The downward accountability training to member organizations and the Woreda networks had been given Nov 28 through 2 December 2012 at two at Mekelle and Addigrat towns. The Mekelle capacity building component composes, Downward accountability-( the HAP standards and minimum requirements), Communication and publication and financial Management (using the peach-tree),  in the Mekelle members training 34 had participated and in the Addigrat  meeting 28 people had attended and in sum, 62 people had trained. DSC04054

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The CSSP training had conducted 4-7 Dec, 2012. In the training all implementing partners had sent 2 participants  and in total 8 officers had participated. Of these, 1 is female and 7 are male. just to give a photo of the participants, look for the following picture.DSC01136

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[November 12-30] Activities


ACSOT’s CSSP project is moving along nicely.  At current we are working on two items, a familiarization workshop which was intended to take place on December 8th but due to availability issue of officials on the woreda level we will be moving it to another time.  However Trainers training is intended to start this week.   We look forward to all other Activities regarding to this project.

Just to summaries the project for those how might not know about it, ACSOT is working with partners Mums for Mums, Operation Rescue, HAB and Chura Abogida Artistic Association on a project called “Build and strengthen CSOs/CBOs’ networks in Tigray Region and ensure effective inclusion to play vital role in the development process”

The objective of this project is by the year end of the project period, strong Woreda Network in the project areas will be established and the links and cooperation between the networks, CCCs & Women development at the grassroots level will have been built.


ACSOT has officially become a full Member of the HAPCO which includes a space on its board.  ACSOT is very excited at this honor and looks forward to all the future work in this regards.

ACSOT Board members Meeting

ACSOTS board members are to meet this week to discuss the process for ACSOT to renew its license.  At this meeting ACSOT will present the board with its Annual report for 2012 ad well as a proposal for what is to come in 2013.  Along with those documents ACSOT will submit its audit report.  ACSOT is meant to renew its license at the beginning of the next year.


ACSOT has officially ended its project with CRDA and is currently at the point of settlement.  Yonas, the ACSOT accountant will be traveling to Addis on December 10th, 2012 to settle all final accounts.

24th HIV/AIDS day

ACSOT traveled to AXUM with many other people in Ethiopia to celebrate not only St. Marys day but also the annual Worlds AIDS day.  Even though the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Tigray and Ethiopia has been on a general decline, HIV/AIDS is a serious problem shared worldwide.  It does not discriminate against location, race or wealth and affects all facets of global society.

The event at Axum was attended by all of the Bureau heads as well as all of Tigrays Woredas leaders.  The president of the region was also there to open the celebration.   During the event there was a panel discussion that was attended but ACSOT and the discussion was focused on two parts.  The first presenter focused on the status of HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia and Tigray today.  They discussed the decreasing prevalence and effected areas still today, like Ethiopia’s universities.  Also discussed were negative impacts of HAPCO being dissolved in to the Bureau of Health as well as the low political commitment of leaders.   The second presenter focused on the topic of mainstreaming HIV/AIDS and workplace policies.  The conclusion was that workplaces in Ethiopia were not doing enough in regards to HIV/AIDS policy and an improvement is needed.  Final a smaller discussion was dedicated to Khat use and how this major problem should be incorporated into the Bureau of Health’s agenda against HIV/AIDS.  It was said that the semi-narcotic promoted an increase in HIV prevalence.  These panel discussions were attended by about 250 people.

Adigrat University

Ato Zemichael, Director of ACSOT was invited and participated in the opening ceremony of the new Adigrat University.  The event was fantastic and ACSOT wished the new University all the best and much future success.


ACSOT has concluded with two training this past weekend for our TROCAIRE project.  The two trainings took place at Gabriel Selassie hotel in Adigrat and focused on 1. Networking and 2. Downward accountability.  Both trainings were a success and ACSOT looks forward to our next steps in the TROCAIRE project.


