Empowering communities, navigating change: My journey with CDF Canada in Ethiopia

I am Dirshaye, a fervent advocate for sustainable community development and effective communication strategies. My professional journey, accentuated by a decade of diversified experiences in Ethiopia, Canada, and Malawi, has been a testament to my commitment to fostering strategic frameworks, empowering communities, and navigating complex projects with a nuanced understanding of cultural sensitivities. 

CDF Canada volunteer, Dirshaye Beyene.

My decision to volunteer for the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF Canada) in Addis Ababa is fueled by a profound recognition of CDF Canada’s transformative impact in fostering co-operative enterprises and sustainable community development. My engagement with the CDF Canada team and the major country partner, Ethio Wetlands and Natural Resource Association (EWNRA), since January 2024, has not only broadened my perspective but also deepened my commitment to contributing to Ethiopia’s developmental narrative. 

CDF Canada’s mission aims to build and strengthen co-operative enterprises and foster sustainable community-led development with an emphasis on local ownership and collaborative decision-making. This approach aligns perfectly with my core values of empowering communities to drive their own development agendas. 

I am using my academic background and work experience to contribute to the VOICE for Women and Girls Program by collaborating with communities and working in program management, communication, and building partnerships. 

Volunteering at CDF Canada is more than an assignment; it is a commitment to contribute, learn and grow alongside co-operatives that are striving for progress. I am excited to be part of a collective effort that addresses immediate needs and lays the groundwork for sustainable and resilient futures. 

As I continue my volunteer work with CDF Canada, I am looking forward to using my skills and experiences to support its mission and to collaborate with the team where we work together to empower communities and foster development that is both sustainable and inclusive. 

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