About us

Who we are. What we do. Why we do it.

Find the answers to all your Ethiopiaid-related questions.

Our history

In the autumn of 1987, Sir Alec Reed returned from his first visit to Ethiopia. He saw what many people might expect – widespread hardship, suffering and poverty – but he also saw passion, knowledge, and ambition.

Sir Alec knew that it would take something simple to make a huge difference to the lives of many people. Starting in October 1989 with an investment of £1m, he created a platform for years of change.

Ethiopiaid has grown without losing sight of its relatively humble beginnings. Sir Alec’s initial investment has since grown into more than £37m in partner grants over 30 successful years.

In 2002 we opened Ethiopiaid in Ireland. From simple beginnings, focusing on connecting Irish people with our Ethiopian partners, we have grown to become an independent, sustainable organisation with our own voluntary board of directors and partners in Ethiopia.

We are connected to the larger Ethiopiaid family in the UK, Australia and Canada through a shared belief in working with Ethiopians to help them achieve the potential that so inspired Sir Alec Reed in 1987.

Our approach is simple and continues to be effective.  We raise funds for and make grants to local Ethiopian partners to achieve lasting change and improve the lives of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable communities.  We know our strengths and our limitations. We do not promise to change the world, or even all of Ethiopia. What we do know – from firsthand experience – is that our partners make the biggest difference in their local communities.


Our vision and mission

Our vision – an Ethiopia in which every person has access to quality education, healthcare and a life of dignity.

Our mission – breaking the cycle of poverty by enabling the poorest and most vulnerable and their communities to live with dignity, to build resilience and achieve real and sustainable solutions to the challenges they face. 

Our approach

To fulfil the promise of the 2030 global goals, our five year global strategy is designed to deliver significant change and improve the lives of some of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable communities. 

Our focus now is on how we can help escalate and embed this change and support Ethiopia’s equitable development to ensure that no one is left behind

To read Ethiopiaid’s Global Strategic Plan 2020-2024 click here


We focus on the needs of vulnerable Ethiopians at grass roots level. This hinges on sustained relationships with trusted Ethiopian partners. Our partners know the context and solutions; we listen and provide appropriate support. Growth and development are tracked in local communities using robust monitoring and evaluation. Partnerships continue as long as there’s a clear need and opportunities to make a lasting impact.

A global network

Our offices here in Ireland, the UK, Canada and Australia are run by small teams of specialised fundraising and grant making development professionals. We share expertise in communications, project data and impact reporting. Pooling resources across the organisation helps us increase our effectiveness at local level. Together we strive to provide excellent service, both to our partners and our supporters and donors.


Our work would not be possible without our donors – they are central to everything we do. We continue investing in opportunities to provide donors with tailored experiences. Ethiopiaid is committed to meeting the needs and preferences of individuals, groups, grant makers or institutional funders. We connect donors with causes they care about, and maximise the impact of their giving in a way that’s transparent, responsive and accountable.

Our Board of Trustees

Patricia Stephenson

Patricia is Chair of Ethiopiaid Ireland and an international development expert, who has lived and worked in East Africa for several years, managing complex projects in volatile and challenging contexts. She has worked on a range of topics including governance and human rights, access to education for women and girls, access to justice, and women's empowerment.

Niamh Carruthers

Niamh (B.A. Hons, M.Sc.) is Secretary of Ethiopiaid Ireland and an accredited management consultant specialising in nonprofit funding, fundraising, and strategy development. Niamh is currently undertaking a Ph.D. with a focus on Irish philanthropy and lectures at TU Dublin. Niamh is passionate about advancing research and strengthening philanthropy in Ireland.

Matt Hartnett

Matt runs a private investment firm, Atlantic Capital, having previously worked in Paris, London, New York and Zurich for a number of investment managers.

Andrea McNamara

Andrea is a solicitor, former barrister and a Chartered Tax Adviser working with EY Law Ireland. Andrea specialises in advising charities and non-profit organisations across all sectors.

Jimmy Fearon

Jimmy is a passionate leader in the not for profit sector and is CEO of Debra Ireland. From an organisational perspective Jimmy's focus is - what does good really look like? How do we get there? His ability to bring about improvement is based on his working experience with KPMG and their blue chip client base and Dataconversion Direct where he provided long-term business solutions to a myriad of organisations.

Donate now

With your donation, our local partners can restore a vulnerable Ethiopian’s dignity and help them rewrite their story.

Here are other ways you can help

Fundraise for us ⪢

Whether the event you’re planning is big or small, here’s all the info you need.

Become a regular giver ⪢

Your regular gifts are so important to us and so simple to set up.

Leave a legacy ⪢

A legacy gift has the power to transform lives in Ethiopia, and with it, create lasting change in a community.

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