Teki Paper Bags is a private social and environmental enterprise created for and by the deaf community. It is owned and managed by young, deaf Ethiopian women. Teki comes from the Amharic word “Metekat,” meaning to replace. A name suitable for a company that produces recycled paper bags. The company’s goal is to generate sustainable employment to empower deaf women and create an environment free of plastic bags. USAID has been active in Ethiopia for the past two decades working on agriculture & food security, democracy, human rights & governance, education, gender equality & women’s empowerment, global health, water, and working in crises & conflict. The international NGO has partnered with multiple local and international enterprises to boost Ethiopia’s development.
On June 2, 2022, USAID partnered with a private social enterprise called Teki Paper Bags PLC to employ over 200 deaf women in Addis Ababa. The 200 women with disabilities will produce and distribute recycled paper bags with the Addis Ababa Environmental Protection Commission, the City Administration, and the private sector. Teki Paper Bags received a $550,000 grant to fight against pollution & plastic bags and contribute to a national employment solution for disabled youth. The partnership aims to support disability inclusion, environmental protection, and women’s empowerment. USAID’s goal is to raise awareness, skills, and attitudes concerning disability rights and inclusion throughout Ethiopia.