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We are looking for solidarity runners interested in sports and development to raise funds for smallholder farmers’ in Ethiopia from the end of 2019 and during 2020.

You will travel to Ethiopia for ten days in November 2020 to visit the families you raised funds for and run the 10-kilometer Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa (the biggest athletic event in Africa)on the 15th of November 2020.



We have worked with Zenbaba Union and the families that conform it to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farming households through strengthening their organization as well as interventions directly supporting the economic activities of the family farmers.

With our donor support we have been able to improve Zenbaba’s business capacity and model making it more sustainable and resilient with tangible income generation mechanisms. Furthermore, we built the capacity among forest producers’ organizations for efficient management, service delivery and information management. We supported their resilience through long-term planning, climate proofing of activities and strengthening the resilience of agroforest ecosystems and livelihoods by increasing and enhancing sustainable forest management skills of forest producers. In consequence, families are able to integrate into forestry value chains and improve their households. Among the different forest value chains developed there is pole marketing, charcoal and honey. Pole marketing for example, has been identified as a very profitable source of income, helping to diversify the main source of income traditionally based on agriculture and livestock. Furthermore, around 22 nurseries are in full functioning creating off-farm work and allowing the proper succession of trees.

Last but not least, in the male dominated forestry sector we promote gender equality and economic activities targeting women e.g. honey production. This is empowering women to sustain themselves and to be less dependent of external aid. Empowering women has proven effective in challenging social norms bringing more options to younger women to educate themselves and avoid child marriages and school dropouts. You can support the development of girls and women in Amhara region a large segment of the population which has fallen out of the radar for many years.

The results achieved so far together with the loyalty of donors along the years certifies that we are a highly trusted organization. Furthermore, we were awarded two stars for the EFQM excellence model in December 2017.

With you we can continue to achieve long-term impact. In our model in Ethiopia, impact thrives from the participatory design of informed market decisions, participatory formulation of forest management plans, screening of climate change risks and tracking the progress of the project. These activities require efficient data management which are managed through an efficient financial and monitoring framework.

Furthermore, Zenbaba Union has organizational development frameworks providing a solid foundation for sustainable institutional development, efficient market interventions and sustainable business cycles. The organizational development framework enables to track and demonstrate the improvements in the capacity of the union and the cooperatives.

Kuva: FFD

Kuva: FFD

Kuva: FFD

Kuva: FFD


Food and Forest Development Finland is a non-profit organization envisioning wealth and resilient rural areas where men, women and youth can develop their future sustainably, free of hunger and poverty”. To achieve it we have worked to improve smallholder farmers’ and forest owners’ livelihoods by creating jobs through strong farmers Organizations in Asia, Africa and Latin America since 2012.

Kapua has been working for 12 years to promote world justice. Since 2006, over 200 volunteers have accumulated nearly a million euros for the world's poorest countries. Gate times have traveled in thirteen countries, exploring projects with funds.

Zenbaba Bees' Products Development and Marketing Cooperative Union is the first commodity specific and specialized union in the Amhara region (Ethiopia) that is engaged in bee products collection and marketing. Since 2015 it has been named Zenbaba Bee's and Forest Products Development and Marketing Cooperative Union. It is a socio-economic organization of beekeeper and forestry cooperatives. The aim of Zenbaba union is to strengthen member cooperatives, to render business services to them and to protect their legal benefits and rights.

Find out more about KAPUA here

Kuva: Suvi Aarnio / Kapua

Kuva: Suvi Aarnio / Kapua

Kuva: Kapua

Kuva: Kapua

FFD-KAPUA campaign - ETHIOPIA 2020


In Ethiopia 85% are smallholder farmers and despite of its recent economic growth 44 % of its population is still living in poverty. Poverty is still a predominantly rural phenomenon. Accordingly, smallholder family farmers are the largest group of poor people.


Poor families lack basic infrastructure, socially and economically i.e. education and health care. They depend on agriculture and natural resources for their living essentials. It is known that biomass fuels constitute around 95% of the total energy consumption of which firewood and charcoal combined account for more than 77% and agricultural residues (dung and crop residues) an estimated 15%.

Therefore, climate shocks e.g. El Niño–induced drought in 2016-2017 and rise in global market prices means that when their harvest is lost, and natural resources damaged, families cannot access living essentials as food, fertilizers, seeds, etc. In consequence, communities put extra pressure into natural resources exacerbating its degradation i.e. forests degradation. This situation leaves families and entire communities in a highly vulnerable situation of food insecurity. Food insecurity due to climate change it is expected to increase in Ethiopia due to more droughts, areas reliant on humanitarian assistance are increasing and the number of displaced people is increasing too.

Hand in hand with food insecurity comes malnutrition. Most Ethiopians lack of key nutrients. Special concern is the poor nutrition of women and children, infant and maternal mortality are among the higher in the world. Poor women nutrition affects themselves but also children. For them, low levels of empowerment and decision-making power suppose 50% more possibilities to experience undernutrition in respect to other women. In the 2018 Global Hunger Index, Ethiopia ranks 93rd out of 119 qualifying countries.

