Project Mercy

Project Mercy, Inc. is a Christian , non profit organization located in Yetebon , Ethiopia , founded in 1977 by Marta Gabre-Tsadick and Deme Tekle-Wold. Over the past 18 years, Project Mercy’s original mission has been expanded to include community development and self-help programs.

The international ministry of Project Mercy was launched to provide relief and relocation assistance to Ethiopian refugees. The ministry has expanded to include Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Guinea, Iraq, Kenya, Malawi and Sudan. In 1993, the organization shifted its focus to creating a relief and development model that can be used by others to help break the cycle of famine and poverty in communities. They have taken a holistic community development approach to the Yetebon community (a farming district in Central Ethiopia) with a variety of programs to help both the physical and spiritual needs of the area.

Yetebon, Ethiopia

Yetebon is a small village located 9 km from Butajira, and is about a two-hour drive south of Addis Ababa . It has a population of about 70,000 people. Yetebon is the home of the Gurah people who are tradesmen, herdsmen, and farmers. Project Mercy sits on 53 acres (210,000 m 2 ) of land, donated by the elders of Yetebon. The people Project Mercy serves in Yetebon are predominantly Muslim believers. There are many mosques and Ethiopian Orthodox churches in the area.


In 1974, Marta Gabre-Tsadick, her husband, Demeke Tekle-Wold, and their children were forced to flee Ethiopia, barely escaping the chaos of the emerging Marxist government. Marta, the first woman senator in the Ethiopian government, had been identified as a supporter of Emperor Haile Selassie , and because of this, her execution was assured. After hearing this news, Marta and Deme made the decision to flee to Kenya . After first finding help there, the family moved to the United States. Eventually, they all became US citizens, but Marta and Deme made to return to help the people in Ethiopia. So, in 1977, they established Project Mercy in Yetebon, the birthplace of Marta’s father. It was started to provide emergency reliefand relocation help to refugees. They wanted to “return to their homeland to do everything they could to educate their future leaders in restoring its rich heritage” ( Marta eventually had the opportunity to return to Ethiopia. She received word that a few of the elders of Yetebon wanted to meet with her. The elders expressed their hope for their children’s lives, and it was no hope. Project Mercy is affiliated with Share Our Strength(SOS). Share Our Strength works with organizations like Project Mercy to identify the most efficient ways of expanding existing social services, and to replicate exemplary models. Project Mercy was originally started as a school for children, grades K-10. In December 2002 Project Mercy used a US $ 20,000 donation from SOS to feed 600 people for six weeks, focusing on severely malnourished children and their parents. In 1983, Marta wrote and published a book, Sheltered by the King, which describes the hardships she and Demeke, along with their children, endured while fledging to the United States, and eventually establishing Project Mercy.


When it started, Project Mercy provided emergency relief and relocation assistance to African refugees . Project Mercy enlarged icts initial focus and, for Nearly two decades, it not only raised Provided emergency aid, intended to help icts HAS expanded educational support and backing for refugee evangelists . Project Mercy provides social services , including emergency feeding, job training, health care , HIV / AIDS education, irrigation systems, agricultural development, orphan support, and education . Project Mercy not only responds to crises, but also focuses on self-sufficiency, sustainability and measurable impact.

“Said Marta in 2009 as she describes the community development model of Project Mercy. “We can not educate children, we are not only able to treat the problem, we can not just treat the symptoms of malnutrition in the clinic. The project is still in the process of being carried out by the Commission and the Commission. through which God’s love can renew the heart of the nation.

Childcare Programs

Project Mercy recently embarked on a new orphan and foster care program called the “Children’s Institute”. Orphans in the United States or in the United States of America, where they would accept and provide care for vulnerable children. The plan provides for an intimate and nurturing environment for 200 young children in a family-like setting of a family home, and anticipates the construction of 30 family homes. The homes will have a garden along with a cow. Construction has begun with significant progress being made on the first section of six homes. Currently a number of orphans are being fostered by the Yetebon compound. Many Yelebon, Yelebon, Yelebon, Yelebon, Yelebon. Thousands of people have benefited from this initiative and nearly 8,000 can now read and write for the first time because of these programs.

