and youth”
“To empower communities that realizes the rights and opportunities of children and youth to reach their full potentials”
Entrepreneurial thinking and Inclusiveness
Jerusalem Children and Community Development organization (JeCCDO) was instituted in 1985 to respond to the challenges of children caused by war and natural disasters. This makes it one of the oldest indigenous NGOs in Ethiopia. As a learning and changing organization, JeCCDO has passed through different phases in its 3 decades of history. The short characteristics of each phase are described below:
In the first ten years, the organization provided institutional childcare services such as shelter, food, health, and education in six children homes. More than one thousand children lived and grew in children homes. The pull and push factors came from internal and external actors have necessitated a transition to program thinking and showing a road map to the next image of the development phase.
The first six-year strategic plan (1996-2001) was formulated to respond to the internal and external factors. The strategic plan emphasized on three major program interventions:
- provision of institutional childcare until the remaining children become self reliant to reunify with their families,
- reunification of children with their families/relatives and
- reintegration of children.
In this phase, JeCCDO has strategically engaged in building the capacity of community and scaling up its integrated community based child care program in Bahir Dar as well as in other four towns−Debre Berhan, Bishoftu, Dire Dawa and Hawassa.
The third strategic management plan (SMP) was development for a period of 2010-2015. As shown in the SMP document, organizational learning and communication has been identified as one of the five key programmatic areas. In 2013, JeCCDO conducted SMP review and designed road map for future undertakings−developing social enterprise has become one of the strategic areas of intervention.
The decision of JeCCDO to build on social enterprise has a basis on the following internal and external circumstances:
- The traditional way of supporting poor communities by NGOs is less favored by donors unless it is reinforced by innovation and social entrepreneurship;
- The international trends of development cooperation is more focusing on trade and investment;
- Organizational determination to wisely utilize organizational competency and available resources; and
- Improve the service/operation of JeCCDO through inducing new models (market orientation and entrepreneurship) in its developmental interventions.
With the above broader context, in 2014 JeCCDO has developed a concept of social enterprise with the support of UK based consultant. It has systematically identified 3 business ideas and is anchoring this approach towards its development programs.
Interconnectedness between the different developmental phases of JeCCDO can be explained in a way that one phase paves the way for another to succeed it.
In general, in each of the above phases, JeCCDO has been a pioneer in the use of a number of innovative development approaches in the country. Such adaptive capacities have enabled JeCCDO to cope up with changing dynamics of external environment and remain responsive to the communities it stands to serve. JeCCDO will continue to keenly serve the Ethiopian communities with renewed commitment, better outreach, and broader impact.
The program focus of JeCCDO is on the selection and implementation of few and sustainable interventions. JeCCDO will be founded on the following FOUR program frameworks and targets.
JeCCDO focuses on programs that promote change and growth of children and youth to meet their livelihoods, wellbeing and healthy development.
JeCCDO will value more on innovation and entrepreneurship (social enterprise at CBO and JeCCDO level as well as individual business enterprises) in seeking new ways to respond to the social and economic challenges of vulnerable communities in sustainable manner.
Enabling people, organizations, and systems to innovate and respond to needs and challenges is the other thematic focus area of JeCCDO programs and projects. In this case the capacities of community based organizations, partner government and civil society organizations and issues of social accountability and protection will be addressed and enhanced.
With the growing challenge of ongoing conflicts in the country, the growing climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic humanitarian needs are rising from time to time. JeCCDO takes a comprehensive approach to engage in emergency response including preparedness, immediate assistance and long‐term recovery of the communities to be affected.