At the end of October 1981 Karlheinz Bohm travelled to Ethiopia for the first time and visited a refugee camp with about 1,500 semi-nomads of the Hauiwa tribe in Babile / Eastern Ethiopia. It was with them that he launched the first project in the approx. 30 km distant ErerValley, where the refugees could settle in four new villages.
Today, Menschen fur Menschen runs integrated rural development projects in nine Ethiopian regions. Menschen fur Menschen developed the idea of "integrated rural projects" to initiate lasting and sustainable change. In cooperation with the local population, there is an integrated and interlocked approach to development activities in the various project categories. These programmes include agro-ecological projects, construction of water systems, students' hostels and construction of schools as well as the improvement of the health care system and, to a growing extent, education programmes and projects to improve the situation of women in society. Additional infrastructural and individual projects are run, too.
In Ethiopia, more than 780 employees (among them, only 5 are Europeans) work with Menschen fur Menschen.