Kembatta Mentti Gezzima


KMG represents the group of people who, literally, bear the heaviest burden of climate change and deforestation: women. In 1997 Bogaletch Gebre—an Ethiopian woman who grew up in Kembatta—started a local campaign against female circumcision and other harmful traditions. This has resulted in a revolution for tens of thousands of women (and men!) that is leading to better health and greater equality.

KMG envisions a society where women and girls are free from all forms of discrimination and violence. To achieve this vision they seek to realize the socio-economic well-being and development of women and marginalized communities through integrated and sustainable community development interventions that link the economy, society and ecology.

In a moving video, KMG’s co-founder, Bogaletch Gebre talks about the importance of education, the campaign against female circumcision and what freedom means. As a result of her work in the Kembatta region during the past 18 years circumcision of young girls has been reduced by 97%. In the video, Bogaletch describes her fascinating journey from growing up in a rural village in Ethiopia to becoming a leading human rights activist.

KMG is eager to start a wood-saving households program as a complement to the many other areas they already are working in. These include women’s health, education, economic security, and potable water and small infrastructure improvements. The first group to whom they want to introduce adobe is the Golden Hands community, the potters who are one of Ethiopian society’s poorest and most stigmatized groups. But as potters, they are also a group that possesses a long and rich adobe tradition as crafts(wo)men.