NIKAT Charitable Association – Ethiopia

Project Info

Project Description

Nikat Charitable Association is a grass root community based local NGO, established by a group of sex workers in April 2010 and registered as an Ethiopian Residents Charity with license number 1758 as per the legislation 621/2009, with the aim of improving the living condition of low income women and female sex workers in Ethiopia to fight against poverty and HIV and AIDS.

The Association was first established in 2006 as a Community-Based Organisation called Nikat Women’s Association, which made it a pioneer in its field.

The association started with 108 sex workers (SWs) as members and that number has increased steadily to 189. It is led by Gelila Mekonen who is the director.

In 2010, NIKAT was recognized for its outstanding community leadership and action on AIDS and crowned 2010 Red Ribbon Award during the XVII International AIDS Conference held in Vienna, Austria and organized by UNAIDS in collaboration with Letiner Center, t

The Global Fund and Irish Aid for. The association was also selected as one of the best six Red Ribbon Award winners from the 25 winners and was awarded $20,000.

Vision: Empowering sex workers in Ethiopia by ensuring their social, political economic and psychological rights are improved and respected.

Mission: Improving the living and working conditions of sex workers in Ethiopia to fight against sexual abuse of sex workers and fight against HIV and AIDS.

The objectives of the association are to

  • Reduce the transmission of HIV/STIs by increasing condom use among sex workers, their clients, and other MARPs;
  • Improve the livelihood of sex workers by addressing their economic and psychosocial problems; and
  • Empowering sex workers in which social, political and economic rights are ensured, especially for sex workers (SWs).

The association operates in the following ways:

  • Runs its own DIC (Drop-in-Centre). The DIC provides a safe place to rest, get information, peer-support, condoms, experience sharing, information about HIV and STI, shower, food, and counseling as well.
  • Works closely with governmental bodies including the Ministry of Justice, Women, Children and Youth Affairs Office, Addis Ababa Finance & Economic Bureau, Addis Ababa Health Bureau, HABCO (HIV and AIDS Control Office) and others, the public and direct and indirect stakeholders including police officers, pimps, hotel, bar and traditional local drink houses called “Areke” house.
  • Works closely with the targeted sex workers by involving them starting from the planning of a project up to the completion.
  • Outreach activity at day and night to create formal and informal linkage with the sex workers of the town.
  • Work with partner organizations with a referral linkage and resource sharing.
  • Train former and active sex workers as Peer-Educators to train other sex workers and society, which especially makes the learning and adapting process much easier for sex workers.
  • Public sensitization by using a weekly radio program about the lives of sex workers, their rights, the service the Association provides and among other things.

For more information, you can contact us on Tel: +251-911444138, +251924403598/+251911305850, Email: