A registered Canadian charity, started in 2001.


Private citizens in Alberta and British Columbia.


Partners does aid work in Ethiopia – 14th largest country in the world with a population of about 96 million – per capita annual income of about US$500 (2015 statistics from the CIA World Factbook)


100% of donations go directly to projects in Ethiopia – all operating expenses are paid personally by Partners’ directors and the Columbia Foundation.

All projects have an Ethiopian “partner” – usually a local volunteer group or village – who contribute 15-20% of the cost – usually in labour or materials.


Partners has completed hundreds of projects and presently has more than two dozen in progress.


1. Micro-financing & income generation projects for unemployed and underemployed women.
2. School construction and supply of school materials.
3. Community Education on malaria and HIV.
4. Group Homes for HIV orphans.
5. Building footbridges and making schools, hospitals, and markets accessible during the rainy season.
6. Digging wells/ Protecting springs / Clean water supply.
7. Trades training for older HIV orphans.
8. Polio rehabilitation: manufacture of crutches and braces.

Our Mission

"Our mission is to improve the lives of Ethiopians. We listen to their needs and partner with them on projects that empower communities and individuals and contribute to their well being."

Partners In The Horn Of Africa’s constitution provides that the aim of our organization is:

to advance education in Ethiopia by constructing and upgrading educational facilities at the primary and secondary school level;

to provide relief from poverty in Ethiopia by initiating and supporting economic projects and initiatives designed to provide employment and economic opportunities for residents;

to provide relief from illnesses and diseases in Ethiopia by distributing medical supplies and by providing information and advice to residents about the transmission and control of illnesses and diseases prevalent in Ethiopia;

to advance the above objects whenever possible by working through and in partnership with community based charitable organizations in Ethiopia.


Who We Are

Partners in the Horn of Africa works in Ethiopia, the largest country in the “Horn of Africa”, focusing on the areas of greatest need --- infrastructure improvement, health & welfare and women’s anti-poverty projects. We are a non-denominational, registered Canadian charity, and believe we are unique because:100% of all donations go directly to aid projects in Ethiopia. The Canadian directors of Partners and others volunteer their time in running the organization and fundraising, and along with some private benefactors, pay for all administrative and travel expenses.

Our African Partner… usually an indigenous charity or a village… is required to contribute 15 to 20% of project costs (usually in the form of labour) and participates as a true Partner in all decisions relating to the project. Once a project has been selected and a partnership agreement entered into, then Partners in the Horn of Africa and its African counterpart share in the responsibility for getting the project 'up and running'. This model gives the local community a sense of ownership, and ensures that the project is responsive to local needs. We’ve been fortunate to discover some very capable indigenous Ethiopian aid organizations, which have helped us prove that Africans can manage their own aid projects in a true “partnership”.


We focus our work in the more remote areas of the country that are ignored by most other NGO’s (NGO is Non-Governmental Organization). Ethiopia has one of the most challenging landscapes in Africa, much of it more than 6000 ft above sea level or higher, with few roads. It also has one of the lowest average annual incomes per person in the world (just over US$100 per person in 2004), and this is even lower in the remote areas. And with 71 million people, Ethiopia is the third largest country by population in Africa, thus the need is great and we can focus our efforts in one country.

We invite you to learn more about Partners and Ethiopia. The problems are immense, but the support from Canadians does make a difference in the lives of many Ethiopians. We are helping empower Ethiopians to take charge of their own future…to give them hope. We are having an impact in the Horn of Africa.

Our History

Partners in the Horn of Africa was formed in 2001 by Canadians and Ethiopians living in Western Canada. Some of our Canadian directors had worked as volunteer in Africa and all were committed to the plight of people living in sub-Saharan Africa. After returning to Canada, they remained interested in Africa and became active in international aid programs. Partners In The Horn of Africa represents an attempt by Canadians to find a cost-effective and meaningful way to respond directly to the needs of people in the Horn of Africa, the region in the northeast part of the continent which includes Ethiopia. The catalyst for Partners arose from discussions with Ethiopians who urged us to form a new organization that would work on aid projects in partnership with local African groups avoiding the expensive administrative structure common to many aid organizations and focusing on the task of “empowering” local Ethiopian community groups to take a more major role in the development of Ethiopian civil society.

The first project Partners undertook involved an Ethiopian group called the Agarfa Self-Help Organization (ASHO). Located in the high-mountain region of Bale, ASHO entered into a formal partnership with Partners in the Horn of Africa to build a bridge across a river that became impassable during the rainy season. If someone was sick, they would have to be carried for nine hours to another bridge to reach the nearest medical facility. Farmers couldn't get to market. The community was cut in two. The completed bridge was a "big success" and helped set the Partners model "people helping themselves," with the community members contributing building materials and 1,000 person days of labour!


