History (Under ”30 years of service to the people of Ethiopia” )

Jerusalem Children and Community Development organization (JeCCDO) was instituted in 1985 to respond to the challenges of children caused by war and natural disasters. This makes it one of the oldest indigenous NGOs in Ethiopia.
As a learning and changing organization, JeCCDO has passed through different phases in its 3 decades of history. The short characteristics of each phase are described below:

The phase of institutional child care (1985-1995):

In the first ten years, the organization provided institutional childcare services such as shelter, food, health, and education in six children homes. More than one thousand children lived and grew in children homes. The pull and push factors came from internal and external actors have necessitated a transition to program thinking and showing a road map to the next image of the development phase.


The program phase (1996-2002):
The first six-year strategic plan (1996-2001) was formulated to respond to the internal and external factors. The strategic plan emphasized on three major program interventions: (i) provision of institutional childcare until the remaining children become self reliant to reunify with their families, (ii) reunification of children with their families/relatives and (iii) reintegration of children. 

The phase of scaling up (2003-2008):
In this phase, JeCCDO has strategically engaged in building the capacity of community and scaling up its integrated community based child care program in Bahir Dar as well as in other four towns−Debre Berhan, Bishoftu, Dire Dawa and Hawassa.

The phase of learning organization (2009-2013):
The third strategic management plan (SMP) was development for a period of 2010-2015. As shown in the SMP document, organizational learning and communication has been identified as one of the five key programmatic areas. In 2013, JeCCDO conducted SMP review and designed road map for future undertakings−developing social enterprise has become one of the strategic areas of intervention.


The phase of social enterprise (began 2014):

The decision of JeCCDO to build on social enterprise has a basis on the following internal and external circumstances:

    • The traditional way of supporting poor communities by NGOs is less favored by donors unless it is reinforced by innovation and social entrepreneurship;
    • 1 The international trends of development cooperation is more focusing on trade and investment;
    • 1 Organizational determination to wisely utilize organizational competency and available resources; and
    • 1 Improve the service/operation of JeCCDO through inducing new models (market orientation and entrepreneurship) in its developmental interventions.

With the above broader context, in 2014 JeCCDO has developed a concept of social enterprise with the support of UK based consultant. It has systematically identified 3 business ideas and is anchoring this approach towards its development programs.

Interconnectedness between the different developmental phases of JeCCDO can be explained in a way that one phase paves the way for another to succeed it.  

In general, in each of the above phases, JeCCDO has been a pioneer in the use of a number of innovative development approaches in the country. Such adaptive capacities have enabled JeCCDO to cope up with changing dynamics of external environment and remain responsive to the communities it stands to serve. JeCCDO will continue to keenly serve the Ethiopian communities with renewed commitment, better outreach, and broader impact.