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News: USAID launches new partnership to employ over 200 deaf women in Addis Abeba

Ambassador Jacobson, USAID Director Jones, and Ministry of Finance Director for Bilateral Cooperation Kokeb Misrak join the deaf, female workers of TEKI Paper Bags PLC in producing recycled paper bags by hand, June 2, 2022. Picture: US Embassy in Addis Abeba

Addis Abeba – Ambassador Tracey Jacobson, Chargé d’Affaires of the U. S. Embassy Addis Abeba, and USAID/Ethiopia Mission Director Sean Jones launched a new partnership with private social enterprise TEKI Paper Bags PLC, which is owned and managed by young, deaf Ethiopian women.  For over three years, TEKI Paper Bags PLC will use the $550,000 U.S. Government grant to turn the fight against pollution and plastic bags into a national employment solution, dedicated to youth with disabilities.

At the launch event, Ambassador Jacobson, Director Sean Jones, and Kokeb Misrak, Director for Bilateral Cooperation at the Ministry of Finance, celebrated the promising partnership, while listening to factory workers’ stories of the transformational power of their employment.

With USAID’s support, the organization will create at least 200 jobs for unemployed women with disabilities by producing and distributing recycled paper bags in collaboration with the Addis Abeba environmental protection commission, the city administration, and the private sector.  The USAID activity will also improve awareness, skills, and attitudes across Ethiopia related to disability rights and inclusion.

This USAID activity and the partnership with TEKI paper bags reflects the United States’ commitment to values, including supporting disability inclusion, environmental protection, and women’s empowerment.

This partnership is an example of USAID/Ethiopia’s ongoing work to ensure the people of Ethiopia lead healthier, prosperous, and more resilient lives.  In 2021 alone, USAID devoted $1.27 billion to the wellbeing of all Ethiopians, in every part of the country.  This support is a reflection of America and Ethiopia’s shared values and our longstanding partnership with the Ethiopian people. Dispatch

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