Partners was formally incorporated as a Canadian federally registered charity in 2002. As of 2006, Partners has completed about 40 projects, all within the range of $5,000 to $30,000. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, our annual budget is approximately in 2007 will be approximately $750,000.

Our Partners

WISE, Organization for Women in Self-Employment, is one of our stronger partners in Ethiopia. They organize very successful programs to train and support women in Entrepreneurship/ Business, Leadership and Management, Health-Education and Self-Development. At WISE, courses are scheduled mostly on a half-day (3 hours/ day) basis to give trainees time to discharge other responsibilities, such as household chores and business. All courses, except vocational skills, are delivered by in-house resource persons. These in-house resource persons are skilled in adult teaching methodologies and use participatory techniques of facilitation.

Participants are poor women and girls which are provided with basic business and entrepreneurial knowledge and skills to improve their livelihoods. The course motivates those who are not gainfully employed, or have no experience in micro business management to join the self-employment work force. For those with experience in micro business management, it offers them a chance to review their experience and gain new knowledge. In 2014, 160 new members are being trained and added to the program, which already supports over 1400 women from the region surrounding Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia.

Our Sponsors

Most of our support comes from individual Canadians living across Canada from Newfoundland to British Columbia. We also receive support from individuals in the States and the U.K. Last year approximately 900 indviduals made donations to Partners in the Horn of Africa.

We are grateful for the ongoing support of these forward-thinking companies and groups:

Club Penguin


The New Horizon Foundation, a charitable organization created by the founders of Club Penguin, is dedicated to relieving poverty and improving the health and general wellbeing of children and families around the globe.

Club Penguin, a division of Disney Online, provides one of the largest and fastest-growing virtual worlds for children. Club Penguin is a snow-covered virtual world where children can play games and hang out with friends. It has developed a reputation as a trusted provider of safe family fun due to its rich, imaginative play environment, filtering technology and live moderators. It contains no third-party advertising and is free to use and enjoy, however a subscription membership provides access to additional features that enhance the play experience. Club Penguin is headquartered in Kelowna, BC, and can be played in English, Portuguese, French and Spanish.

The foundation and the subscription members of Club Penguin have become enthusiastic supporters of Partners over the past few years and we are very thankful for their support. They have built entire schools and library additions and funded ongoing support for education, play therapy and activities for orphans of AIDS and for our micro-financing programs.

Their "Kids Helping Kids" and "Coins For Change" programs provide a unique way for their paid subscribers to support our projects and have helped raised the profile of Partners in the Horn of Africa around the world.

Club Penguin believes that one person, big or small, has the power to change the world. The Club Penguin team is there to help their players make a difference, in their own communities and around the globe through programs like Coins For Change. Every year Club Penguin gives a percentage of their net profits to support this vision in the following three areas:

Build Safe Places
Club Penguin thinks every child deserves a safe place to live, learn, and play. Through their donations, they help build playgrounds, schools, libraries, and community centers around the world.

Protect the Earth
Club Penguin wants to be friendly neighbors to all the amazing animals in the world. Through their donations, they help educate kids on how to protect endangered species and their habitats.

Provide Medical Help
Club Penguin wants to help kids and families live longer, happier, healthier lives. Through their donations, they help provide communities with medical training, access to clean water, and hospitals.

Club Penguin is the #1 virtual world for children. Club Penguin works to maintain a fun and safe online entertainment experience by using filtering technology and live moderators. The award-winning virtual world of Club Penguin contains no third-party advertising and is free to use and enjoy, however a subscription membership provides access to additional features that enhance the play experience. Club Penguin, headquartered in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, is enjoyed by children around the world, and can be played in English, German, Portuguese, French and Spanish.


Students in a new classroom at Dembecha Elementary School funded by Club Penguin and the community

Club Penguin has become an enthusiastic supporter of Partners in the Horn of Africa since 2007 and we are very thankful for their support. They have built entire schools and library additions and funded ongoing support for education, play therapy and activities for orphans of AIDS and for our micro-financing programs.

Their "Coins For Change" program enables players of Club Penguin every December to work together to support projects around the world. Their support of Partners has raised our profile immensely around the world.

Since 2007, Club Penguin has made the following projects possible with their generous support of Partners in the Horn of Africa:

Libraries, books and reading rooms for 34 rural elementary schools! (2009-present)

Support for orphans and vulnerable children attending Adet Kindergarten and Group Home (2009-present)

Dembecha Elementary School comprehensive project: classroom and library construction, latrines, biogas digester, and income-generating bakery & tea room (2009)

Gubaya High School construction, furnishing, and books supply (2008)

Micro-financing programs for women (2007)


EBA Engineering Consultants


EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd. (EBA) [www.eba.ca] provides a broad range of engineering and scientific consulting services to clients in domestic and foreign markets. EBA has progressively expanded over the last 40 years and today clients are served by more than 550 engineers, scientists, technologists, and support staff from 10 offices located in Western and Northern Canada.

