Your Livelihood Helping Someone Find Theirs: Catholic Mission Launches Workplace Giving Campaign

Secure employment for vulnerable women in Ethiopia is at the heart of Catholic Mission’s 2023 Workplace Giving campaign, which is launching this Wednesday.

The campaign, which encourages Australian employees to make a pre-tax contribution to vital missionary works overseas, will support vocational training programs in rural parts of the country.

The programs aim to provide young women with the skills to secure stable employment, instead of heading abroad to find work in dangerous and exploitative locations.

“With the launch of our Workplace Giving campaign today, we are sending the message that through our own employment, we can support others in circumstances of great need to secure theirs,” says Michelle Ok, Workplace Giving Coordinator at Catholic Mission.

“With 83% of women in Ethiopia illiterate and economically reliant on men, the ability to gain skills is critical to securing employment and fullness of life,” says Michelle.

Tesfaye* is one example of the life-changing opportunities sustained by the 2023 campaign. At age 20, when she should have been entering the workforce, Tesfaye held no formal qualifications or in-demand skills to find secure employment or start a business.

She joined the Kidist Mariam Pastoral Centre in Meki, Ethiopia, where she is now learning to sew, with hopes of becoming a tailor.

“For young people like me, a profession is something we can change tomorrow. If a woman or an individual has the desire, they can work professionally and be employed. I think it would be a great opportunity for more women to come here and learn,” says Tesfaye.

“I think I will probably be in a better position 10 years from now. I will have something better in my life than today.”

The Centre was established by lay missionary Maria Jose Morales to provide young women with the opportunity to learn new skills and a trade, leading to their financial independence. It aims to bridge the gap for the women who dropped out of school at an early age and may have found what is called ‘vulnerable employment’.

It is one of many projects around the world supported by employees who choose to make a gift to Catholic Mission through Workplace Giving.

“A pre-tax donation to Catholic Mission through Workplace Giving enables us to profoundly change the course of women’s lives where they might otherwise be vulnerable,” says Michelle.

“We encourage every Australian employee to consider joining this program, not only to benefit women like Tesfaye, but also for their own benefit at tax time.”

*Name changed to protect identity