Regions of intervention and Local Partners

VIS works in Ethiopia in the WASH sector in 4 different regions, supporting 4 different local partners, who act as implementing organizations in the field. This working formula actually represents the strength and added value of VIS presence in the country since it allows VIS action to integrate successfully within the largest programs and strategies of the implementing local partners, in conformity with their missions, priorities and plans. VIS offers support to its partners aimed at ensuring the very best output from the projects implementation:


  • VIS represents a connection between local realities and the widest Italian and international funding opportunities, bringing its financial support to its local partners and creating a solid connection among stakeholders of different backgrounds;
  • VIS ensures a constant monitoring and evaluation of all project activities, ensuring adequate follow-up to the interventions at all stages;
  • VIS grants multi-sectorial capacity building opportunities to its partners, aimed at increasing the level of professionalism within the different organizations;
  • VIS connects the different donors abroad straight to the activities by facilitating frequent feed-backs as well as sharing its reporting material (pictures, videos, reports) whenever needed or requested, at all stages of the activities, from beginning to end.


Region: TIGRAY

Partner: ADCS - Adigrat Diocesan Catholic Secretariat

ADCS is an historical partner of VIS in Tigray region and the collaboration of the two organizations has allowed the completion of a huge number of WASH interventions. In particular, The Diocese of Adigrat was erected in February 1961 in place of the ‘Apostolic Prefecture of Tigray, which had been established on 25th March, 1937 and detached from the ‘Apostolic Vicariate of Abyssinia’ that dated to 1847. The diocese of Adigrat covers the whole Regional State of Tigray which has an area of approximately 54,572 Square kilometer and Zone 2 of Afar Region State, about 52,000 Square kilometer. Within its jurisdiction, the Catholic Church has been involved in various socio-pastoral and development programs that address multifaceted problems and critical issues of the local communities.

In 1980’s the diocese of Adigrat was stricken with the region-wide famine, which necessitated a large scale emergency intervention program. For effective coordination and management of emergency program; therefore, a committee named ‘’Catholic Social Action Committee’’ was founded in 1984 both in Adigrat and Mekelle, under the supervision and direction of the Bishop. The Eparchy of Adigrat has 34 parishes, 3 outstations and 10 religious congregations working in the Eparchy. The Eparchy has a Diocesan pastoral and social development activities coordinating office (ADCS) with 6 health centers. Currently, the Catholic Church runs 52 education institutions ranging from kindergarten to pre-accredited technical and vocational colleges.


Main sectors of intervention:

  • Food security. ADCS together with different projects is striving to design and implement food security projects. Thus, in order to help the local community secure their food, the following major activities are being undertaken. These are development of individual and communal water points, agricultural and natural resource management works, and efforts to help business development and women empowerment.
  • Provision of education, capacity building and learning: this program provides access to basic education by training teachers and material support, mainly in rural areas.
  • Agricultural and Natural Resource Management: in this program, projects work mainly according to the government strategy towards the development of agricultural production and productivity. The conservation and preservation of natural resources being the main focus area.
  • Health and HIV/AIDS: this program provides community health care services, Pastoral services, guidance and counseling for young people, income generating schemes and HIV/AIDS Mainstreaming.
  • Water and sanitation: under this scheme ADCS together with different projects has been working towards water resource development by providing access to pure potable water to different communities.
  • Micro finance service: ADCS provides small loans and essential business training to foster women’s empowerment through entrepreneurship and improved livelihoods.
  • Business Development: through this program, ADCS has been working to establish agro-business opportunities for vulnerable groups through community-based tourism development and income generation activities (job opportunity) by providing vocational trainings.


Main activities developed with VIS in the water and sanitation sectors have been:

  • Drilling of deep wells;
  • Digging of shallow wells;
  • Implementation of small irrigation schemes;
  • Hygiene and Sanitation campaigns, gender mainstreaming.


Region: SOMALI

Partner: DGMDA - Don Gianmaria Memorial Development Association

Don Gianmaria Memorial Development Association is a local NGO, recognized by the national and federal authority of Ethiopia, which actively works in the Awbare and Jijiga district in Somali Region, mostly for development, but also in emergency assistance, according to the need. It was born from the collaboration of Mr. Fuad Alamirow (now executive manager of DGMDA) and the late Salesian father Gianmaria Premoli who had been working in Somali Region to help the grass-root communities for more than 15 years until 2010. The general objective of DGMDA is the promotion of human development in the agro-pastoralist sector, in order to improve the quality of life of the local communities, through daily activities and the improvement of health conditions. DGMDA promotes:

  1. Access to potable water through the digging of shallow wells and the drilling of deep wells;
  2. Access to basic education through the building of schools according to the ABE program (Alternative Basic Education);
  3. The building of health posts and the organization of trainings mostly about family, sexual education and the prevention of HIV;
  4. The improving of local groups’ economic conditions, in particular aimed at women’s groups, through revolving funds aimed to finance small income generating activities;
  5. The improving of the entrepreneurship skills of local groups, through specific and targeted trainings;
  6. Awareness raising on gender issues, improving and strengthening of women’s role in the civil society;
  7. Awareness raising about soil erosion and pollution problems, due to both naturals agents and human actions;

Since 2006, Don Gianmaria Memorial Development Association (initially named RAPID, Agro-Pastoralist Integrated Development), has collaborated proficiently with VIS as local partner and implementing agency.


