The Ethiopian Community Mutual Association(ECMA) has been an operational agency for the refugees and immigrants of Ethiopia and African descents in Seattle since 1983. It was organized by a group of immigrants who volunteered their time, energy and financial resources to assist their fellow Ethiopians during hard times. This noble beginning developed until the organization officially registered as a 501(C)3 non-profit organization under the laws of the State of Washington. ECMA is an equal opportunity community organization and makes no discrimination between ethnic, colors, sex, political or religious beliefs of the members it serves.
ECMA’s mission is to facilitate a seamless integration of all persons of Ethiopian origin with mainstream United States. Additionally, ECMA aims to contribute to the social, cultural and civic life of the Puget Sound Area as well as assisting Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans to preserve and share their ancient and rich cultural heritage.
Maintain a vibrant and active Ethiopian Community in the Puget Sound area preserving our rich Ethiopian heritage, where all members are actively involved with mutual respect for each other:
- Ensuring community members are empowered to lead dignified lives in Seattle and vicinity;
- Help mold, guide and mentor the next generation to be educated, responsible, law-abiding, and respectable members of society; and,
- Extend helping hands and assist those in need.
Guiding us in our mission are our core values:
- Focus on the critical needs of our community, especially in education, job training, and healthcare services by establishing close partnership with schools, governmental agencies, employment agencies, and healthcare providers;
- Develop unique services to address the needs of new immigrants who are in need of special medical and educational assistance to become functional and remain self-reliant;
- Celebrate the diversity in gender, age, ethnicity, religion and political view of our community members; and,
- Operate and manage our association with accountability and transparency.
Who We Serve
ECMA is a non-profit organization established to provide support services to Ethiopian immigrants in the greater Seattle area. Since it’s inception in 1983, ECMA has been a place where Ethiopians came to have someone listen to their concerns and help solve their problems. Many have been assisted to get into public housing, shelters, employment, counseling, translation of important documents, support with travel documents, interpreting services for those with limited English, and counseled with health, legal and immigration issues. During unexpected emergencies and accidents that results the death of a community member, the Ethiopian Community Mutual Association is there to organize local Ethiopians to put together funds for funeral and other emergency expenses. In addition, ECMA promotes social and cultural awareness and active citizenship by organizing social gathers, sport clubs and community celebrations that brings together Ethiopians living in Seattle and its vicinity.
The Ethiopian Community Mutual Association works very closely with the City of Seattle Human Services Department, Department of Health and Social Services, and also with Refugee Federation. We also work closely the following community organization:
- Local Religious Institutions
- Educational Institutions