About the organisation
Who we are
We are a small but significant Bristol based charity working closely with our implementing partner, For Development Association Ethiopia (FDAE) rooted in the community in Ejere, West Shewa Oromia state. We are the only NGO permanently working in this Woreda as it is overlooked due to its location, poor infrastructure and lack of representation at a national level to drive local change.
Our vision is to see healthy, educated and self-sufficient communities within the Ejere district of Ethiopia with a particular focus on education for girls.
For the next two years, the focus of our work is;
To build a second girl's education centre, Prudence House, based on the success of our first centre, Toby’s House. This will enable more motivated girls from peripheral villages to complete their secondary education.
To expand our secondary school scholarship beyond 32 girls to complete secondary education
To expand our support for girls through further education in training colleges and university
To continue to support 85 primary school children through a school hardship fund
To continue to support 20 children at the special needs unit of Ejere Primary school and promote awareness and development of these facilities
To pursue health improvement for children and young adults within the educational setting
Strong recognition and respect for the community underpins our activities. We work alongside our local communities, who are best placed to understand their own problems, we provide support to help them find sustainable solutions.
We believe that small development projects change lives, build resilience and give communities dignity.
Why we are needed more than ever
Many children in Ejere come from low or no income families, with challenges from subsistence farming, single parent families, being orphaned, chronic illness or indebtedness. Often the children need to work in the informal sector to support themselves risking abuse from their employer. There is still a culture of favouring male children over female children. The net result is a high drop out rate of girls and young women from education compared to boys in the same community.
People living with disabilities are marginalised. It is hoped that by investing in the disabled children's unit, and providing financial support for these children to go to school, will give everyone a chance at education and future employment.
The demand for our girls scholarships is growing as people recognise the benefits of girls finishing secondary education and gaining places in further education and employment. Previously girls were restricted to very few opportunities, potentially early marriage or tempted to work as domestic workers outside of Ethiopia far from their family and friends.
Over 70% of girls did not have access to menstrual hygiene products due to cost and availability. To date we have supplied more than 1,550 reusable period packs to school girls. Use of these packs has increased the girls confidence to remain in school when they have their period. This is vital as the girls academically fall behind their male counterparts when they miss up to a week of school each month, and is one of the many reasons why we are working to bridge this gender gap.
About the role
The treasurer will lead the trustees in the oversight of the charity’s strategic financial
management. While all trustees are collectively responsible for the management of the
charity’s resources, the treasurer will act as the lead trustee in articulating the financial
governance of the organisation and will play an active role in ensuring that all trustees are
fully able to understand the charity’s financial arrangements and contribute to financial
discussion and decisions.
All trustees meet once a month for a two hour meeting on the second Thursday of the month. These meetings are a hybrid of in person and online from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. Additionally the trustees meet for an away day on a saturday once a year for a review and to build on best practice.
Main duties and responsibilities
In addition to those duties and responsibilities performed by all trustees, the treasurer is
generally considered to lead on:
• overseeing, and presenting budgets, accounts, management accounts and financial
statements to the board of trustees;
• ensuring that proper accounts and records are kept, ensuring financial resources
are expended and invested in line with charity policy, good governance, legal and
• being instrumental in the development and implementation of financial, reserves
and investment policies;
• liaising with the charity’s independent examiner;
• monitoring and advising on the financial viability of the charity after liaising with the
charity’s independent examiner;
• creating sound financial instruments for the control of charity assets;
• implementing and monitoring specific financial controls and systems and ensuring
that they are adhered to;
• advising on the financial implications of the charity’s strategic plan;
• liaising with the charity secretary to ensure that the charity’s annual accounts are
compliant with the current Charities SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice);
• acting as a counter-signatory on charity cheques (including any electronic
transactions) and any applications for funds;
• maintaining sound financial management of the charity’s resources, ensuring
expenditure is in line with the charity’s objects; and
• contributing to the fundraising strategy of the organisation and helping to ensure
that fundraising targets are aligned to the overall purpose of the charity and its
The incumbent treasurer has estimated 2-3 hours a month (plus trustees meetings) to cover the role. October and November do require more hours as this is when our end of year accounts are put together and liaison with the independent examiner is required.
