Ellilta Women At Risk – one of our Ethiopian partners

Background

Ellilta Women At Risk (EWAR) has been working in Ethiopia with victims of commercial sexual exploitation since 1994. Originally established as a rehabilitation program for women seeking to leave a life of prostitution, EWAR has assisted over 1000 women and their children to access a sustainable lifestyle free of sexual violence and exploitation. It does this by offering a holistic one-year rehabilitation program that provides counselling, literacy and vocational-skills’ training, job-placement opportunities, and also counselling, day-care services, and school-fees for the children of the women participating in the program in its various centres located in Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, and Adama.

 

EWAR exists to combat the negative consequences of prostitution through its vision to renew hope in the lives of women who have been abused and dehumanized through commercial sexual exploitation, to empower these women to realize their full potential, and to end the cycle of commercial sexual exploitation through working with the children of these women.

The mission of EWAR is to see a society where:

– Girls and women are free from pressures and factors that force them into prostitution and increased risk of HIV infection,

– The demand for prostitution from men is no more,

– Those who have been in prostitution are able to access the full range of services required to live a fulfilled life and contribute positively to society.

EWAR Project Activities

  1. Recruitment

Night and day visits to brothels and bars are done by social workers to build relationships with women in prostitution. After relationship is built, women who wish to leave prostitution are invited to a drop in program to find out more about the 12-month rehabilitation program and whether they feel ready to take part in it. Participation in the year long program is by interview and selection, as there are always more women wanting to take part than EWAR are able to provide spaces.

  1. 12-month Rehabilitation Program for 20 women per cycle

Phase I – Structured Counseling.

This involves attending a daily program that includes group and 1-1 counseling, art therapy, life-skills training, access to literacy programmes, and skills training preparation discussions to determine what type of career the individual women would like to pursue.

 Phase II – Career Development through Skills Training

Once the women have successfully completed Phase I they start developing skills so that they can pursue a career of choice. Phase 2 includes: Training for employable skills, assistance with small business set-up and or relevant job placements

Phase III – follow up

EWAR staff will continue to support the women and provide follow-up to encourage and offer a helping hand once the women have officially finished training and are in jobs or running businesses

  1. Medical needs service

Medical needs support is essential for women out of prostitution since most of them have health related problems. The activities include: Health teaching and support; Nutritional support; Physical and medical needs assessment and appropriate support given; Pay for all medical needs that arise with each woman’s treatments through the rehabilitation process

 

  1. Intervention: – Child care services

Day care: for children under school age, EWAR offers day care services while the women are in the rehabilitation program and beyond that, the day care remains available while the women are working, until children are old enough to go to school

School support: provision of school materials, school visits and after-school classes for school-age children of the women to help with education process. Also provision of a library service to encourage a culture of reading, and provision of key support for identified learning issues.

Parenting skills workshops for the mothers to help them with raising their children in a positive way that benefits the emotional health of their children

Medical and nutritional support for the children

  1. Prevention

Local Community: Identify religious and community leaders who support the work of EWAR and will take an appropriate message back to their communities and congregations. Training sessions and resources are provided by EWAR staff to enable this to happen more efficiently.

In-school youth: Build relationships with secondary schools and provide training and resources for teachers, to enable them to take training and issues to the students and parents.

If you would like to make a financial donation to the work of EWAR, please click here

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