The PCPM aid projects have been carried out in southern Ethiopia (Borena and Guji Zones). Both regions are located on the lowlands, situated between 1150 and 1350 meters above sea level. They are dominated by pastures, with some patches of forests and arable lands. The southern regions are regularly affected by drought, including the tragic one in 2011, which also affected Somalia and north-west Kenya.
The impacts of droughts, which have affected the southern regions, are multiple:
- high level of malnutrition, especially among children;
- lack of drinking water, drying up of wells, spread of water-borne diseases transmitted through contact with or consumption of contaminated water;
- migration of cattle (and people involved in herding) due to drying up of rivers and other water sources;
- education problems associated mainly with the lack of drinking water in schools, and the need for children to skip school to work in order to help out their families financially.
The aid projects carried out by PCPM are mainly aimed at mitigating the impacts of droughts on school-age children. To this end, PCPM has been implementing projects aimed at equalizing educational opportunities that focus on:
- improving literacy among the youngest pupils in primary schools;
- stopping children from skipping school due to the lack of drinking water;
- promoting the concept of environmental protection and sustainability among children and adults.