Stories Archive

Imagine a home with no water? Together with it's partners, Vita is providing access to safe drinking water for millions of people in Ethiopia and Eritrea. 

Hansu Emhatsion

Adi Keih is a modest village in Eritrea, about 18 Km to the south of the capital Asmara in a mountainous, hostile and unforgiving landscape.

Vita's work aims to have long-lasting and sustainable social, environmental and financial impacts on our partner communities. Some of the impacts that Vita has had in Ethiopia include the improvement of the livelihoods of members of the community.

Nothing invigorates a community like a successful enterprise, and the women of the small village of Doko Yoyeri, high in the African Ridge Mountains of Southern Ethiopia, are beginning to realise this for themselves. They have worked closely with Vita and the Irish Embassy in Ethiopia to set up a Women’s Saving and Credit Co-operative that teaches them how best to engage in business and improve their standards of living.

Yenenesh Gebresilase

Yenenesh Gebresilase was born into a large family of nine siblings in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. Her father is a lorry driver and he and her mother fully understand the importance of education and the role it plays in bettering the lives of their nine children.  They made sure that all of their children recognised this from a young age and encouraged them all to study hard.

copyright Elizabeth Handy

A well-bred Irish potato is a game changer in Africa

Tekea Tsefagherghesh and her customised cook stove

Tekea Tsefagherghesh is unashamedly house proud. Not unlike her fellow Eritreans, she keeps her home spotlessly clean –not an easy task in this mountainous, hot and often dusty sub-Saharan country which hugs the northern coastline of the horn of Africa. 

Low Carbon Earth Summit-2015 (LCES-2015)

The 5th Low Carbon Earth Summit-2015 (LCES-2015) will be held at the Qujiang International Conference Center (QICC) in Xi’an, China on September 24-26, 2015. The main aim of the conference is to identify actions for rebuilding a clean world.

More than 85% of Ethiopians depend on agriculture for their livelihood and farming is their main source of income. However, the current land management practices prohibit the farmers from making the best use of the land. Climate change has only been making matters worse. 

Great Ethiopian Run

This year, the Great Ethiopian Run will take place on November 26th in Addis Ababa, Africa's fourth largest city and it's defacto capital. Vita will once again be taking a team  to participate with the intention of raising awareness of the impact of climate change on the people of East Africa.

potato yields

The potato is a very important crop in our day-to-day life. It is a staple food across the world. We know that the potato is cheap and yet provides us with rich nutrition. In fact, it is one of the world’s only self-sustainable foods. This means that if you were stranded on a desert island with only supply of potatoes, you could survive quite nicely!

President Higgins Opens Vita Exhibition

President Higgins Celebrates Vita’s Irish Potato Projects in Africa. April 21, Dublin President Michael D. Higgins today opened a photographic exhibition “The Potato Farmers of East Africa” at Dublin Airport.  The exhibition and the accompanying booklet are by Charles Handy, the world renowned Irish business and management guru his wife the photographer Elizabeth Handy.

Vita and Sisters of Mercy

Vita, the Irish charity fighting hunger and climate change in Ethiopia and Eritrea has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sisters of Mercy Western Province, in Ballinasloe, Co Galway. The MoU is a renewal of a longstanding partnership between the parties which positions the Sisters of Mercy at the centre of climate change initiatives in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Vita Legacy

As part of the Irish Catholic's 'Leaving a Legacy' supplement, Vita contributed an article about our work and how anyone looking to leave a gift in their will can do so. The article, which appeared in the March 27th issue of the Irish Catholic, is not available on line, and therefore, is reproduced below:

Geleb Nursery

Standing amongst his coffee trees, Husen Mohamed Jimie Shibot is pleased with his current crop. “I would not feel like a real farmer if I didn't grow my own coffee”, he says. Like over two thirds of Eritreans, Mr Husen works in agriculture. He has always lived in the Geleb region, about 100 km north of the capital Asmara, where he started to work on his parents’ farm as a young man.

Handy’s Booklet

Charles Handy, the world renowned Irish business philosophy author and broadcaster, and his wife the photographer Elizabeth Handy will be in Dublin Airport on April 21st to launch an exhibition of photos with an accompanying booklet, “The Potato Farmers of East Africa.” The exhibition will be opened by President Michael D. Higgins.

John Weakliam

April is warm and very dry in Eritrea and the perfect time to visit dairy and potato farms as the crops start to emerge from the earth. Vita, the Irish NGO working to combat hunger and climate change in Eritrea and Ethiopia recently led a delegation from Teagasc and Gorta to Eritrea to see for themselves this extraordinary country.

Hamar tribe

Have you seen Channel 4’s reality documentary, The Tribe, on the Hamar tribe in Ethiopia? [http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-tribe].Vita has been involved with the Hamar tribe since 2006. Here is a brief article on how the organisation has been helping the locals of the Omo Valley.

Akalu Gebreyes

Akalu Gebreyes, an Ethiopian national, is the Admin and Finance Manager of our Vita office in Ethiopia. He joined Vita as an accountant in 2012 after he saw an advertisement in the local newspaper.