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About Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA)

Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association, ECMAA Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) 1 - Background: ECMAA was founded by a group of Ethiopian refugees in 1986 to serve their community. It has a long history of assisting Ethiopian and other African refugees and immigrants in Massachusetts. The Ethiopian population in Greater Boston is estimated at 9,000-12,000. Approximately 70% of this group has limited native language literacy skills. About 95% of the refugees who arrived in the last half decade are low-income. Those from rural areas and secondary migrants are particularly vulnerable and in need of service. One quarter of the Ethiopians in Boston are children, while the majority are young to middle aged adults (aged 18-50). The population is about 60% male. 80% has only limited English proficiency, while more than 15% completely lack English language skills. There are severe housing problems in the community, with 15% of the community homeless and another 70% in apartments of inadequate size for the number of residents. 2 - Mission/Goals: To promote self-help, integration into American society, and economic independence. 3 - Services: Since the late 1980's, ECMAA has provided the following culturally and linguistically appropriate services: information and referral for education, employment, health, housing, family and social services; cultural orientation, interpretation, and translation; advocacy; citizenship and civic action.
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