Overview of Tiruzer Ethiopia for Africa (TEA)

TEA has been working in Ethiopia for over Seven years focusing on health, Education, One Health (Human, Animal and Environmental Health) and livelihood. We do this through well planned and comprehensive programs in One Health, Health, Education & capacity building and Livelihoods. Our overall goal is the empowerment of women, youth and small-holder farmers from poor and marginalized communities leading to improvement in their lives and livelihoods.

Why women, children and ethnic minorities?

TEA focuses on the empowerment of women, children and ethnic minorities because they are disproportionately affected by poverty and discriminations; and they also suffer abuse and violations in the realization of their rights, entitlements and access and control over resources. Experience shows that, when equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities overcome poverty, marginalization and social discrimination.

How we started

TEA came to reality as a personal vision fulfillment of its soul founder and Executive Director Yonas Mamo by contributing 20,000 Eth birr from his personal pocket. The life journey he had passed as a government employee working on social mobilization at the grassroots level of the community, his day to day contact with the lives of poor people in his working locality was a great impetus and driving force to think of having a charity organization or a nonprofit where he can satisfy his vision of helping people. This driving vision turned out to be a reality in the month of April, 2009 and a nonprofit organization by the name “TEA” was established in Debre Berhan town, the seat of the North Shoa Zone Administration of the Amhara regional state, where he had passed many of his government career years.

We started our work with funds raised largely by family and friends as most young organizations do. This was an important part of our journey which brought in the spirit of volunteering and commitment to the team. Since our inception in Amhara Region of Ethiopia, we have grown to other locations – Afar, Gambella, Benishangul-Gumuz and Harere Regions.

TEA aspires to see sustained, pleasant and vibrant communities in Africa.

TEA wants to help poor people succeed in their efforts through innovation, empowerment, and in promoting new ways of thinking and doing.

TEA and its branch office shall operate and abide by the following core guiding principles:
Core Values It’s Meaning
Acceptable and Adaptable works within the community: We ensure that whatever we do is acceptable and adaptable by communities, that it is within their own boundaries and limits, and in appreciation of their indigenous knowledge, wisdom, lifestyle, norms and cultures.
Sustainability: By ensuring sense of ownership and commitment among the target groups, communities, government bodies and other stakeholders.
Humanitarian accountability: We always provide quality services to the people and communities we serve, and we are accountable to self, to target groups, communities, government bodies, donors and supporters.
Learning organization and Collaborative Relationships: We work with & learn from others involved in asset building and developmentally attentive communities. We also want to seek collaboration with internal & external groups for creating a sense of the common good & for working for positive community and social change. Forward looking We always think and look forward and proactively engage ourselves in community development.
Virtual presence everywhere We want to inspire people and be a source of insight and abundance to people all over the world by constantly promoting our work in electronic media & reaching the doorsteps of everyone.
Integrity: Creating pathways to opportunity.
Team spirit: We are sensitive to personal and cross-cultural differences and act accordingly. We work with a sense of diver similarity and team spirit.
Insure culture and values of the community: While we working program activities, we shall respect culture, values and norms of the community in which we are working.

Objectives of TEA

A. Improve individual, household and community behaviors and norms toward health services uptake & promotion of gender equality.
B. Strengthen One Health (Human, Animal and Environmental Health) professional’s integration & partnership to improve people health.
C. Improve sustainable livelihoods, education & capacities of CBOs and organized groups.
D. Provide economic empowerment & reduce inequality of women & girls.

Major Programmatic Areas of TEA

1. Health Program

Delivering healthcare to over a million people is a very complex challenge especially in the Sub-Saharan part of Africa. TEA works in close collaboration with Regional and Federal Government, Donors, Regional Development Associations and other partner organizations to secure accessible and quality Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH), family planning (FP), Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health (ASRH) in marginalized communities of Ethiopia. We work towards identifying the root causes of health challenges, provide innovative solutions, and help implement secure and quality health services in the pastoralist communities of Ethiopia. TEA believes that a healthy mother and a healthy baby is the root to a productive and developed nation. Hence, TEA has specially focused on providing comprehensive solutions to address public health problems. We promote essential new born care and immunization, reduce malnutrition, prevent infant and maternal deaths and protect those affected by or susceptible to HIV/ AIDS, Malaria and TB. TEA works with its partners to achieve good health service & livelihood for everyone.

