Who We Are
Ethiopiaid Canada is a charitable international development organization dedicated to empowering people in Ethiopia to live healthy and productive lives. We seek lasting change by supporting interventions driven by local partners. While Ethiopiaid Canada opened its doors in 2009, we are part of an international network of Ethiopiaid charities with offices in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. Together, we have over 27 years of experience in creating lasting change through collaboration with Ethiopian partner organizations.
Recognizing the empowerment of women and girls as central to reducing poverty and creating lasting change, Ethiopiaid Canada places emphasis on interventions that build the health, social, and economic assets of women and girls. Our programming focuses on increasing access to maternal health services, reducing barriers to education for vulnerable children, and supporting the empowerment of women and girls.
In the Autumn of 1987, Sir Alec Reed made his first visit to Ethiopia and saw what many people might expect - widespread hardship, suffering, and poverty. However, he also observed passion, knowledge, and ambition.
As a result of this life-changing experience, Sir Alec founded Ethiopiaid in the United Kingdom in 1989, with an initial contribution of £1 million. With the help of a small team of hardworking staff in a donated office space, Ethiopiaid started raising public funds to support interventions to alleviate poverty, improve health, and provide access to education in Ethiopia. Ethiopiaid’s help enabled local communities to use their passion, knowledge, and ambition to create better futures for themselves and their families. In 2000, Ethiopiaid expanded, setting up offices in Ireland and Australia. Ethiopiaid Canada opened its doors in 2009.
Sir Alec Reed remains deeply committed to Ethiopiaid's success and is actively involved with all Ethiopiaid offices. In 2011, he received a knighthood for his services to charity. To date, the Ethiopiaid network has raised over $48m CDN to support the work of local partners in Ethiopia, giving thousands of people the power to change their futures.
Our Values & Principles
Partnerships: We seek partnerships and collaboration in both our work in Ethiopia and as a global team in order to achieve shared goals.
Sustainability: We promote sustainability by focusing on helping people build the assets needed for self-sufficiency.
Inclusion: We direct our interventions toward some of the most vulnerable members of society.
Accountability: We measure our success by the improvements in the lives of those who participate in our projects. In this way, we ensure that our donors’ funds are used responsibly.
Ethiopiaid is not affiliated with faith-based organizations and has no political associations.
Mission, Vision, and Goals
Ethiopiaid works in partnership with Ethiopian organizations to empower people to live healthy and productive lives.
Recognizing the empowerment of women and girls as central to reducing poverty and creating lasting change, Ethiopiaid Canada places emphasis on interventions that build the health, social, and economic assets of women and girls.
Our vision is an Ethiopia where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy and productive life.
Reduce poverty and improve the lives of those affected by poverty
Contribute to the eradication of obstetric fistula
Increase access to quality maternal health services
Promote community development through the economic empowerment of women
Expand educational opportunities for disadvantaged children and youth
Support the holistic well-being of vulnerable women and girls
Foster sustainable change by building the capacity of people, organizations, and communities
How We Work
We believe that we can have a greater impact on Ethiopia's development by working directly with Ethiopian partner organizations who know their communities best. For 28 years, the Ethiopiaid network has worked with long-term, trusted partners who implement projects on our behalf. We do not have any offices or paid staff in Ethiopia, which allows us to save on operational costs and maximize our resources.
Ethiopiaid Canada forms partnerships with local Ethiopian organizations who have expertise in one of our three pillars of work and demonstrate a track-record of financial accountability and a strong commitment to results. We regularly monitor and evaluate our partners' work to ensure that our projects achieve their agreed upon goals.
Here are some of the ways we create lasting change in Ethiopia:
We raise funds to support our partner organizations on the ground
We foster change from within by working with long-term community agents
We share stories with Canadians that raise awareness about our partners' work
We engage in a two-way collaboration with partners based on respect, equality, and a commitment to achieving shared goals
We draw on 25 years of experience to support our partners in their growth
Olivier Bonnet, Executive Director
Olivier joined Ethiopiaid in September 2015. He has accumulated over ten years of experience in leadership positions with international non-profit organizations. Mobilized by social justice, sustainable development and environmental protection causes, he has led national offices and managed programs for a variety of organizations in the fields of emergency relief and public health, community-driven development and women's empowerment, wildlife conservation, and the protection of natural heritage places. Olivier has a rich experience in partnerships with the private, public and civil society sectors. His work has spanned countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America, including eight years based in China with Doctors Without Borders. Olivier was educated in the U.K. and in France, and has a B.A. in Chinese language and civilization.