In Amhara Region, the area where FFD works, 90% of the population lives in rural areas from agriculture and livestock. There, due to the lack of tradition of cultivating cash crops, which provides higher income, families cannot purchase food and cannot be sustained by degraded landscapes. Families cannot feed their children which translate in 46.3% of child stunting, 9.8% of child wasting and 8.5% of child mortality in the region. 

These are horrible consequences of the negative interactions between poverty, food insecurity and natural resources degradation. In Amhara region, deforestation is bringing the worse consequences: chronic shortage of fuel and construction wood, soil erosion, reduction of agricultural productivity, destruction of the habitat and wildlife population, loss of biodiversity, loss of soil fertility and degradation of water resources. Furthermore, when wood is not available people use dung and crop residues: in consequence on the one hand dung is not added into the soil which exacerbates the decline in crop yields due to soil erosion and low carbon content. On the other hand, crop residues are not use as feed for livestock, which translate in low milk production and lower nutrition for families.  Therefore, natural resources degradation, poverty and food insecurity need to be tackled all at once.

We have learnt the lesson. In consequence, in Amhara we work in forestry value chain development which has proven effective in tackling poverty, food insecurity and reverting natural resource degradation. Forest resources provide wood resources and non-wood products like honey, rubber and incense. Sustainable forest management combined with forestry related income generation opportunities and efficient value chains can lift farmers out of poverty and restore degraded landscapes. The cash from forest products contribute considerably to lift families and their children out of poverty and malnutrition.

In Amhara Eucalyptus trees are a common feature in the landscape. Their wood is used for construction, fuel and as a cash crop. Smallholders has chosen it for its fast growth which is generating income through sales to urban markets. Trees are their “green bank account”.

The Ethiopian policy environment, institutional and regulatory framework is favorable for promotion of small-scale farmers practicing forestry, but limited knowledge in sustainable forest management practices and inadequate access to forestry support services and finances results in low efficiency in forestry production. We have improved a lot the lives of families. However,  smallholders’ still face challenges that still needs support such as: inadequate knowledge and information among small scale farmers on issues related to commercial aspects of forestry, including access to finance and markets, limited access to enough forestry inputs, such as seeds in terms of quality and quantity, including equipment, limited access to forestry extension services, lack of knowledge on climate change related risks and adaptation strategies, weak farmers’ organizations to support and promote small scale commercial private forestry.

The success of our holistic approach is our work in organizational development and value chain development. This allows family farmers to get services and their living essentials through collective action.

Finland has gathered a great expertise. We are at the forefront of forestry development and the export of Finnish know-how is making a difference. Building in our history we can relate and propose solutions to the issues forest owners in Amhara are facing now.

We work towards climate resilient green economy. Forests are an important source of rural employment and income (non-farm activities). Forestry has proven successful because it is a household-based activity, it is accessible to poor sectors, it is labor intensive, requires few capital inputs and has direct beneficial effects to families and local communities. Specifically, Sustainable forest management which promotes community involvement, a rights-based approach has proven ecologically sound, socially just and economically viable. For instance, harvesting of forest product is undertaken by households who combine forestry with agriculture. Therefore, in our projects we do not replace food supply, but we complement it, increasing food security. Our approach allows families to fill seasonal gaps or other cash flows and to respond to special conditions while maintaining a productive landscape.

Farmers need to fight against climate change and get a decent income. Forestry can provide them with both. It will sequestrate carbon, provide shade, in some cases even fix nitrogen into the soil- and to offer one more source of income. Plant a tree!
— Tiina Huvio, FFD'S Programme Director
Kuvat: FFD

Kuvat: FFD

What happen if you are selected?

Volunteers raise funds to strengthen the livelihoods of family farmers in Ethiopia.

Volunteers participate in an information campaign in Finland during 2019-2020.

You can set your own personal goal (recommendation: 5,000 euros (50 cents per meter per meter in the great Ethiopian run),

The goal of the team is to collect 100,000 euros for FFD to support family farmers.

Our team of professionals will support you during the whole process and during the trip.

Participants will pay their travel expenses to Ethiopia as well as the participation fee of 350 EUR.

The participation fee will be paid once selected for the team. It includes:

  • Training weekends

  • Materials for fundraising throughout the year

  • Support in marketing and communications for your personal campaign

  • A personal fundraising page

  • Fitness tests and a fitness program

  • A Kapua t-shirt

Preliminary travel schedule

Day 1: Helsinki-Addis Ababa

Day 2: Visit Addis Ababa and the Ethiopian National Museum

Day 3: Great Ethiopian Run

Day 4: Addis Ababa- Bahir Dar (capital of Amhara Region). Visit Lake Tana

Day 5-6: Visit the families from different areas

Day 7: Visit the blue Nile waterfalls

Day 8: Bahir Dar- Addis Ababa

Day 9: Visit Addis Ababa, with farewell dinner

Day 10: Addis Ababa - Helsinki