About us

Who we are. What we do. Why we do it.

Find the answers to all your Ethiopiaid-related questions.

Our history

In the autumn of 1987, Sir Alec Reed returned from his first visit to Ethiopia. He saw what many people might expect – widespread hardship, suffering and poverty – but he also saw passion, knowledge, and ambition.

Sir Alec knew that it would take something simple to make a huge difference to the lives of many people. Starting in October 1989 with an investment of £1m, he created a platform for years of change.

Ethiopiaid has grown without losing sight of its relatively humble beginnings. Sir Alec’s initial investment has since grown into more than £37m in partner grants over 30 successful years.

Our approach is simple and continues to be effective.  We raise funds for and make grants to local Ethiopian partners to achieve lasting change and improve the lives of some of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable communities.  We know our strengths and our limitations. We do not promise to change the world, or even all of Ethiopia. What we do know – from firsthand experience – is that our partners make the biggest difference in their local communities.

Sir Alec continues to be closely involved in Ethiopiaid and three members of the Reed family currently serve on the board of trustees.

In 2011, Sir Alec received a knighthood for his services to charity.

Our vision and mission

Our vision – an Ethiopia in which every person has access to quality education, healthcare and a life of dignity.

Our mission – breaking the cycle of poverty by enabling the poorest and most vulnerable and their communities to live with dignity, to build resilience and achieve real and sustainable solutions to the challenges they face. 

Our approach

Our primary focus is on investing in partnerships that achieve lasting and sustainable change for some of the most vulnerable and marginalised. 
Check out our 2020 Impact Report or have a read of our Global Strategic Plan 2020-2024


We focus on the needs of vulnerable Ethiopians at grass roots level. This hinges on sustained relationships with trusted Ethiopian partners. Our partners know the context and solutions; we listen and provide appropriate support. Growth and development are tracked in local communities using robust monitoring and evaluation. Partnerships continue as long as there’s a clear need and opportunities to make a lasting impact.


A global network

Our offices in the UK, Ireland, Canada and Australia are run by small teams of specialised fundraising and grant making development professionals. We share expertise in communications, project data and impact reporting. Pooling resources across the organisation helps us increase our effectiveness at local level. Together we strive to provide excellent service, both to our partners and our supporters and donors.



Our work would not be possible without our donors – they are central to everything we do. We continue investing in opportunities to provide donors with tailored experiences. Ethiopiaid is committed to meeting the needs and preferences of individuals, groups, grant makers or institutional funders. We connect donors with causes they care about, and maximise the impact of their giving in a way that’s transparent, responsive and accountable.

Our Partners' Leaders

There are so many valued people involved in carrying out our partners’ vital work and transforming lives in Ethiopia.
Click on each person below to learn more about the key leaders involved in our partner organisations:

How long have you worked at Hamlin Fistula Hospital?

I have been working with Hamlin since April 2018.

Why did you start working at Hamlin?

Catherine Hamlin has always been my inspiration and a living example of transcendent leadership in action. I am privileged and honoured to be able to walk in the footsteps of Catherine

What changes would you like to see in 10 years time?

Catherine once said “My dream is to eradicate obstetric fistula from Ethiopia. I won’t achieve this in my lifetime but you can in yours”. I would like to see Catherine’s dream of eradicating fistula come true.

Where is your favourite place to visit in Ethiopia?

I love Ethiopia and I have travelled to several natural and historical wonders of my country. My next favourite destination will be a city that would be built around the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

How was Hope of Light founded?

Hope of Light registered as an organization recently after Women And Health International closed, but I have been working with Ethiopiaid for the last 5 years while I was working with WAHA International.

Why did you found Hope of Light?

I am serving women who are victims of obstetric fistula in Africa especially in Ethiopia for more than 2 decades. When WAHA closed its projects in Ethiopia I decided to continue the service for these women with the new organization because curing fistula patient is like giving a new life to the women, and that is why I established hope of light.

What changes would you like to see in 10 years time?

I would like to see all women would be able to give birth in health facilities and reduce obstetric fistula. I would also expect to have many trained doctors and those women who developed obstetric fistula will get the service in the near by Hospitals.

