Villages of Shoa

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Villages of Shoa

Although only a three-hour drive from the bustling capital of Addis Ababa, Shoa is about as rural as it gets. Most villagers here practice agriculture and live in remote areas, far from urban services.

Rivers and streams wind through Shoa’s plains, bringing farming resources as well as waterlogging challenges to its residents.

Oromia Region
Located in south-central Ethiopia

Why We Chose Shoa

The most pressing need when we arrived in Shoa was education. With just a few high schools serving the entire area, many students dropped out after the eighth grade. In addition, many primary schools in the community were substandard, constructed of mud and lacking latrines and access to water.

Villagers in some areas had no access to clean water at all, and health clinics lacked furnishings and proper equipment. Finally, there was enormous potential to expand microfinance loans in this community of farmers. Learn how you can get involved with Glimmer's work in Shoa.

A Community Ready for Change

Shoa is a highly motivated community. During our initial assessment of the area, residents told us exactly where they needed Glimmer's help most. They were capable, they explained, of building new health posts and smaller schools (Grades 1-4) themselves. Where they really needed help was with larger primary schools (through Grade 8), high schools, and water projects.

The Shoa community's approach to our work together is a wonderful example of what a partnership can look like.


Meet the People of Shoa

Shoa’s people are hard-working and generous. Here, we meet a few. Megertu is a farmer and mother of nine whose farming collective will benefit from better access to microfinance loans.

Asnaketch is a mother of 10 who lacks access to clean water and adequate health care, and Konjit is a health extension worker at Asnaketch’s health post where there is an urgent need for better supplies and equipment. 

Bikila is a farmer and father of 10 who believes strongly that all students deserve the chance to go to high school — and is even willing to sell his ox to help provide this opportunity for others. Click the photos above to learn more about their stories.

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Village Location & Climate

Shoa is centrally located in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Rivers surround the larger area, including the Jamma River to the north and the Murger River to the west. Further out to the southeast, lies the Awash River and the Great Rift Valley.

Ethiopia is divided into three climatic zones based on elevation and temperature. At an elevation reaching nearly 11,000 ft (3,300 m), the climate in Shoa falls into the Dega (cool) Zone. Shoa has two rainy seasons, a major one running from mid-June to the end of September, and a shorter one in March and April.

September 6, 2016

Progress for the People of Shoa
Building momentum in our second year of work

Six months ago, a group of Glimmer staff and supporters joined villagers in Shoa to experience their daily struggle to collect drinking water. After a long walk, we arrived at the water source: a contaminated pond shared with... Continue Reading

March 8, 2016

Seeing Is Believing

A group of Glimmer’s most committed donors recently visited the Shoa community for a firsthand look at the need in this area — as well as a glimpse into what's possible. After spending time with the community, the group took... Continue Reading

March 1, 2016

Looking Ahead to Our Next Phase of Work

With construction on Year 2 projects officially underway, we’re now shifting our focus toward raising funds for the next phase of work in Year 3. Launching in early 2017, our third year of work in Shoa will comprise $1.5... Continue Reading

January 16, 2016

Our Second Year in Shoa

Marking the start of our second year of work in the Villages of Shoa, Glimmer’s Addis-based leadership team met with stakeholders including Glimmer’s construction partners, representatives from local and regional... Continue Reading

November 11, 2015

A New Well Changed Her Life

10 gallons of water per day 

Zewdinesh used to walk 1.5 hours to collect water from a dirty river. The grueling trip limited her to two jerry cans of water per day—approximately 10 gallons of water—for cooking, cleaning and washing. The contaminated water exposed her family to waterborne diseases and leeches.

As a leader in her community, Zewsdinesh wanted clean water for her neighbors and family. When Glimmer proposed the construction of a shallow borehole well, she provided food and water for the construction crew and participated in the building of the wall around the well. Now that the project is complete, she and other members of her village's Water Sanitation & Hygiene Committee monitor its operation and make small repairs as needed. 

Today, Zewdinesh only has to travel 10 minutes to clean water. The quick trip means she can triple the amount of water she uses for her and her family.

November 9, 2015

Microfinance borrower sees significant increase in harvest

Sisan Mengusha, a farmer in Shoa, faced low crop yields for herself and her livestock. Experimenting with fertilizer in her teff, peas, wheat and barley fields led to a small increase in her harvest, but it wasn’t until she... Continue Reading

July 16, 2015

Principal's Dedication Pays Off

Prinicipal Tadesse knows the value of a good school. In his six years at Itu Iliye Primary School he has seen the ripple effect of quality education in rural villages. Education brings better job opportunities, more efficient... Continue Reading

Help us Raise $1.5 million for Year 3

Glimmer's life-changing work in the Villages of Shoa continues. Our third year here will encompass $1.5 million in projects, including new classrooms, water wells, health posts and access to microfinance loans that will help families here start and expand businesses. Join us and help support the transformation of this community!

Year 3 Fundraising Goal: $1.5 million

Glimmer is implementing a five-year plan for transforming the Villages of Shoa. Help support a third year of projects that will change life for families here.

29 Water Projects
8 Education Projects
3 Health Projects
1 Microfinance Program





Raised for this phase of work in Villages of Shoa

Active Campaigns For Villages of Shoa

Browse active fundraising campaigns for Villages of Shoa. Or start your own campaign!

raised of $1,000 needed
I’m working with A Glimmer of Hope to transform lives in Ethiopia. You can help!Did you know that in Ethiopia, women and children are living in extreme poverty? They need the most basic things — like...
A Glimmer of Hope
raised of $1,500,000 needed
Glimmer is working to change lives in the Villages of Shoa. You can join us.The Villages of Shoa are a group of 12 farming communities in the high plains of central Ethiopia. Making a living off the...
raised of $1,000 needed
I’m working with A Glimmer of Hope to transform lives in Ethiopia. You can help!Did you know that in Ethiopia, women and children are living in extreme poverty? They need the most basic things — like...