Jerusalem Children & Community Development Organization (JeCCDO) has conducted a project launching workshop on a project entitled “Child and Gender-Sensitive Social Support Service to Urban Productive Safety Net and Jobs Project (UPSNJP) Service Providers and Households with the Scope of an Integrated Safety Net Program.” The event was held on September 15, 2022, at the Jupiter International Hotel, Addis Ababa.
The launching workshop was attended by a total of 31 participants drawn from government ministerial, sub-city, and woreda level bureaus; service provider CSOs; the World Bank; and UNICEF. During the event, Ato Mulugeta Gebru, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JeCCDO, said in his opening speech, “Thank you very much for honoring our invitation.” Mulugeta extended his speech and said that an agreement had been reached with UNICEF on the continuation of the pilot project.
Accordingly, he explained that the project we are launching today already implemented for the last two and a half years as a pilot and proved that the project was very effective. That is why UNICEF decided to continue the project in a new phase.
The Chief Executive added that the main areas in the pilot implementation project were women’s empowerment, intersectoral collaboration, and capacity building; during the first phase of the project, JeCCDO played the role of a facilitator. The CEO said that this new project will be implemented in Addis Ababa city administration, Addis Ketema and Arada sub-cities six woredas, and in Amhara National regional state in Libo Kemkem woreda, South Gondar zone. Mulugeta explained that the project will use frontline community facilitators and that UNICEF is the main partner of the project. Finally, Ato Mulugeta announced the official opening of the project launching workshop, reminding all project implementers to present their concerns for open discussions.
Following this, Ato Endeshaw Abera, the JeCCDO UNICEF program coordinator, presented the duration of the project, objectives, targets, stakeholders’ focus areas, expected results, and activities. Besides, Endeshaw presented a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed by the Ministry of Women’s Social Affairs, Service Provider CSOs, and JeCCDO aiming at strengthening the intersectoral collaboration specifically in the reintegration and reunification of targeted children.
According to Endeshaw, the total budget of the project both for the Addis Ababa project area and the Amhara region is 33, 221, 030ETB. Out of this, 20,733,143 is allocated for Addis Ababa and the remaining 12, 487,887ETB for Amhara operational woreda. He added that the project directly benefits a total of 29,456, of which 20, 870 are female. The duration of the project is 18 months (June 2022–November 2023).
Following his presentation, several reflection points were raised by participants of the event, and a discussion was held. Besides, an MoU was signed among the three parties mentioned above.
Finally, Mr. Samson Muradzikwa, Chief Social Policy and a representative from UNICEF, gave a closing speech. Mr. Samson said, “Thank you to JeCCDO for bringing us all here.” He further thanked all the service providers and the World Bank Group, which is the main partner of UNICEF. Mr. Samson said, “We understand the challenges of the project, and Ethiopia is a big country and its cities are big, so it is not difficult to think of the challenges of the cities.” He added that it is necessary to document the program work done in the future. He added that he is proud of working as a partnership.
At the end, Mr. Samson said, “I have visited many countries, but I have not seen where the government and the CSO work together like in Ethiopia.” Therefore, we can use the intersectoral collaboration of this project in Ethiopia to document the success of the project and make it a learning experience in Africa and the world. He concluded his closing speech by saying that “we are on your side to work together.”