Ethiopians Fighting Against Child Exploitation (E-FACE)

Project Duration
December 2011
November 2015
Funding and Year

The Problem

Approximately 15 million children are estimated to work in Ethiopia. While the majority of children work in agriculture and domestic service, children also engaged in the traditional weaving industry, the second largest employer of rural households. Many children involved in this industry experience work-related illnesses and injuries as a result of working long hours and crouching while weaving on traditional looms. Major factors contributing to child labor in Ethiopia include household poverty, underemployment, the fragmentation of farming land and HIV/AIDS.

Our Strategy

Project Objectives: 

Reduce exploitative child labor in the traditional weaving industry and rural areas through the following intermediate objectives:

  • Provide direct educational services to targeted children and sustainable livelihood services to members of their households;
  • Support national institutions to improve policies, programs, and delivery of education, social protection, and sustainable livelihood services;
  • Raise awareness of exploitative child labor and its root causes and the importance of education for all children;
  • Mobilize stakeholders to improve and expand educational opportunities;
  • Support research and the collection of reliable data on child labor and its root causes, as well as effective strategies to address it; and
  • Ensure long-term sustainability of these efforts.

Summary of Activities:

The project is designed to reach these objectives through the following activities:

  • Expand and enhance formal schools and alternative learning opportunities, including vocational education, apprenticeship training and literacy programs for targeted children;
  • Strengthen educational services, through teacher training, curriculum improvement and infrastructure repairs;
  • Provide educational support services to help children succeed and stay in school, including tutoring and mentoring, provision of school supplies, establishment of peer education clubs and capacity building for child protection committees;
  • Offer livelihood support and social protection programs to working and at-risk children and targeted household members that will alleviate the root causes of child labor by increasing weaving productivity through equipment upgrades, building the capacity of cooperatives and linking beneficiaries to new markets and microfinance options;
  • Provide occupational safety and health training to labor inspectors and conduct research on child labor, hazardous work and youth employment opportunities in collaboration with Gondar and Addis Ababa Universities;
  • Provide technical support, advocacy, and capacitybuilding initiatives to governmental institutions to improve policies, legislation, and service delivery;
  • Raise awareness on child labor and the importance of education throughout the target areas and across all levels of project stakeholders; and
  • Strengthen local capacity to combat child labor, including by working with traditional weaving industry entities and other stakeholders to develop a child safe woven product certification standard.


The project targets 20,000 children engaged in and at risk of entering exploitative child labor in Ethiopia with a focus on the traditional weaving industry and child labor in rural areas. In addition, the project will target 7,000 households of targeted children to promote sustainable livelihoods. The project will operate in Addis Ababa and the Gamo Gofa and Wolaita Zones.


As of March 31, 2016, 20,639 children and youth engaged in or at high-risk of entering child labor have been provided education or vocational services and 7,859 households were provided with livelihood services as a result of this project.

Learn About Our Success

Aragash working at a textile factory.

Aragash had been weaving since a young age. She used to work for a business owner who exploited her. "Often, I would eat only once a day and would regularly get punished," she said. "I also started work early in the morning at 6 a.m.