Where is your favourite place to visit in Ethiopia?

If you mean my favorite place to operate fistula patients in Ethiopia, more or less all are the same to me. If it is for holiday I go to Hwasa which is found in southern part of Ethiopia.

How long have you worked at HHOJ?

I first started working at HHOJ in August 2016.

Why did you start working at HHOJ?

Because my passion and my work experience has always been to work with the rural communities particularly women and children. HHOJ is the best fit to give me this opportunity to help people in need as much as I can.

What changes would you like to see in 10 years time?

I would like to see Ethiopia obstetric fistula free.

Where is your favourite place to visit in Ethiopia?

I love visiting Aksum and Lalibela

How long have you worked at Hospice Ethiopia?

I have been working with Hospice Ethiopia since 2010

Why did you start working at Hospice Ethiopia?

I decided to work at Hospice Ethiopia because I love to care and help patients suffering from untreated pain. It is my passion to alleviate the suffering of people who suffer from life threatening illness and support them to have dignity and comfort at the end of their life.

What changes would you like to see in 10 years time?

In 10 years, I would like to see Hospice Ethiopia make reality its vision to have the hospice centre of excellence. The centre will mainly have inpatient hospice care, community based care service, training and research and will be a model for the country.

Where is your favourite place to visit in Ethiopia?

My favourite place to visit is Bahirdar in Ethiopia. Bahirdar is a place where you find the second largest lake in Africa, Lake Tana.

How long have you worked at SCWOP?

I have worked at SCWOP for the last 20 years.

Why did you start working at SCWOP?

I decided to work here due to the affection and sympathy I had for older people.

What changes would you like to see in 10 years time?

I would like to see older people have healthier and joyful life. I would also like to see destitute grandmothers and grandfathers self sufficient in the next 10 years.

Where is your favourite place to visit in Ethiopia?

My favourite place I would like to see in Ethiopia is Lalibela church and Gondar ancient palace.

How long have you worked at Cheshire Services?

I have been working for Cheshire Ethiopia since April 1,1996.

Why did you start working at Cheshire Services?

I decided to work for Cheshire Ethiopia because of the huge difference the organization makes in the life of children and youth with disabilities. My plan was to work for Cheshire Ethiopia at least for two years. However, I was very much convinced with the care, support, passion and commitment of the leadership and the staff, board members and volunteers were and continue doing for enhancing social functioning of persons with disabilities and less fortunate parents and families of Children with disabilities and communities. Cheshire service is not limited to towns. It is far reaching and pro poor. The service given is more comprehensive. Cheshire is not a paying organization. compared with small NGOs who are paying attractive remuneration. The highest salary paid to a senior position in the organization is less than USD 900/month. The lowest salary in the organization USD/month.

What changes would you like to see in 10 years time?

I would like to see the inclusion persons with disabilities and Cheshire become one of the leading standard rehabilitation service provider in the country and person with disabilities , I wish to see Cheshire become more client centred national Rehabilitation Hospital providing comprehensive service to clients

Where is your favourite place to visit in Ethiopia?

Gondar and Dire Dawa is my favourite place to visit

How long have you worked at Hope College?

I have been working at Hope University College (HUC) since November 14, 2019. Even if my experience at HUC is too short, I have come to know almost every details and what it takes this University College to move forward.

Why did you start working at Hope College?

I have been attracted by the vision of HUC, which is “to be a knowledge and value based center of learning to positively impact leadership for speedy socio-economic transformation of Ethiopia”. To your surprise, the issue of a value system have been circulating in my mind for so many years. Consequently, when I was writing my PhD thesis, institutionalization of values-based leadership in the context of higher education institutions in Ethiopia was my research topic. This implies that there is a strong alignment between my personal values and what the university college has set as vision. This would have a very strong impact on my emotional attachment with HUC. Therefore, I am so fortunate to get an opportunity to work for an institution where my personal values directly fit into the organization’s ambitions.

What changes would you like to see in 10 years time?