ACSOT completed last week a three day training for a VSO project we had on capacitating Members in the area of communication.  The training was structured into two parts.  The first part was two day training for those members needing more basic communications training.  They focused on basic computer functions, Microsoft word, communications and finance.  The second part was a one day training that focused more on advanced power point presentations skills as well as aspect of finance.  The training overall was a success and ACSOT looks forward to answering the call by members for continued computer training.

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[November 1-9 Activities]

CSSP Monitoring and Evaluation Workshop

ACSOT was joined by its partners and some members who have won the CSSP grant for a 2 day workshop at Axum Hotel.  The purpose of the workshop was to go over CSSP’s Monitoring and Evaluation tools.

CSSP was represented by Beverly, Mohammed, Dr. Chekal, and Dr Mesrat.    They came to introduce four (4) things.  The first was their 7 guiding Principles, a inspiring collection that governs the projects of CSSP.  The 7 guiding principles are as follows;

  1. Putting most resources and efforts into hardest to reach women, girls, boys and men.
  2. Building on the strengths and assets of people.
  3. Building trust between people.
  4. Promoting creativity ad innovation.
  5. Promoting social equality in all we do.
  6. Promoting decision making at the most local levels possible
  7. Delivering the best value for resources for the poorest people.

The other things taught to the participants were three tools of Monitoring and Evaluation that CSSP would like to see reflected amongst those that have won the grants.  The first tools are the “the ladder of change” which serves as a planning mechanisms that allow those creating a project to distinguish not only the issues and steps to attain their dream, but also map out what can go wrong and what factors can influence the project both negatively and positively.  This method was very interesting and very simple.  The entire group agreed that it was highly useful and to be used at the beginning stages of project planning.

The second tool discussed was called the “Result Summary” which was a more summarized concept of the ladder of change.  It allowed the discoveries made during the ladder to be fine tuned and turned in to a comprehensive document.

The final tool introduced by CSSP was their evaluation method of the score card.  Each card is used in different areas to evaluate an organizations commitment to a certain area.  An example used was a score card to asses the commitment of an organization to reaching the hardest to reach Women, girl, boy, men.

Over all the workshop was a great success and ACSOT and partners would like to thank its facilitators CSSP for an informative two days.



ACSOT introduces CSSP to Community Care Coalition (CCC) Project in Wukro

ACSOT invited CSSP facilitators for a quick trip to Wukro so that they may witness the progress and work of the CCC’s in the area.  The group was treated to an explanation from the CCC’s of all their achievements and some of the problems they still have.

After the presentation from the CCC’s the group was taken to a meeting with the Mayor of Wukro as well as a coffee ceremony in the homes of one of the Women Development groups in the area.  During Coffee the women of the group described the hierarchy and structure of their group and discussed the progress of women’s issues on a grass roots level.  They reported many improvements in the fields of education for the young girls, birth control, prenatal care as well as domestic abuse.

Overall the trip was very informative and the women of the women’s groups were very inspiring.

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Mekelle Child Forum

This months experience sharing meeting with the Mekelle Child Sub Forum took place at SOS Children’s Village Ethiopia. The meeting was very organized and the agenda included a film, a presentation on SOS process from admission to self-reliance as well as a group discussion and lunch. SOS’s vision of every child should belong to a family and grows with love, respect and security is assured by their 4 principles that shape around the idea of a family unit. Each child is given a mother, brothers and sisters a house and a village. It is SOS’s belief that through family based care that each child will be able to grow in to responsible members of society.

Food by Prescription

A meeting took place in in Wukro where ACSOT met with 15 Higher Education Institutions (Mekelle, Axum, Adigrat etc) to identify Back to Work Initiative opportunities for PLHIV who have just graduated from the food by prescription program. The meeting highlighted what measures are already being taken by the universities and colleges in regards to HIV/AIDS and action plans for the future were produced. The objective was to strengthen the HIV/AIDS sub-forum as well as selecting the chair of the forum, Mekelle University.

