How your fundraising supports Siiqqee

Giving women living on the economic margins a chance at better livelihoods requires an organization that understands their cultural, social, and economic context. Siiqqee Women’s Development Association (Siiqqee) will use support from AiD to provide 150 women financial literacy and business development education, also organizing them into savings groups that meet weekly to address social issues such as harmful traditional practices and gender-based violence.

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About the organization

Siiqee works to ensure that resource-poor girls and women in Ethiopia are able to live with dignity and security. This work is rooted in the traditional Oromo institution of Siiqqee, through which women were able to support one another and address issues of safety and security in their homes and communities. The organization offers a range of economic, education, and environmental programs to give girls and women an opportunity to develop their capacity as active, productive, and respected members of their community. Siiqqee was found in 1998, re-certified in 2009, and operates in the Oromia and Beninshangul Gumuz States of Ethiopia.

How Siiqqee translates this aspiration into action

With a combination of services that address their personal, social and economic needs, Siiqqee ensures women that were barely able to survive have a chance at thriving. The organization’s economic program organizes the women into self-help groups and offers financial literacy and business management education, as well as access to capital. The groups meet weekly to discuss social issues such as harmful traditional practices and gender-based violence. Half of the participants at these weekly gatherings are men, paving the way for honest, open, and safe conversations between men and women about issues that affect their communities. The number of women in these self-help groups has grown steadily and stands at over 4,000 today. Together these women have over 1.6 million Ethiopian Birr in savings. For women that were living at the margins of poverty, this is quite a feat and a solid step towards asset building and security.

Why Siiqqee matters 

We know that when women who are considered resource-poor are given access to education, networks, and capital, they are able to lift themselves out of poverty. Siiqqee’s model proves just that. Over the years, the organization has seen a growing number of women transform their lives, from living in a shack to a home, from having no income to a thriving business, and from not being able to afford their children’s school fees to sending them all to school.