Jennifer Naidoo, Development and Communications Officer
Jennifer joined Ethiopiaid in October 2016. Her career in International Development took her to Kenya and Ethiopia in 2016. While she holds a Specialist Degree in International Development, she also has experience in corporate banking and marketing. She has worked with non-profit organizations such as Asylum Access Thailand (based in Bangkok) and Plan International Canada (based in Toronto) as well as in the cooperative sector with the Canadian Cooperatives Association (based in Nairobi). Jennifer is addicted to buna (Ethiopian coffee), and is a lover of all things food; she is excited to practice her culinary skills in the kitchen, perfecting her Shiro and Tibs with all of the spices she brought back from Addis!Jennifer has served on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Council for International Cooperation since June 2017.
Board of Directors
Mahlet Seifu, Chair
Mahlet Seifu is the Chair of Ethiopiaid Canada. Over the past ten years, Mahlet has spent her professional career as a Management Consultant, building her experience in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. Mahlet is also an entrepreneur and has extensive volunteer experience working with a wide cross-section of charitable organizations. Mahlet holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with Honours specialized in Finance from the University of Ottawa, Telfer School of Management and a Change Management certificate from Procsi.
Betty Hope-Gittens, Director
Betty Hope-Gittens is an entrepreneur and business leader with over 30 years of experience in management, marketing, and human resources. Over the course of her career, she has served as a partner in a human resource company, operated two travel companies, and ran her own event planning business. As a business management specialist, Betty has served as a guest speaker internationally, advising individuals and companies on sales, best practices, and professional development. In 1983, she was named the first “Businesswoman of the Year” by the Ottawa Women’s Business Network. For over 20 years, Betty has held numerous volunteer leadership positions within the charitable sector. Currently, Betty serves a Director of The Eldercare Foundation of Ottawa; a Trustee of The Errol Barrow Educational Trust.
Patty Carson, Director
Patty is a retired secondary school teacher who believes strongly that access to education has the power to make lasting change in the world. Her teaching career spanned over thirty years, including returning to university to study International Affairs with a focus on development issues. Patty has also been active in various volunteer roles in her community, such as Community Food Advisor and supporting the Arts. She holds a BA from St. Thomas University (Fredericton, NB), a BEd from Queens (Kingston, ON) and a Masters in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton U (Ottawa, ON). Patty brings her skills and experience as an educator and critical thinker to the Board of Ethiopiaid Canada.
Pierre Barbeau, Director
Pierre Barbeau is a seasoned non-profit professional with over 30 years of experience in organizational leadership, international development project management, and fundraising. From 1989 to 2009, Pierre served as Executive Director of Help the Aged (Canada), a nationally registered charitable organization offering programs and services to assist poor and destitute elderly people in developing countries and Canada. He has extensive experience with fundraising and marketing campaigns, preparation of government and non-government project proposals, board management, volunteer recruitment, and financial management. In his international development career, Pierre has travelled extensively throughout developing countries.
Alexandra Chapman, Director
Alexandra Chapman is Chair of Ethiopiaid UK and sits on the boards of Ethiopiaid Canada, Ireland, and Australia. Alexandra is also a trustee of The Reed Foundation in the UK which has given over $40 million to charitable causes and supports The Big Give, an innovative fundraising website that promotes intelligent philanthropy. Alexandra’s background is in documentary filmmaking and she has worked as a Director and Producer for the BBC and Century Films. She has an MA in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University and an MA in Economic and Social Studies with distinction from Manchester University.
Erica Dorvault, Director
Erica Dorvault is an IT professional and project manager with extensive volunteer experience. In addition to serving on Ethiopiaid Canada's board, she also volunteers her time to the Ottawa Food Bank and “In From the Cold,” a program that feeds the homeless every Saturday during the winter. Erica holds of Bachelors of Science in Computer Science and Psychology from Trent University. She also has a certificate in project management.