While rich in natural resources, Ethiopia’s rural communities have struggled from the effects of climate change and drought. Without alternative livelihoods, many turned to environmentally destructive practices to earn incomes. Our Ethiopian Sustainable Tourism Alliance program, which ran from 2007 to 2013, helped rural communities develop a local tourism industry. The program launched 34 new businesses that used on the area’s natural beauty to attract tourists, ultimately protecting 106,000 hectares of land and bringing sustainable incomes to families. The program also responded to a need for greater HIV/AIDS awareness in these rural communities by training more than 500 citizens to conduct peer-to-peer health training, reaching 50,000 people about HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.

Related Stories

June 2015

Counterpart’s Local Leaders – Bedilu Shegen, Malawi

Bedilu Shegen talks about his experience leading the Ethiopia Sustainable Tourism Alliance (ESTA) project and his goals for Counterpart’s new Supporting the Efforts of Partners (STEPs) program in Malawi.

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February 2015

Protecting 10th Century Artifacts Restores an Ethiopian Community

For more than 72 years, “The Ark of the Covenant,” believed to shelter the 10 Commandments given to Moses, remained safe among the Zay people on the southern Ethiopian island of Tulu Gudo.

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July 2013

Grant will help restore Ethiopia’s religious wonders for community benefit

The sacred chest holding the Ten Commandments was worshipped and feared for centuries until suddenly, almost three thousand years ago, it disappeared.

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June 2013

Digital maps are the final stamps of approval for Ethiopia’s community conservation areas

With the click of a mouse, the final versions of maps outlining conservation areas have set the precedent for a new kind of land management in Ethiopia.

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April 2013

Ethiopian beekeepers abuzz with release of new training video

Winnie the Pooh was on to something. Anyone who has squeezed a chunk of fresh honeycomb and tasted the golden sugary ooze would agree that getting one’s head stuck inside a pot is well worth the risk.

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March 2013

Community ecotourism destinations open in Ethiopia’s Central and Southern Rift Valleys

Climb into one of the canopied boats waiting on the shore of Ethiopia’s Lake Ziway and be transported back in time, to an ancient monastery where monks say the sacred Ark of the Covenant once rested.

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