Initially, the organization was called Hope for Destitute Women and Children Development Association (HDWCDA), which in November 2009, re-registered and received a license from the Ethiopian Charities and Societies Agency under its current name.
Action for Basic Development Initiative (ABDI), is an Ethiopian Resident Charity founded in May 2007 by a group of committed and experienced peers from Adaba district who had got the opportunity of attending higher education and professional careers with different national and international organizations.
The purpose was to contribute for the alleviation of poverty and tackling the problems of disadvantaged community groups (women, children and older people) in the unreached rural parts of the country.
The Inception of ABDI
This little boy grew up, and made his dream a reality by founding ABDI and setting out on the journey of brining about positive and sustainable change in the lives of women - mothers and sisters - living in the remotest and unreached areas of rural communities.
Testimony from Mr. Aman Wabe, 57, Founder and Executive Director of ABDI
"Similar to many Ethiopians in my age, I was born and raised in the rural setting. In my case, that was Bucha-Raya Kebele (Lowest level of government administration), Adaba district of West Arsi Zone in Oromia Regional State."
"I was a herder until I turned about 10 years old. Then, I got the privilege to attend school at Bucha-Raya Primary School. This school was opened thanks to the local government with the support of the local better off individuals but only went to 5th grade. When I passed to 6th grade, I had to transfer to the school in nearby Adaba Town so as to continue my education. It was on my trip back and forth when I started to really notice and recognize the difficult living standards women in rural communities were leading."
"I dreamt to change the lives of these many needy mothers and sisters in my community. I remember seeing how women carried large loads of firewood on their backs, like donkeys. And then, they walked distances of 8 to 10 kms to only earn as little as 0.50 cents (USD$ 0.02) to ETB 1 (USD$ 0.05). That was the harsh daily labour burdening women everyday so they could support their families. This affected me deeply."
"Believing a better way for my mothers and sisters to earn an income was out there, I convinced myself that one day in the future, I must support these mothers and sisters through all means possible, even my own pockets, if necessary."
"This dream remained alive, after I completed my university education and worked in various governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as African Development Aid Association (ADAA), Women Support Association (WSA) and HelpAge International
"Finally in May 2007, the lifelong dream was supported by extensive experiences fostered during my career which gave me the courage to start. I set out to raise funds and technical backups from family members and friends. With these supports, ABDI was established and started its work in response to the unaddressed call for help of needy and previously unheard mothers and sisters began. The very first intervention freed the women of Bucha-Raya kebele from that tedious task that forever changed my outlook. ABDI organised them into self-help groups which engaged in various income generating activities, buying and distributing different ruminant animals and more.”
"I would like to extend my deep and heartfelt gratitude to those who have stood by ABDI and its work over the years. On behalf of the women and other vulnerable groups of my community, I thank the founders, the members of the Board, the gracious donors, local governments and the staff as well as volunteers for their commitment, partnership and unlimited support."
Beginning from 100 women in 2007, ABDI is today contributing to improvement of the wellbeing of more than 40, 000 vulnerable and needy community members in Adaba, Gedeb-Hassassa and Kofele districts in West Arsi Zone and Dinsho district in Bale Zone of Oromia Regional State.