International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

Making bamboo inclusive: Training hearing-impaired youth in Ethiopia 


Making bamboo inclusive: Training hearing-impaired youth in Ethiopia 

Hearing-impaired youth have been trained on bamboo handicrafts and furniture making in Ethiopia.

INBAR, in collaboration with the Ethiopian Bamboo Association, conducted training on bamboo handicrafts and furniture making for hearing-impaired youth in Ethiopia. The theoretical and practical training brought 33 trainees on board and imparted the skills necessary to produce bamboo handicrafts and furniture. The aim of the training was to build a sustainable base for the production of value-added bamboo products for domestic markets with a strong emphasis on clean, green, and user-friendly products with suitable marketable opportunities and employment generation.

Participants of the training with their certificates and finalized products.

The unique concept of building the capacity for hearing-impaired youth on aspects of bamboo furniture making is a pioneering effort of INBAR in East Africa to make the sector more inclusive and supportive of diversified community segments. The training was also tailored towards the objective of supporting the trainees to start a small-scale bamboo business in their communities.

Trainess learn about furniture making techniques.

The training was launched and adjourned with the presence of representatives from relevant local government agencies, such as the Job Creation Commission, Tourism Agency, and Addis Ababa Science and Technology University. During his opening remarks, G. Egziabher Assefa, a representative from the Ethiopian National Association for the Deaf (ENAD), in his written statement, said that such initiatives are indispensable to support the deaf community because hearing-impaired people need affirmative actions to become competent and productive individuals in society.

Lidya Getachew, 27, a graduate in Secretariate Science, one of the 14 female trainees of the workshop, said she was very grateful for being part of the training. She went on to say that as she is currently unemployed and has been looking for a business idea and the training was insightful and timely to start her own business in bamboo handicrafts.

In his closing remarks, Biruk Kebede, the Acting Regional Director of INBAR East Africa Regional Office, said that INBAR’s continued support to communities, SMEs, farmers, field functionaries, artisans, and entrepreneurs would be strengthened, and he told the trainees that INBAR would not only support them in skill development but also will provide them with support related to input, market, and business linkages if they can transform the skill they obtained from the training into a business in bamboo furniture and handicrafts.

A finalized product made in the training.

This capacity-building workshop was organized through the Dutch-Sino-East Africa Bamboo Development II and the Inter-Africa Bamboo Smallholder Livelihood Development programs. Both programs are South-South development cooperations to support livelihood development, food security, and better environmental weight loss management by developing robust bamboo value chains and a stainable bamboo industry in Cameron, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar and Uganda.

Learn more about the Dutch-Sino-East Africa Bamboo Development Programme Phase II 

The trainees applaud after concluding the training.