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[October 1-13] Activities


The first session of the Council-Media-CSO collaboration was held at Axum Hotel.  It was the first meeting after the singing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the three parties.  The meeting was attended by representatives of each party and each presented a paper.  The first paper was presented by the council which discussed the laws of the country, laws and their relations to the CSO community.  The second paper was presented by the Media that discussed media and its relations to Development.  The third and final paper was presented by Ato Zemichael on behalf of the CSOs, who discussed the contribution of CSO’s in the region and what exactly CSOs entailed.  The meeting ended off with a statement of understanding from the tree parties that discussed them working together towards the Growth and Transformation Plan set out by the government.


Elderly Association meetings

ACSOT has been facilitating the meetings of the Elderly Association who have been coming together to discuss their successful call for the CSSP call.  The meetings have been mostly used to discuss project preparations as well as allocation of the funds.


Management Committee meeting of the CSSP project.

ACSOT participated in the Management meeting for those granted the CSSP funds.  It was the first meeting as was used as a means for organizations.  It was decided the committee will meet monthly until December, when meeting will be changed to quarterly. The main agenda of the management meetings will be to discuss on the reports from the technical committee who will meet every fortnight.    The MOU was also discussed as well as budget arrangements.  A standard format for reporting was also developed and distributed.

Also not related to this meeting, the CSSP team will be coming to Mekelle from Addis on Monday October the 22nd to hold a meeting at Axum hotel.  The team will come to evaluate work to date and will hear a presentation from each organization who have received the funds.

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[September 17-23 Activities]

CRDA – Monitoring and Evaluation – Axum

Ato Berihu and Ato Yonas went to Axum to conduct a Monitoring and Evaluation session for the end of ACSOT’s CRDA project.  The pair visited the project and ensured all 3 CCCs received their Birr 24,000 as part of their phase over.  A meeting was also held with the 3 woredas that housed the CCCs and issues like their next steps and action plans were discussed.  ACSOT also discussed plans to insure the projects sustainability and the capacity level of each CCC’s after the end of the official project.


CRDA – Review meeting with Grass Roots level – Wukro

ACSOT and Mums for Mums traveled to Wukro for a review meeting that was to be held with the Grass Roots level as a part of the CRDA phase over project.  ACSOT invited three CCC’s from Wukro, Agazi, Hareui and Dedawit.    Each CCC’s gave an account of what their experience has been to date.  They discussed the amounts they have been able to save and what their contributions have been to their communities.  They said their number one job up till now was to assess the problems of their districts.  They identified these to be clean water.  A problem they also said has now been solved.    Another issue discussed was the fraction between the 8 different themes of the CCC’s.  Some work with women, other children and people with Disability, but even though individual focus on these issues is important, a community must also realize they have common problems that must join together to solve.  Only with unity will the major issues be solved.

Hizaeti-Afras Dam Construction Project

Also while in Wukro ACSOT members participated in the opening ceremony of the Hizaeti-Afras Damn Construction process.  In response to climate change and non-secure rainfalls that lead to long dry season and drought, Adigrat Diocese Catholic Secretariat and Spanish FLS (Fundacio Lleida Solidaria) have come together to build a Birr 19.2 million damn.  This new Damn is believed to have the potential to benefit more than 340 farm households through irrigation schemes.  The opening ceremony was attended by Abune Tesfaselessie Medhin, Dishop of Adigrat, Abba Melaku, Abba Teum Berhe, the secretary General as well as many members of the FLS that flew in from Spain.


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[September 9-16 Activities]

Mekelle Child Sub-Forum

Another meeting for the child sub forum was held on the 13th at Operation Rescue.  This one was much more successful then the last.  The meeting was attended by the highest amount members to date.  At this meeting BOLSA has extended its deadline for the collection of 2004 Reports and 2005 Action plans to the end of September.  It was also decided that in the future BOLSA will be expecting hard AND softcopies of both documents to ensure everyone’s participation.  During this meeting the government agency also presented its annual report and its action plan for the next year.   Also announced was that the next experience sharing meeting , that will be held on September 21 at Mekelle Mekaneyesus Church Child Development Project.


