2002 Rotary Village Photos...

Rotary Village is a place in Addis Ababa that was started by the Seattle Rotary District in 1998 in collaboration with the local Addis Ababa Rotary clubs to house homeless mothers and their children. Each building is a simple concrete block "duplex" that houses two families and costs about $1,500 to build. The city of Addis Ababa donated the land. To date over 100 of these duplex homes have been built.

When it began, over 16,000 homeless women with children applied to live in the village. How anyone could sift through that large a list and rank people according to needs was beyond us. With an unemployment rate of about 40% and virtually no governmental "safety net" for the poor, it's easy to see how projects like this are really needed.

Many of the village residents grow food and flowers in their gardens There's also a school next to the village to help educate the local children.

The local Rotarians administer a "micro-banking" project to help village residents start small businesses with seed money. We saw a few of these - a new and used clothing store, a clothing sewing business and some small food/snack stores. It's truly amazing that what many of us would consider "pocket money" ($50 to $75) can help start or expand a small business.

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