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ECCE seminar – Better family-work balance to increase women’s participation in paid formal work

Other project Ongoing


Design for decent work

The Concept

“Design for Decent Work,” Felek’s initiative, aims to elevate the leather-finishing industry by enhancing vocational education and creating much needed job prospects for its graduates. This project not only preserves cultural heritage but also addresses unemployment among skilled artisans and the untapped potential for economic growth of the leather industry.

We’ve already received requests from several leather companies looking to hire the trainees, which speaks to the success of this project. We will be working with the Felek team and our partners to explore ways to scale this program even further

Ato Frew, Dean at Productivity Improvement and Center of Excellence

The Challenge

Felek is dedicated to preserving Ethiopia’s esteemed tradition of book artistry, employing age-old leather binding techniques. Despite growing interest in Ethiopian designs globally, local artisans struggle to compete internationally due to a shortfall in skilled professionals, necessitating focused training in branding and quality control.

The Solution

To bolster competitiveness in the global market, Felek’s curriculum includes life skills and creative design alongside traditional craftsmanship and leatherwork. The establishment of Ethiopia’s inaugural public-private leather quality improvement centre provides a crucial platform for training, supported by government-provided facilities.

400m2 training and production space renovated

Renovated and equipped a 400m2 training and production space for leatherworks that will serve as a national model of excellence.

3 fashion shows organised

Organised grand graduation ceremonies with trainee fashion shows, attended by approximately 300 people.

30 trainees trained

10 are trainers at a government college and 20 are women from marginalised communities pursuing a career in creative leatherworks.

15 computers purchased

Purchased laptop computers so trainees can master online design models and software.

My favorite part of the training was the design thinking. I learned that anything is possible and I saw that working in action through the training. I feel like I have taken one step toward my dreams, the first large step is believing its possible

Meskerem Getachew, trainee

Our partners on this project