Partners in the Horn of Africa – A Collaborative Approach to Development

October 25, 2010

Ethiopia is the largest country in the Horn of Africa, and one most desperately in need of infrastructure to help its people.

MoveUP’s Council was pleased to welcome a presentation from Brook Sundin who sits on the Board of Directors for the unique non-profit organization Partners in the Horn of Africa.

Sundin, a retired former president of UFCW 1518, spoke briefly about the genesis of Partners: ten years ago a well-known BC labour lawyer gathered resources from the labour relations world in British Columbia to work on a footbridge across an often-flooded gorge in an Ethiopian Village. The footbridge connected villagers to much needed services and greatly increased their safety during flood season. This became the first project of Partners in the Horn of Africa and helped the organization to articulate its two premises.

  1. No money raised by Partners in the Horn of Africa goes to administration or expenses – 100% of proceeds raised goes to projects. All administration costs are covered by the Board of Directors, in-kind donations, or by donations to an auxiliary organization, the Friends of Partners in the Horn of Africa.
  2. Partners are guided by the needs and desires of Ethipoian communities, or in Sundoin’s words, “We don’t go to Ethiopia to tell Ethiopians what they need.” Partners chooses it’s projects after a extensive consultation process and asks that the partnering communities raise 15 – 20% of the project’s cost themselves.

Some of the initiatives supported by Partners are reforestation projects, well construction, school infrastructure and the provision of high-efficiency stoves. The latter project is tied into MoveUP’s carbon neutrality – the carbon offsets MoveUP purchases go to provide these stoves, which are 75% more efficient than traditional stoves, a necessity for a country that has about 1% of its forests left.

Visit the Partners in the Horn of Africa website to see the video Sundin presented to Council, to learn more and to donate.