In the next ten years, HUC will be one of the top preferred full-fledged Universities in Africa excelling with quality of teaching, learning, research and publication and community service. We shall expand our academic programs and extend our accessibility at least with one campus at five regional states. In 10 years’ time, HUC shall be one of the top income generating wings (sources of income) for the humanitarian services being delivered by the Hope Enterprise.

Where is your favourite place to visit in Ethiopia?

My favorite places where I have been frequently visiting and entertaining are Sodore Resort (Oromia region, East Showa) and Lake of Hawassa (Sidama region). But, I am now more interested to see the North (Semeign Mountain of Gonder, Lake of Tana, Bahir Dar, and Axum, etc.)

How long have you worked at Hope Enterprises?

I  worked at Hope for a total of 26 years.  I was the CEO of the organization for 21 years and the Founding President of Hope University College, its other division, for four years. Following my retirement in December 2012, I served the organization as a consultant for one year.  Since May 2019, I have volunteered as the Chair of the Board.

Why did you start working at Hope Enterprises?

I never had a goal to work at Hope until I saw the victims of the 1984/85 drought on prime tv news while I was living in the USA. In response, I noted various people including prisoners and children giving for the subsequent relief effort like never done before.  Many of the hot spots of drought were places where I grew up and knew them as lush and productive places.  It was a shock to see that part of northern Ethiopia suddenly turn into a desert causing thousands to die and/or migrate out.  The question for me then was, “What can I do to help as those who had no tie to Ethiopia were doing so much for my people?”. Then and there, I decided to return home and do what I could to help the hurting.  I developed a strategy called Ladders of Hope and had thousands of the hopeless assisted by ways of basic needs, education, skill training, job and business mediation and values maturity.  I was fortunate to have had the assistance of Ethiopiaid/UK early in my effort and see such initiative of mercy and concrete help extended in five of the nine regions of Ethiopia.

What changes would you like to see in 10 years time?

Ethiopia has changed a lot from those shocking and dreary conditions.  One show of such change is the rise in per capita income to $1000.00 from $90 in the early 80s.  But with terrific population growth and unabetting and uncontrollable crises such as pandemics, floods and locusts and controllable problems like ethnic strife, energy shortage and breakdown of law and order, the economy cannot be elastic enough to absorb a growing number of the youth to the labor market.  This gap has led thousands of youngsters to migrate out to other countries under hazardous and life threatening conditions.  Certain marks of social breakdown such as substance dependence, child trafficking and juvenile delinquency are surfacing with more intensity unnoticed before.
I like to see youth focus by ways of preventive and rehabilitative interventions on a massive scale.  To enable this effort, short term skill training using community facilities, youth counseling initiatives in blighted neighborhoods and girls/young women empowerment efforts are a must.  Networking with other charities and government to assist such target needs to be strengthened.   The community based approach is timely to divert resources from the institutions that we have for the needed outreach.
How to finance such initiatives is going to be a burning issue.  One way to address financial gaps is to strengthen our income generating activities as we started already with the university college using the provisions of the law.

Where is your favourite place to visit in Ethiopia?

Just a couple weeks ago I was driving back from our Dessie Branch in Northern Ethiopia with the new executive director.  I took a new route to return to Addis via Gojjam after crossing the Abbay (Blue Nile) Basin.  I felt the scenery was breath taking and I recommend driving through such hidden treasure of valleys,mountains and ancient life.

How long have you worked at Dignity Period?

I just started working as a manager of Dignity Period Project in January, 2020.

Why did you decide to work here?

Well, I had the opportunity to observe first-hand how the support provided to school girls helped them not just to persist in school. More importantly, they were able to openly discuss the subject of menstruation, otherwise considered a taboo subject in the wider community. There is nothing more rewarding than to see a support provided making a difference and changing attitudes..

What changes would you like to see in 10 years time?

I decided to work for the project to study the topic thoroughly until it is widely discussed in the public and parents buy menstrual hygiene materials for their daughters, like every other necessity. So 10 years from now, I would like to see the wider community in general and parents in particular openly discussing the topic and providing the necessary support. I also would like our schools to make changes to the water and hygiene facilities in their premises in such a way that girls can openly use the service.

