Where We Work

Roots Ethiopia works within the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia.

WhereWeWork_Africa_ethiopia v2

We work…

In areas that lack quality school options.

In rural areas, nearby school options for all students are limited. The most affordable schools are often overcrowded, without basic materials or proper support.

In areas with unreliable access to schooling.

Where schools are available, the barriers to attendance often prove insurmountable. Most rural students struggle to afford the tuition, clothing, and materials needed for success in school – especially girls.

In areas with a vulnerable economy.

Most families live on 50 cents per day. They depend on subsistence farming, however, scarcity of farmland means more than half of young people are unemployed.


The Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region of Ethiopia  

  • Ethiopia’s most rural region
  • It has a population density of 141 people per square kilometer
  • Adult literacy, men = 57%
  • Adult literacy, women = 22.4%
  • 1 in 3 people live in poverty
  • Some lowland areas don’t have enough land to meet basic food production needs.
  • Female-headed households have less access to land.
  • Electricity is available to less than 27% of the population.
  • Prevalence of farming leaves households vulnerable to drought.
  • Road density is still one of the lowest in Africa.
  • Limited access to credit stifles business and investment.
  • Poverty rates increase by 7 percent for every 10 km from a market town.
  • Low rates of primary school completion prevent strengthening livelihoods.


Central Statistical Agency: The 2007 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Statistical Report for Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region; Part I: Population Size and Characteristics.

Cruz, M., Foster, J. E., Quillin, B., & Schellekens, P. (2015). Ending Extreme Poverty and Promoting Shared Prosperity.

UNESCO. (2015) Education for All 2015 National Review Report: Ethiopia. Incheon, Republic of Korea