Community Mutual Assistance Association, Inc. (ECMAA)
522 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139
Contact: Mr. Binyam Tamene
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
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.
To promote self-help, integration into American
society, and economic independence.
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.
Currently, ECMAA provides:
- Basic access to social, interpreter and community services-funded
- Information and referral services-funded by the City of Cambridge
- AIDS/HIV Prevention Education-funded by the Department of Public