This project is one of the oldest projects that SDE had been implementing since 2001. The major objective of this project is to the socio-economic conditions of survival sex workers through creating alternative job opportunities, promoting their social integrity and awareness raising programs.
Why SDE Involved in this Project?
Due to the grim living conditions in the rural areas coupled with other social pressures, there is massive rural population influx to Addis Ababa. The accelerated growth of population together with a high degree of rural-urban migration worsened the degree of unemployment in the city and hence sex work for young girls is one of the survival opportunities. Researches also show that due to urban poverty and further socio-economic complications the majority of sex workers are indigenous to the city. SDE considers the sex income generating activities under such pressuring conditions as “survival sex work”- not commercial one.
The mapping and census study held by the AAHB and FHI-E shows that nearly 60% of the sex-workers identified were between 15 & 24 years old. Similarly a study on poverty and social context of sex work in Addis Ababa which was conducted in the city’s major sex trade centers of Mercato, Piazza, Arat Kilo, Kasanchis, Cherkos, Meshualekia and Kolfe involved a sample of 100 sex workers has revealed that the majority (73%) of the women started paid sex as teenager. It is very easy to understand how the situation is more serious on the productive citizen.
The problem of prostitution is a very serious one not only because it is increasing but also because such sex-workers are exposed to numerous adverse conditions such as poor living conditions/housing, social stigma, gender based violence and sexually transmitted infections(STIs), including HIV. In addition, they are exposed to unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions. Refusal of condoms, physical and psychological abuses, low payments and sometimes left unpaid is some of the problems they face while they were at work.
What SDE did in this project?
These being the cases, SDE has been intervening in this project majorly focusing on the following specific interventions:-
- Initiating self-employment opportunities through vocational skill training on weaving, tailoring, shoe making and embroidery by establishing training center
- Providing student grant for other skills through out-sourcing program in accordance with their interests
- Providing basic business and life skills. The life skills education involves gender awareness, developing self esteem and positive attitudes, social relation development, critical and creative thinking, conflict management, managing emotions, coping with stresses, empathy, addiction and anger management, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention and control.
- Encouraging and supporting schooling and educational material support for their children.
- Other supplementing interventions including transportation allowance provision; health care; working material support for feasible individual and group projects after graduation; tea and bread services during breaks and creating networks for markets & employment opportunities.
The services had been delivered for one year on shift basis starting late hours (9:30am) on working days to make the course ease for them.
Though our achievements and the project impacts in this project had been considerable, the project has been terminated since 2015 owing to shortage of funds.