Mizan Teferi is located 561 km southwest of Addis Ababa. Bench is the district’s main town, which belongs to the Bench-Maji District. In turn, the Bench-Maji District is located in the region “Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region – SNNP” located in the southwest of the country, bordering with the Republic of Kenya in the south, the Republic of South Sudan in the southwest, the Western Gambella region and Oromiya region in the north and northeastern Ethiopia, respectively.
Mizan Teferi is very close to the oldest and largest coffee plantation of Ethiopia, called “Bebeka Coffee Plantation,” which covers a total of 6,537 hectares. The region is one of the largest producers of coffee in Ethiopia.
In the district there are 61 villages, with Mizan Teferi the main town at an altitude of 1,300 m. and located 561 km far to the south of Addis Ababa, the capital city. The land is fertile, mostly red soil; the average rainfall in the last years has been 1,290 mm/year and the temperature ranges between 30.5ºC and 14ºC. The climate and the land allow for a great variety of crops, though not all are produced in the area.
- The 180 children of between 4 to 6 years attend the Mather and Child Centre in Mizan Teferi and their families.
- 80 children between 2 1/2 to 4 years attend the Day Care Centre in Gacheb and their families.
- 30 women from Mizan Teferi and Gacheb who attend the farm program.
The selection of the beneficiaries will be made after receiving an application from the parents, and it will be given priority for those children and women with family care problems. Special priority will be given to single mothers or widows, families with more than 4 children, parents with low income and lack of resources for their children, families affected of HIV/AIDS when confirmed by the kebele administration.
Indirect: 20,400 persons at Mizan Teferi and 5,500 at Gacheb.
The presence of the missionary group in Ethiopia dates back to 1993 when the MCSPA was invited by the Bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Nekemte to implement health and social activities at the Angar Guten Valley.
In January 2001, the MCSPA was invited by the Apostolic Prefect of Jimma-Bonga, Bench Wereda, in the south of Ethiopia, where the MCSPA is running a Mother and Child Centre and Day Care Centre Gacheb, agriculture and water resources development activities.
In 2003, the Archbishop of Addis Ababa, Msgr. Berhaneyesus Souraphiel invited the community to be established in the Archdiocese and in January 2007 the Community decided to start a new project near Addis Ababa. After visiting different sites of the Archdiocese, Muketuri had more favourable conditions to start a mother and child centre: the positive answer of the local community and their lack of services. The condition from the Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat was that the local government would provide the land. In March 2007, the land was measured with a total of 15,700 m² for the construction of the Mother and Child Centre.
Present Situation and Plan
In this mission there are 2 members of the MCSPA and 2 collaborators assigned and 23 employed staff working in all the projects under the Mizan Teferi mission.
- In 2014 we built a Day Care Centre at Gacheb.
- We dug three wells for the families participating in the agricultural program.
- English lessons on Saturdays for children at Mizan Teferi and Gacheb.
- We start with a program of early stimulation for babies in Mizan Teferi and Gacheb.
The objectives of the Mission will be the following:
- Setting up vegetable gardens to produce different kinds of vegetables like spinach, onion, tomato, carrot, beetroot, zucchini, potato, lettuce, garlic etc.
- Capacity building programs on food production for 30 mothers of children registered at the Mother and Child Centre in Mizan Teferi.
- Capacity building programs on food production for 30 mothers of children register in the Day Care Centre in Gacheb.
- Excavation of one well on the plot of the Day Care Centre at Gacheb, and five wells from 10 to 15 m. depth at Gacheb Village.
- Purchase of 300 fruit trees for distribution to the women at the end of the course; and also vegetable seeds like tomato, carrot, onion, beetroot, spinach, zucchini, eggplant, lettuce, green pepper, cucumber and green beans.
- Building of a local store for the tools and agricultural material.
- Purchase and installation of a generator for the water pump.
- Purchase and installation of a water tank.
- Purchase of agricultural tools for women.
- Educational sessions about nutrition, prevention of sicknesses and agricultural courses for 60 women.
- Educational sessions of cooking and preservation of food.
- Building of a local kitchen for cooking classes.