Education Programs

The Medhane-Alem School has about 1,600 students enrolled in Kindergarten through grade 12, and there are over 90 graduates of the high school who are currently enrolled in various universities within Ethiopia. The School Meal Program also provides two meals per school day to each of the students.

Skills Enhancement Programs

A Skills Enhancement Program is empowering men and women of the community by training them in marketable skills that they can use to earn an income. Women are being trained in traditional spinning of cotton, weaving sneakers, creating embroidered linen table and making elegant jewelry. Men are learning masonry, construction material manufacturing, carpentry and metal working. In addition to learning a valuable trade, every individual enrolled in our Skills Enhancement Program must also learn basic reading, writing and arithmetic.

Healthcare Programs

Project Mercy operates the Glenn C. Olsen Primary General Hospital. This state of the art facility is equipped with diagnostic services, as well as Surgical Ward, Pediatric Ward, Ward Delivery and Medical Ward. Additionally, health classes are taught on personal hygiene, food keeping, housekeeping, and communicable and non-communicable disease control. The hospital also has people from the community who have gone through training to become sanitarians. They go into the mountains and outer areas of the region and teach families about hygiene and sanitation practices.

Relief Programs

Providing a source for future food sources is the key to eradicating future famine. Initiating family food security measures and maintaining a means for income. Project Mercy’s agricultural program’s focus began as a result of the 2003 famine. Project Mercy worked hard to deliver monthly dry rations dispersed to 200,000 heads of families at sites within a 180-mile circumference of Yetebon. Project Mercy also cared for the most severe cases of malnutrition in its emergency feeding centers. Project Mercy’s Supplemental Care program involved 75,000 children who were fed five times per day. An additional 1,300 children and adolescents were cared for in our Therapeutic Feeding Program (fed intravenously to the severity of malnutrition). In spite of the horrendous effects of famine,

Agriculture Programs

Demonstration Gardens

The farmers in the rural areas of Ethiopia had not been taught a lot of newer farming techniques or how to replenish their land. Project Mercy started off in the field of agriculture. Gardens were started using a variety of nutritious vegetables – many of which were new to the people of Yetebon. Broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, kale, spinach, etc., have been introduced to broccoli. The seeds of some of the new vegetables were also dried up for the next planting and shared with those in the community who were interested. The Project Mercy Gardens are also used to provide a large portion of the food for the School Meal Program.

Drip Irrigation

It is a long time ago that they needed to break down their crops and that they would wash their crops. Project Mercy began experimenting with drip irrigation within its own gardens to manage the effects of the weather cycles. Afterwards, the drip irrigation program is enhanced by the irrigation of the drip irrigation bucket kits.

Fruit Trees

ECHO (Educational Concerns for the Hunger Organization) has been extremely helpful and supportive of fruitfulness, including avocado, mango and papaya seeds. Once the trees reach a certain growth stage, they can be used for grafting. The avocado, mango and papaya survive well with little water and are excellent sources of nutrition. Once the root stock is built up and growing strong, local residents. These trees will generate nutritious fruit at home sites throughout the community to produce a cash crop in good times and serve as a buffer in times of scarcity.

Dairy Cattle Breeding

Additional funding and expertise continues to be invested in a dairy breeding program, which hopes to dramatically increase milk production through successful crossbreeding and artificial insemination. The number of new calves born under the program continues to grow. Barns have been constructed on the 350 acre site in Cha Cha, Ethiopia and new equipment is also in place.

External links

  • Project Mercy – Home at
  • Share Our Strength – Ending Childhood Hunger in America at
  • The Project Mercy Story at


Personal Letter From Marta Gabre-Tsadick, December 13, 2005.

  • Charity Navigator Rating – Mercy Project at
  • New Hospital at Mercy Project at
  • Share Our Strength – Ending Childhood Hunger in America at

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