Ethiopia · People

Godana Tedadari-OUT! Well, almost.

So I was watching the Ethiopian news the other day with my mom when I saw the most interesting program.


Godana Tedadari is an Amharic word used to describe people who live in the streets, day in and day out. You see them all over Addis, sleeping in the streets in the middle of the day and all over the corners and traffic lights, begging at night.

In the TV program, they had collected as many of them as possible, even maybe close to 1,000 of them and put them in one area.

They interviewed some of the Godana Tedadari about life on the streets, how they live and how it is. Almost all of them responded by saying it’s the worst possible position that a person gets to be in. They sounded sincere as if they really did want to be out of that.

The organizers said that they will be working with each and every single one of them, training and developing their skills to go and get a job and eventually to get out of the streets.

It sounded like a pretty good idea to me. I just imagined Ethiopia without anyone bugging you by the side of your window at every traffic light. I really liked that idea. Also because, I believe that our Ethiopian people are capable of anything and they compose many different kinds of skills to become part of the positive changes in Ethiopia.

The next day, I was talking to a friend about how this idea sounded so great to me. Little did I know, he worked with this kind of organization for quite sometime before. He filled me in on a few details and I was really surprised.

When working with Godana Tedadari, there are a couple of methods that is used to get them out of the streets.

  1. Reintegration

In one particular family, most of the time, every single member lives on the streets; the mother, father, son and daughter. So at this integration process, they put the family together and give them a place to live until all the issues are solved. The thing they don’t know is that every single person in that family has a different reason to be out on the streets. The reasons as to why the son lives on the streets, is different from the daughter’s reasons.

He gave me a single scenario where there were a mother and a daughter who lived with a step father and a step brother. All of the members of this family were living on the streets and the organization took all of them and put them back in a house to live together. A couple of months later, they found out that the step brother had raped the girl back then. Now how can these people live in the same house again after all the damage that was already done?

  1. Rehabilitation

In this case, they put the Godana Tedadari in a rehabilitation center and teach them all sorts of things and get them away from the streets for a while. After their time is complete and finish their training, they are given some amount of money to go back to their respective towns (out side of Addis Ababa). The thing is they never board the bus to go back. They all just stay in Addis and go back to the way they lived.

So, it got me thinking, is this thing going to work? I mean, they said they will complete it in 3 years… Who knows…

What do you think?

General Question though…


3 thoughts on “Godana Tedadari-OUT! Well, almost.

  1. Well, this is an idea I had for as long as i can remember about this specific issue. Apparently there are many filthy rich people that live in ethiopia as i hear from my friends. Maybe this is a little far fetched or I’m just too naive but this is what i would have done if I was “filthy rich” with enough monetary resource.

    first let me say that America has 50 states continentally. People live by working in factories, different businesses, hotels, resorts, you name it they live there. Even though “washington DC” is the capital of the country, you don’t see people crowding it to live there as if that’s the only place to work and live. Therefore, in the same token, why is addis looked as if that’s the only place to grow and build a business.

    having said that, if I was “filthy rich” I would get out of Addis and build a self sustaining city. Build a factory, apartment buildings, shopping centers, grocery stores, hospitals, places of worship, hotels, and have the government set up government branches. I would then gather as many of the “godana tedadari” and put them to work in the factory, grocery store, and shopping centers. They would then live in the apartments and pay rent and take care of themselves. they would have everything they need in that town including government branch to do their government duties. This way they don’t have to go to Addis. This will not only eliminate the over-crowding problem in Addis, but also the “unpleasant” look of the city with the godana tedadari folks just living in dirt, garbage, piss and sh*t. This would also mean that the country would expand it’s civilization to other parts of the country outside addis. this will attract other business owners to expand their business to those parts of the cities. My idea is very broad but it’s just an idea. maybe someone capable of making deals with the government has better chance of making it a reality. I wish in my lifetime I’d see “California” in Harar, Maybe “New York” in Tigray, “Miami” in Dire Dawa…. I hope you get the idea….

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