The company and their staff have been extremely generous in providing ongoing funding and expertise for spring protection and clean water wells and footbridges. In 2007, the employees of EBA themselves took on the special project of funding the significant upgrading of Kasso Manso school in the Bale Mountains.

EBA Engineering Consultants, a TetraTech Company and their employees have made a generous 10 year commitment to work with Partners in the Horn of Africa to support Ethiopia rural aid projects. Through corporate aid, staff contributions, and on-the-ground participation, EBA has worked in several rural communities in Ethiopia, constructing new water wells, rebuilding and equipping village schools, and undertaking critical reforestation/ground stabilization projects.

The following profiles their first project with Partners, the Wollo spring protection project:

img.mendina_finishedsprWhen Terry Hillaby, a vice-president of EBA Engineering Consulting in Edmonton, was planning the celebration for the company’s 40th anniversary, he knew he wanted to reflect a company core value –“improving its communities.” After hearing about the successful work that Partners in the Horn of Africa and its “partner,” the Ethiopian charity, AWWA, were doing in the drought stricken region of Wollo, the engineering firm knew it could help. EBA decided to assist and fund the construction of “cribs” and reservoirs to protect and retain water from year round springs. Partners and AWWA have been working with the local villagers in this Northern Ethiopian region for the past couple of years to improve the residents’ supply of drinking water. Water borne parasites are one of the leading causes of death and disease in Ethiopia. Less than 25% of the population has access to clean water. The spring protection project undertaken by Partners, AWWA and EBA will develop and protect five separate water supply systems.

img.mendina_springThe company chose Brian Adeney, one of its senior engineers, as the project leader. “ I was selected because I had a background in water resources and could judge how EBA’s resources could best be allocated to benefit the project. I was also excited about sharing the information with the rest of the employees and willing to travel in harsh conditions, having previously helped out with hurricane relief in the Caribbean.”

Brian worked with Tesfaye Tefera, an Ethiopian engineer who prepared all the costing, scheduling and supervising of the work. Their goal was to provide separate collection areas - one for drinking water and one for livestock and washing. Their team looked at 10 potential sites for spring protection. They tested the water and selected 5 with suitable water flow and easy access for the villagers. More than 1,000 people will benefit from each of these sites.

The Ethiopian rainy season begins in June, so construction started in March with some urgency. All supplies, including hand shovels, cement, rocks and piping, had to be carried to the work site by donkey or man. And, as it true in all Partners’ projects, the local villagers provide the labour as their contribution to this much needed and appreciated project.

img.tesfaye_springThe benefits to the Ethiopian villagers are obvious. However, the excitement about the project within EBA has been enormous. Brian has given 6 presentations of his Ethiopian experiences within the company and in February he spoke to senior managers and clients about EBA’s involvement to an enthusiastic response. A second engineer, Katherine Johnston from EBA’s Whitehorse office has been chosen to go to Ethiopia in May to oversee some of the construction. She also will be taking CARE packages with her for the villagers from other employees of EBA.

For Brian, his excitement extends beyond EBA. Once construction work is completed in Ethiopia, he plans to speak to other engineering groups and associations. He says, “It has been an incredible experience not only to share my engineering knowledge but also to learn so much about the Ethiopian people by living and working with them for a common goal.”

For Partners in the Horn of Africa, the spring protection project marks a new form of “partnership”, one involving the “hands on” participation of Canadian firms helping Ethiopians to help themselves.

Members of the UFCW, Local 1518


The 26,000 members of Local 1518 of the United Food And Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union have provided ongoing support of Partners for years. It is one of two UFCW locals in British Columbia, and one of the largest unions in the province. Most members work in the retail food industry, but a large number of members also work in food processing, commercial retail and drug stores, the health care industry, poultry processing, and other industries. We thank them for their continued generosity.

Rotary Clubs in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia
The Columbia Foundation, Vancouver
The Lefebvre Foundation, Calgary
The Wild Rose Foundation, Alberta

Staff - Enderby, BC, Canada

Melanie Baylis
Office Administrator

Kristina Parkes
Donor Relations Administrative Assistant

Board of Directors

Mekonen Bayssie, Ph.D.
Co-Founder and Materials Scientist at U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Kirsten Behler
Urban Planner

Ahmed Gelchu, Ph.D.
Natural Resource Specialist

James Hickling
Lawyer, Donovan and Company

Terry Hillaby
Vice President Corporate Development, Tetra Tech EBA

Marguerite Jackson, Q.C. (Chair)

John Rogers, Q.C.
Lawyer, Victory Square Law Office

Vince Ready
Honorary Partners Director - Labour Arbitrator and Mediator