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Refuges and Returnees

Ethiopia has a long history of hosting refugees. EOTC-DICAC has been working to improve the life of refugees for the past 60 years. The commission provides assistance to meet their basic need and follow up on their social well-being through the provision of food, shelter, medical assistance and social support. It provides a safe space for vulnerable refugees; provides home base assistance and special treatment for refugee survivors.

The commission provides education to address the psychosocial, social and intellectual development needs of refugees across 10 refugee schools. Our education activities primarily focus on Primary and Secondary education. It also creates Income generation opportunities by providing vocational training. Moreover, the Refugee and Returnees Affairs Department (RRAD) works to solve camp disputes and enhance mutual relationships between refugees and host communities.

Health and Social Affair Program

The EOTC-DICAC Health and Social Affairs Department works to mitigate multifaceted health and social problems in society. Preventing communicable and non-communicable diseases and harmful traditional malpractices, promoting proper nutrition and a balanced diet, and encouraging personal and environmental hygiene through WASH programs are major focus areas implemented under the department.

Additionally, the department works to empower and build the capacity of vulnerable communities by providing essential training and creating opportunities to generate income. The church has effective structures such as Dioceses, Parishes, Sunday schools, and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) that can help to reach communities. In the past twenty years, EOTC-DICAC has played a significant role in tackling health and social challenges. The most notable achievement was our engagement to prevent the HIV/AIDS virus.  Our efforts to raise awareness, reduce gender-based violence, and improve community well-being have led to significant progress.

WASH Department

Since 1988, EOC-DICAC is actively involved in water resource development activities and paying considerable contributions to create access to safe water supply, sanitation, and hygiene.  EOC-DICAC, water supply, hygiene, and sanitation projects target disadvantaged rural communities. It involves the community in problem identification, need assessment, project planning, and decision-making.

The overall objective is to improve health and productivity by creating access to water supply and sanitation and ensuring the quality of life; increasing school retention of girls by reducing the long hours spent fetching water and improving household food security and income through irrigated agriculture on a sustainable basis are also its objectives.


The development department is a major department responsible for poverty reduction among the vulnerable groups of the community, promotes sustainable natural resource management, provides support to communities affected by natural and manmade disasters, and promotes gender equality, among others. It is also engaged in building the capacity of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, (EOTC) so that it can respond to the development and social needs of the society. Therefore, the department has many programs to implement to meet the objectives of EOC-DICAC. There are four major programs Inner Church Development Support Program, Church Forest Development Program, Food Security Program, and Relief & Rehabilitation Program. Depending on the contexts it also implements a triple nexus approach, integrating (Development, Humanitarian and Peace-building/advocacy programs).

Gender Justice and Women Empowerment

The Gender Unit is a crucial division that plays a pivotal role in driving positive change with a strong emphasis on addressing gender inequalities and empowering marginalized communities. EOTC-DICAC is dedicated to advancing gender equality, promoting inclusivity in all aspects and ensuring gender justice. The primary objective is to promote gender equality, inclusivity, and women empowerment within our organization and the public. This includes advocating for women's rights, challenging gender norms and stereotypes, and ensuring equal opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their gender identity.

Through comprehensive analysis, the unit identifies areas where gender inequalities persist and develops targeted interventions to address them. This may involve designing and implementing gender-only projects, manuals, capacity-building training, policies, and practices that foster gender-responsive approaches across various departments of the organization and the public. The unit engages with external partners, civil society organizations, faith communities and government entities to advocate for gender-responsive policies and legislation. This ensures that our organization remains accountable and responsive to the needs and aspirations of the community. In addition, it works closely with internal bodies, to integrate gender considerations into decision-making processes, recruitment practices, and career development opportunities. By doing so, they work towards creating an inclusive and equitable work environment that values diversity and provides equal opportunities for professional growth. By integrating a gender lens into all aspects of our work, we strive to create a more equitable society where everyone has equal opportunities and rights, regardless of gender.

Peace Advocacy & Ethics Department

Peace initiatives are the hallmark of the church. The commission had actively involved; in conflict resolution efforts in conflict-prone areas. Currently, EOTC-DICAC implementing projects in collaboration with the NCA, PADD/Brot, DKH, and Tearfund, peace projects in Amhara, Oromia and Afar Regions, where there is religious, ethnic and border conflict. EOC-DICAC keeps working to promote peace, create just societies where all religions enjoy the freedom of belief, resolve disputes, creating an opportunity for peaceful coexistence.

The commission is working to bring justice, unity, and peace to the country by involving faith actors and communities in social cohesion and reconciliation activities. The development commission strives to improve mutual relations between religions and resolve disputes beforehand to build bonds between religious communities. Inter-religious dialogue, Youth mobilization and sports festivals (Sport for Peace) are major approaches implanted by the projects.