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Support program for vulnerable children and youngsters is one of the projects that SDE had been implementing since 2001 to April 2012 as a component of a support program for Female Headed Poor Families. Through growing in needy youngsters and compositions of activities, it has become independent project since May 2012. The major objective of this project is to contribute to the creation of favorable conditions for vulnerable children, adolescents and youths (including children of women-headed families) to use their potentials. 
Why SDE Involved in this Project?

The population of Ethiopia under 15 years age are at around 33.2 million, approximately 45% of the total population and the youth population aged 15-29, at around 20.9 million, approximately 28% of the total population. Of the total youth population (15-29), the urban youth population numbers around 4.7 million, approximately 22% of the total. 

Deeper studies pointing out that with the rapid growth in Ethiopia’s urban centers, common manifestations of poverty and vulnerability for urban resource-poor youth of both sexes include: food insecurity; poor housing and sanitation; poor access to health, education, legal, financial and other services; lack of ownership of personal and/or household assets; harmful practices, under or unemployment; low and/or unstable income sources; and often the risk of addiction to alcohol, chat or other drugs. 

The disadvantage and vulnerability of women frequently have roots during adolescence, and Ethiopian girls face particular challenges including limited access to schooling, early and an unwanted marriage, and lack of parental presence, unsafe and exploitive work roles, and coercive sexual relations. Ethiopian boys face other risks and vulnerabilities like drinking alcohols, chewing chat and street life. Studies have highlighted that sexual initiation and childbearing begin early in Ethiopia, with young people often having little knowledge and limited access to reproductive health services.


The information presented above directly and indirectly reveals that being resource-poor, living without parents, having no social networks or peer support are the major sources of all evils of young peoples’ lives. This means these groups are more likely to be less educated and trained, have few or no access to information, exposed to unsafe sexual practices, addicted to alcohols and chats and finally leads to social crisis and poverty circle.

Hence, it is clear that capacity building programs which include skill trainings that lead to allowing young vulnerable people into alternative paid work in their chosen profession; support for formal schooling; enhancing life skills; and creating safe and youth-friendly environments focusing on adolescents and youths from slum dwellings & poor female-headed families will play significant role to help them having bright future livelihoods.


What SDE does in this project?
The project accepts children and youngsters from no or very low-income families and is used to be trained on five art skills. These include Theatre, Musical Instrument, Music Vocal, Traditional Dance and Modern Dance. Moreover, few youths will be trained on a photo and video editing. These training will be provided for one year after school and school off days in SDE’s project center (Siddartha Youth Center) using its material and human resources. Each year about 250 beneficiaries will be admitted and given training in all fields (common courses) for three months. After three months each beneficiary will be obliged to select her/his favorite field of skill and will be trained for the next 9 months.


Since most of the beneficiaries are expected to attend regular schools, each skill training program will be given for 3 days per week including Saturday and Sunday. Such programming also helps to accommodate the spaces and instruments available. Each training program has its own manual & methodology.


On top of art and digital skill training, educating adolescents and youths on life skills has a magnificent role to bring about the intended changes on them. Hence they are provided such training side by side with art and digital skill training. The life skills training program includes developing self-esteem and positive attitudes, developing communication skills, 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. 

This project also provides educational materials like exercise books, and pens and pencils to art and editing training school adolescents and youths. Moreover, the project creates access to school text/reference books in the project center. Annually each art and editing training adolescents and youths will be supported with educational materials. In addition, to encourage the schooling performances, about 6 best school performing students focusing on girls will be prized at the end of every academic year.
This project also supported 4 football clubs till 2015 in which each of them had 20 children and youngster members. The achievements and impacts in this project are very great that SDE is still pressing to do more.

The current three years project profile of Vulnerable children, adolescents and youths Project
i. Project Title: support for vulnerable children, adolescents and youths 
ii. Objective: To contribute to the creation of conducible conditions for vulnerable adolescents and youths to use their potentials. 
iii.Number of beneficiaries:
Direct = 636 (336 F and 300M) 
Indirect = The families of direct beneficiary vulnerable adolescents and youths
iv. Areas of Operation:- Lideta sub-city of woreda 7, Arada sub-city of woreda 5 and Gullele sub-city of woreda 4 in Addis Ababa City Administration 
v. Duration of the Project: three years (October 2015 - September 2018)
vi. Implementation Agency: Siddartha Development Ethiopia
vii. Donor: Different individuals in Belgium through Siddartha Belgium and domestic supporters
viii. Total Budget: = Birr 2,161,999
- Direct program Cost:-Birr 1,534,878(71%)
- Administration cost:-Birr 627,121 (29%)