2. Education & Capacity Building Program

Education is the key to empowering women, children and ethnic minority groups which help bring about social equality. Girls’ education program works on improving lives and providing opportunities for girls and women through increased participation in formal and alternative education systems. The program builds on innovative pilot projects and strategic partnerships developed by TEA for the last seven years. TEA works closely with government-run schools and the different levels within the Government. TEA works to help girls’ complete primary education and access formal education through providing educational materials and school upgrading support to enhance the quality of learning. We also help nurture leadership skills amongst girls and offer alternative education opportunities for women and girls who have never been enrolled in formal schools or dropped early out of school.

3. One Health Program

TEA started the concept of One Health with establishment of two One Health Clubs in Samara and Assosa Universities programs. One Health clubs were established to deal with health related problems of university youth and replicate it to all public and private universities, colleges and similar higher learning institutions in the country. Many awareness creation sessions and trainings of university students and communities were conducted and better results were registered in regard to family planning and sexual transmitted diseases by university students.

One Health is a collaborative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, and our environment. The mission of our One Health program is to establish closer professional interactions, collaborations, and educational opportunities across the veterinary and medical professions, together with their allied sciences, in order to improve public health and animal health in Ethiopia. Principal drivers of One Health are the increasing threats posed by emerging zoonotic diseases, food and water-borne diseases and environmental change, which demand a fundamentally new, integrated effort by multi-disciplinary health professions. In addition, One Health program is built on the foundation that the health of people, animals and our environment represents a continuum where improvements of health in one domain often produces positive health affects in the others; thus, plans and actions to improve health demand collaborative efforts across disciplines, organizations and communities.

To achieve this, TEA is working in partnership and collaboration with government agencies, universities, research institutes, foundations and donor organizations.

4. Livelihood Program

TEA believes in helping individuals live a life of dignity. To achieve this, our livelihood program focuses on generating sustainable livelihoods through capacity building, fostering community links and promoting small businesses. TEA puts special focus on entrepreneurial ventures, which are owned by women, youth and smallholder farmers. TEA through its livelihood program promotes microfinance, Self Help Groups, capacity building, adult education, water and sanitation, beekeeping & honey production, modern agriculture and small businesses. It also fosters linkages between community collectives and financial institutions. TEA also focuses on improving the literacy, numeracy and critical thinking skills to promote sustainable livelihoods among the communities we work with and for.

5. Spirulina Program

TEA aims to form a “chain of nutrition”: every community or individual that gains this knowledge will make use of it, spread it to its local community, and then pass it to other communities and individuals in need. Spirulina is of significant importance to malnourished people. The health benefits of spirulina have made it an excellent food for rapid recovery of children from malnutrition related diseases.

Malnutrition has remained to be a consistent challenge facing Ethiopia as a developing country in its efforts to development. Malnutrition is a major public health problem in Ethiopia and has a significant impact on communities, in particular for women and children. Millions of children die of severe acute malnutrition each year and poor nutrition prevents many children and adults from ever reaching their full mental and physical capacity. For example, children who are malnourished are at risk of stunting, which affects their productivity when they are older; malnutrition also affects their learning ability, school performance and attendance. All of these consequences have a social and economic impact on the community and the country. Ethiopia loses around 16.5 percent of its GDP each year to the long-term effects of child malnutrition. That's just one of the statistics to emerge from "The Cost of Hunger in Africa" study which measures the economic impact of malnutrition in 12 different countries. Ethiopia is the third country so far to publish its findings.

B. Core Development strategies of TEA;

Village Ownership - All our projects & programs primarily focus on bringing people together who have the right skills, knowledge and experience to share with village actors to help village people solve village development challenges themselves. By taking this approach we pass on knowledge, allowing village people to become self-sufficient and to take charge of their own futures. We build village capacity, strengthen village approaches, and eventually render our organization’s services redundant, as village people no longer need our support. Our primary aim, then, is for our organization to be no longer required in project target areas.

