COMPLETION OF PROJECT
With the eruption of the border dispute between neighbouring Ethiopia in 1998, many people fled as refugees to Sudan. Peace returned to Eritrea in 2000, and more than 200,000 refugees were able to return to their native country in the four years that followed.
JEN had been conducting support to encourage the independence of returnees since 2002. Most returnees settled in the Goluj along the Sudanese border, an area suited to agriculture thanks to its rich soil. The people were distributed land by the government, and were expected to become independent by producing food for themselves and their family.
However, due to losing their husbands to the war, or from separating with their Sudanese husbands and returning alone, there were many female heads of households. In order to support their independence, JEN supported the formation of two poultry associations and three tractor associations, as well as provided the respective equipment to each of the associations and conducted the necessary technique and association management trainings.
Currently, the poultry association has become independent through the income obtained from selling eggs, and association members are allotted money each month. The members of the tractor association are using the tractors not only to cultivate their fields, but are also lending them to non-members and thus are contributing to the benefit of the community as a whole. According to a survey JEN conducted this year, various problems unique to returnees have been solved, and they are now being able to lead lives at the same level as people who have been living there for decades. Therefore we concluded that we had reached our initial goal of supporting the independence of returnee female heads of households, and decided to withdraw from Eritrea.
We give our sincere thanks to all who supported us through the project. We will withdraw from Eritrea, but are currently considering another country to support in order to continue our support to Africa. We ask you to continue your kind support for JEN’s Africa programs.