Partnership Forum on HIV/AIDS

The Partnership forum on HIV/AIDS held another meeting; this one was the first to be chaired by the Bureau of Health.  This is very exciting because it shows a shift from CSO’s taking full responsibility for the forum to a more governmental involvement.  The event was more specifically chaired by Ato Hago Godafay, who submitted the Bureau of Health’s annual report.  The report was discussed throughout most of the meeting.  Also, The Bureau of Health has requested that all members of the forum submit 2005 Action plans in regards to HIV/AIDS by September 25th to Ato Abade of Operation Rescue. 


The Nazareth Children’s Center and Integrated Development (NACID)

 NACID held a workshop at Axum Hotel to announce and introduce itself to the CSO community of Mekelle.  NACID has been around in Ethiopia since 1989, working in regions like Amhara, Oromo, Afar and Addis Ababa.  It has decided now to open a branch here in Mekelle, Tigray. 

NACID was first started to save the lives of the children who had lost their parent’s during the famous 1984-1985 famine.  After the immediate crisis had ended NACID had expanded its focus to orphaned children in deprived rural and urban communities.   Today it works all over Ethiopia and plans its interventions in Tigray in the following areas;  HIV/AIDS, Primary eye care, Reproductive Health, Street Children Rehabilitation and water and sanitation.  

NACID will be ACSOTs newest member and we encourage all of you to check out their website at





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[September 1-9] Activities

Child Sub-Forum Meeting

A meeting was held this past week for all the members of the Mekelle Child Sub-Forum Meeting.  Unfortunately the meeting was only attended by 9 out of 40 members.   The purpose of the meeting was to assist BOLSA who is responsible for all children geared CSOs to gather end of year reports and next years plans of actions.  Unfortunately due to the lack of attendance and the failure of most organizations to have their documents ready the meeting was not a success.  During the meeting, discussion was based around punctuality and the necessity to meet deadlines.  Another meeting was scheduled for September 13th and we hope everyone will attend with necessary documents in hand.


ACSOT would like to announce that we have been informed that the fund for our project with CSSP will be released to us next week.

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[August 19-26 Activities]

* ACSOT would like to pay its condolences to the family and friends of the Late Prime Minister, Ato Meles Zenawi.  This is a difficult time for the nation of Ethiopia and we pray for stability and fast morale recovery.  In this regard the past work week has been a bit slow, for it was with a heavy heart we attempted business as usual. 

Oromo Network meeting

ACSOT’s Project Manger, Ato Berihu traveled to Addis last week to attend a networking meeting by the Oromo network NEXO.  This network had recently completed a study about how the new law (Proclamation 621/2009) affects networks and their objectives in Ethiopia.  Unfortunately when Ato Berihu and the other participants arrived at the meeting, due to the events of the day (Meles Zenawi’s passing ) the meeting did not go forward as planned.  There was a short 2 hour briefing and then the meeting was cancelled.


ACSOT has recently secured a small grant from VSO-Ethiopia on the topic of National Volunteering Initiatives.  The grant aims “to support Government and Civil Society Organizations to realize the engagement and participation of Ethiopian citizens in National Volunteering programs to contribute towards the development of Ethiopia and therefore reduce poverty and improve their quality of life.”

ACSOT’s project entitled “Development of National volunteer networks and communication capacities” will be a 2 day training focused on basic communication and networking skills.  It is ACSOTs aim to improve the Tigray network with improving basic communications and access to knowledge.

Every member organization will be invited to send two representatives (1 male and 1 female) to ensure sustainability of the information attained.

During the training ACSOT will also be conducting a current capacity study that will be done via an extensive questionnaire. This questionnaire will try to identify all the strengths and gaps of EACH organization and gather the data into a database for easy viewing. This information will be important for future capacity building projects.

ACSOT would like to thanks VSO-E for the funding.

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