Impartation, Learning and Sharing Knowledge - TEA believes that everyone is blessed with some kind of wisdom and knowledge. Learning and sharing is one most important mode of knowledge transfer and accelerated growth, hence, TEA shall arrange student exchange and volunteering programs, forums and platforms of learning and sharing so that one can learn from the other and successful people can teach those aspiring to be one. All TEA projects are assessed on merit of the ability to eventually be owned operationally and economically sustained in-full by the local community members in-question. In particular, our volunteer programs are designed to allow members of the international community to share their knowledge, expertise and experience with Ethiopia women, smallholder farmers, children, youth and families. The well known adage 'Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime’ is a sincere aspect of our operational model.

Partnership & team work - TEA believes that Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM) and hence promotes working in teams and partnerships. TEA shall work in partnership with all like-minded development actors inside and outside the country and wants to make itself a model nonprofit for promoting mutually beneficial and development partnership. Government, the private sector, academia, professional associations, foundation and civil society groups are partnership targets of TEA. TEA will always try to harness resources, materials and personnel from diverse sources and locations to implement our projects in Ethiopia. By bringing and working with local and international development actors and volunteers together in partnership, we promote the view that shared approaches and cultural exchange are fundamental principles of sustainable development.

C. Other components of TEA in its program interventions

i. Governance

TEA is governed by its Board of Directors (BoD). The Board is the key policy making and governance body of the organization and works independently. It formulates and approves policies and organizational systems and evaluates the overall performance of TEA on period basis. The BoD consists of five members (four male and one female) and is headed by a Chairperson. The Organization’s board of directors comprises of development professionals, intellectuals, academicians, activists and media persons. The Executive Director of TEA serves the board as its secretary and ex-officio member. The Board works in line with the guidelines of the Board Policies Manual.

ii. Management

TEA is lead by its Executive Director who is the formal head of the organization. The Executive Director reports to the Chairperson of the Board of Directors (BoD) and is responsible for the overall management of the organization.

The Executive Director is supported by the Regional Program Director, M&E and Operational Excellence Manager, Fundraising & Capacity Building Director, Admin & Finance Director and they jointly form a management structure of the Organization.

iii. Policies & Systems

TEA follows its specific set of policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which has been revised and updated a number of times up till now in order to make them more staff friendly and organization-centered.

TEA uses its following manuals of policies:

- Manual of Human Resources Administration Policies.
- Accounting and Financial Policy.
- Gender mainstreaming manual.
- Code-of-Conduct.
- Board Policies Manual.
- Anti-Corruption & conflict of interest policy

These manuals contain a number of basic organizational policies and procedures which help in the creation and maintenance of a transparent, accountable and fair working environment in TEA’s and ensures the effective achievement of overall objectives of the Organization.

iv. Human Resources

TEA has a core team with various professional backgrounds such as management, finances and program development etc. In addition the TEA hires the project staff as and when required. The Organization also engages volunteers and interns on need basis.

v. Monitoring & Monitoring (M&E)

Monitoring of projects in TEA is always an important and priority matter. There is always a built-in mechanism of M&E for all the projects TEA implements. The processes of M&E help our organization in achieving the project objectives in smooth and timely manner. As a key mechanism of monitoring the projects are regularly monitored by the implementation teams; the M&E officer, the program Directors and the management of TEA.

vi. Accounts & Audits

TEA maintains all its accounts on double entry system. It has developed various financial policies, systems and formats etc. which help in effective management of its funds and maintaining a complete transparency in receipts and payments at all levels.

TEA gets its accounts (receipts and payments) audited by the recognized chartered accountants’ firms upon completion of projects or by the end of each financial year.

vii. The Website

TEA has a developed website and efforts have been made to ensure that the website contains all the relevant information of the organization and is easily accessible to the visitors. The website improvement and updating is a continuous process and our organization is trying to upload into the cyber space maximum information possible.

D. TEA Organizational Structure