Tasks include payments, insurance, transfers to Ethiopia, shipping costs and answering ad hoc enquiries from the charity administrator and other trustees.
Our ideal candidate
As a small team, there has always been a family friendly atmosphere and camaraderie. Since covid, meetings have been a mixture of in person, hybrid and fully online. The current team consists of a businesswoman, a retired GP, a university lecturer, a civil servant, and a major charity staff member. They are supported by an administrator for several hours a week. Everyone has a mutual respect for the skills they bring and a passion for working in the charity sector. As a team we know there are many issues that have impacted on the development of the Ejere region but by keeping within our remit we can maximise our impact, developing an award winning NGO (2018 Manager Workinesh Daba awarded Ethiopian Women of Excellence award for her community development work. 2008 Model NGO status awarded by Oromia Regional Government, and ranked number 1 NGO in the region).
The ideal candidate would live in or close to Bristol to enable after work in person meetings. They should be motivated by the knowledge that they are part of a team that is bringing real change to a community in Ethiopia. Being willing to volunteer at two or more fundraising events per year would be desirable. Events we have run in the past vary from a large swing dance at Ashton Gate to the smaller scale street stall at the Cotham Hill Street Party in Bristol.
The following characteristics, knowledge and experiences in addition to those required by all trustees, are essential for the role of treasurer:
a good understanding of financial management and accounting
strong business and financial acumen
Working knowledge of Quickbooks
What’s in it for you
For the past 7 years we have had the benefit of a professional accountant as our trustee treasurer. This has brought incredible benefits to our small charity by improving our financial skillset and advice. The knowledge an accountant can bring to the trustees table improves the efficiency of meetings and enables informed financial decisions to be taken quickly. As a small charity this is important as all the trustees give their time voluntarily and time saved enables the team to concentrate on other agenda items.
In 2019 For-ethiopia invited representatives from small Ethiopian Charities based in the UK to form an Ethiopian specific network called “Small but Significant”. There are currently 8 small charities who liaise together sharing knowledge and updated information from Ethiopia. This collaboration extends our networking potential and has opened up opportunities previously unknown to us.
Being part of our team will give you valuable insight into how a small charity operates and the impact small but appropriate development projects can have on a specific region. We are members of SWIDN (South West International Development Network), and as such have access to their wide range of resources, further training opportunities and networking within the sector. As a trustee you are eligible to attend any of the events organised by SWIDN.
Over the past 18 years we have worked in water, health and education, before focusing on education.
Water: Reduced the time needed to travel for water from 2 hours to 15 minutes for over 40,000 people due to the provision of wells. Latrines were provided for schools improving hygiene and safety.
Health: The region (110,000 people) had no doctor until 2023. We were delighted to be able to improve the maternity unit to the standard required for an obstetrician to be employed.. Our mothers and babies first initiative has increased the The numbers of women now seeking medical care during pregnancy and labour has increased from 40% to 60%, and solar fridges have removed vaccine wastage.
Education: Our area of expertise is education. Initial support was focused on equipment provision such as tables, chairs, books, bookshelves etc. As our partnership with the community has developed we have been able to focus the resources on the biggest needs, namely access to education for impoverished children and girls at secondary school age.
We achieve this through our girls education centre providing scholarships for secondary school girls from remote rural areas. Of the 100 girls who have gone through the scholarship scheme so far, 60 have gone on to further education. All of them would not have been able to attend the four years of high school without the scholarship. We also focus on giving dignity back to impoverished children and children living with a disability. Period poverty is endemic, we have given out 1550 reusable period packs to girls across the region and provided menstrual health training in schools.
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