Where is your favourite place to visit in Ethiopia?

I have never been to Lalibela, my favourite place. I always plan to go there but fail to do so because of other priorities.





How long have you worked at APDA?

I have worked with APDA since the inception in 1994 – my husband is Afar and a meeting with 34 clan leaders to decided to form a humanitarian association and to work immediately on the then emergency of the Djibouti civil war. Eventually, the organization saw the greatest need in Ethiopia and worked here as of 1996.

Why did you found APDA?

While Afar then had enough milk and ability to be in good physical condition, they were 100% illiterate, no vaccinations, no maternal health, no connection with the market – simply exchanging between themselves and living. No veterinary and no other water assistance. APDA therefore set about modelling how Afar pastoralists can have social and economic services within their nomadic lifestyle. Thus over the years, the organization has devised very many different ways of providing service through mobility and the like.

What changes would you like to see in 10 years time?

We have seen a sharp decline in livelihoods and hence much hardship up to severe malnutrition that was not there before – drought/ climate change/ inflation/ even locusts/ erosion of the rangeland has contributed. I would like to see this reversed.

Where is your favourite place to visit in Ethiopia?

I have hardly left Afar Region in 31 years so know little about many areas in Ethiopia – really, i am fully absorbed here and do not mind if I go nowhere else. The absorption is the constant need to fight the injustice of the neglect the Afar society has suffered. Takes all I have. I come from Australia but that now is a distant land made all the more distant by coronavirus. Need and would like to take time with my daughter and 1 and nearly 2 grandchildren but now that is not possible.

How long have you worked at AWSAD?

Since 2003 me and other women right activists started a campaign against GBV and end of 2005 started the safe house for abused women and girls and I am working as Executive Directress since then.

Why did you found AWSAD?

Promoting and fighting for women’s basic rights and for the protection of women against all forms of injustice was not enough since women survivors of violence had little community support. To bring, hope and regenerate the lives of many women / girls and their   children a safe space was essential

What changes would you like to see in 10 years time?

want to see commitment of leaders globally to take action on GBV and see women on all leadership positions and want to see women being free from being economically   dependent

Where is your favourite place to visit in Ethiopia?

The best place I want to be in Ethiopia is Sodere a recreation place 125 Km away from Addis where there is a natural  hot water swimming pool filled with natural hot water a very green area where you can relax ….and we use this place to take safe house residents to relax.

Our staff team

Ethiopiaid is run by a small experienced team based in central Bath.

Lisa Cousins

Chief Executive Officer

Anna Lord

Senior Partnerships Manager

Mim Harding

Partnerships Officer

Becki Fuller

Finance Manager

Fran Rutherford

Senior Fundraising Manager

Christina Pierce-Winters

Senior Fundraising and Compliance Officer

Helen Jacob

Fundraising Officer

Katharine Abbott

Fundraising and Communications Administrator

Our Board of Trustees

Alexandra Chapman

The Chair of Ethiopiaid UK, Alexandra also sits on the boards of our sister charities Ethiopiaid Australia, Canada and Ireland. She is also a trustee of the Reed Foundation. Her father, Sir Alec Reed CBE, founded Ethiopiaid.

Alexandra Fenn

Alex has twenty years of experience in senior marketing roles including seven years on the board of Reed Learning.

Edith Prak

Edith is Director of Advancement for Nottingham University and has more than twenty years of working in development under her belt.

Nicola Reed

Nicola is an artist and teaches in schools and colleges in London. She is also the daughter in law of our founder.

Michael Norman

Michael is an experienced finance and HR professional with a passion for the developing world. He previously worked as Ethiopiaid’s manager in the early 1990’s.

Sally Grimsdale

Sally has been Group Property Solicitor to the Reed family of companies for twenty years.

Helen Horn

Helen has over thirty years of experience in the government and non- profit sector, working across Africa, Europe and Asia.

Tessa Reed

Tessa is a digital marketing professional. She is the granddaughter of our founder.

Donate now

With your donation, our local partners can restore a vulnerable Ethiopian’s dignity and help them rewrite their story.

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