Sectors of intervention:

  • Emergency and refugees (food and water distributions, education, IGA and recovery);
  • Gender socio-economic empowerment;
  • HIV/AIDS prevention and care;
  • Income generating activities: capacity building; training and support;
  • Water and sanitation (drilling of wells, construction of latrines, awareness-raising).


Region: OROMIA

Partner: MCS - Meki Catholic Secretariat

Meki apostolic vicariate is one of the ten dioceses of the Ethiopian Catholic Church. Its territory was part of the Apostolic Vicariate of Harar. The mission of MCS is to work towards realizing the vision of ''The Fullness of Life'' that would be practical through promoting ''Integrated Human Development'' as a comprehensive mission of the organization. The working area of the Vicariate includes Bale, Arsi and part of East Shewa Zones of the Oromiya National Regional State as well as a few areas found around Wendogenet, Koshe and Alaba of the Southern Nations, Nationalities Peoples Regional State (SNNPRS). Its area coverage is estimated to be 156,600 sq. km. The Development Strategies of Social Development Co-ordinating office of Meki (SDCOM) are the following:

  • Increasing school enrolment rate;
  • Improving the opportunities for income generating and self-employment activities;
  • Improving the general health status and MCH practices;
  • Improving access to quality services of potable water;
  • Improving the agricultural inputs to insure productivity.


Sectors of intervention of MCS and VIS are:

  • Water and sanitation;
  • Food security;
  • Training on Hygiene and Sanitation.



Partner: SDB - Salesians of Don Bosco

In the Jubilee Year 2000, a community for the first evangelisation was decided on for Gambella, a very poor region on the border with Sudan and where there are many refugees. Shortly after, Father Angelo Moreschi was appointed to prepare the future presence there, the Holy See entrusted an Apostolic Prefecture to the Salesians comprising Gambella and Illubabor, with about 400.000 inhabitants. From 2000 until now the Prefecture has developed considerably mostly to the zeal of Mgr. Angelo Moreschi.


Main sectors of intervention in Gambella are:

  • Education and vocational trainings;
  • Water and sanitation.


The main activities implemented in the target area include:

• Technical College - Since 2001 Don Bosco Technical College-Gambella has been offering formal and non-formal Technical trainings. In the formal sector it provides trainings in Automotive Engine Service, Building Construction, General Metal Fabrication & Assembly, Building Electrical Installation/Electricity/ and Information Technology. In the non-formal sector, trainings on Basic Agriculture, Basic woodworking, Basic Metal work, Basic electricity, Basic computer and business plan preparation are provided. Currently, the College has a strong relation with different stakeholders working in the areas of TVET especially with the Gambella region COC Agency, TVET bureau and Micro and Small Enterprise-Gambella. As a result of its strong performance, in 2015 the College was granted an accreditation for a COC Center by the TVET bureau of Gambella. Beneficiaries of the training sector are about 657 young people mainly from Agnua, Nuer and Highlanders with a quota system.
• Elementary and Secondary School - Don Bosco primary and secondary school has been created in 2001. Since its establishment, the school is expanding from year to year. Don Bosco School seeks to develop in its students the virtue of honesty, integrity, responsibility, trust and loyalty. 600-700 students mainly Agnua, Nuer and highlanders are attending the school every year.
• Youth Center - In 2001, a youth center was created in Gambela.. The center provides recreational and educational services. Past students of the area who are now University students come back to the center during the summer season and provide tutorial classes for high school students of the area using the youth center facilities. Main subjects taught are English, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. About 600-700 students attend such tutorial classes given by university students every year. Besides the skill training, recreational activities also take place, especially on the weekends, with students participating in various clubs.
• WASH activities - Since their settlement in the region, the Salesians of Don Bosco have performed, in collaboration with VIS, a large number of WASH interventions, digging mainly shallow wells (provided with hand pump) and V.I.P (Ventilated Improved Pits) latrines addressed to the communities living in the remotest and most neglected villages of the area. Since 2012 in Gambella 10 shallow wells have been dug, with about 7.000 persons benefitting from these interventions in the WASH sector.