UPDATE: Community Based Learning in Action: An Ethiopian – MN Connection


Two New Women Cooperative Projects Underway in 2015

In early May Lori Pappas, Founder and Executive Director of Global Team for Local Initiatives (GTLI) presented An Ethiopian-Minnesota Story to DCTC faulty, staff and intested members from the community.  Lori and  her Ethiopian leaders from GTLI have been recognized as implementing principles consistent with the World Bank Report World Development 2015: Mind, Society and Behavior at the grass roots level.

GTLI programming is focused on five main areas of impact:  population, health, environment, livelihood and children.  The underlying development hypothesis of their programming is, “If we understand the process of the mind (paying attention to how people think), the influence of society (understanding how context and history shape thinking), and behavior (targeting human choice and action), as we spend time and resources on experimenting, learning and adapting our methodologies during the intervention cycle, then it is possible for people to gain the understanding, skills and resources to help themselves climb out of chronic poverty and dependence on food aid.”

Community Based Learning in Action (CBLA) is a highly participatory, visual discovery process that works within the context of the community–paying attention to the way people think, the influence of society and the individual’s choices and actions.

Women and Children

The impact of poverty in pastoralist communities is greatest on the women, who shoulder most of the heavy work, and the children, who may be orphaned or abandoned when their families have no means to care for them. Women have no voiceethiopian women and children by tribal traditions. Men make all of the decisions, and women supply all of the hard labor. Tradition also equates large families with wealth. In past times more children meant more people able to work. The reality the tribes face today is that frequent births mean unhealthy, overworked mothers and underfed and unhealthy children.

Women’s Empowerment

GTLI projects provide women a path to creatively contribute to building the resilience of their community and give them a voice in their community’s decision-making. By creating a cooperative that benefits the entire community, women become active and valued participants in helping their families and their tribes. GTLI helps women learn National language (Amharic) so they can advocate for themselves and conduct business without being cheated, numeracy and literacy skills so they can run their own trading center, giving them greater access to foods and goods that would otherwise be multiple day journeys away, chicken farming and gardening to provide food and trade resources for their families and communities

Healthy Children

ethiopian mn connectionIn the indigenous communities of South Omo, children may be orphaned or abandoned, facing a dismal future of malnutrition, disease, and early death. When GTLI began working with a community one of the first questions people ask us is, “Why are our children sick and dying?” We help communities explore how to create healthier families. The first step is recognizing that to have healthy children who will grow up as productive member of the tribe, children and their mothers’ nutrition must be improved.

For more information about Women and Children initiatives visit their website at http://gtli.us/areas-of-impact