Cause for Celebration in Ethiopia

We are thrilled to announce the first graduating class from the Ethiopia Youth Development Program! On Friday, July 24, seven young men and women celebrated an important milestone, as they graduated from the Youth Development Program (YDP). The two remaining members of this class are completing their final schooling and will graduate by the end of September. Enjoy the smiles and stories of the graduates, as we celebrate their accomplishments and their launch into the next chapter of adult life.

The Graduates
Pictured from left to right are Tekalegn N, Kasech A, Bezuayehu S, Seble M, Abeba A, Ketama H, and Abereham H. Not pictured are Nigist T and Tamirat A.

Seble M, Hair Dresser

At age 7, Seble lost her mother and had no other family members. She lived at the Moses Children’s Home orphanage through her childhood years. Once her time at the orphanage ended, “YDP welcomed me with an outstretched and caring hand. Since then I have been receiving various support in a holistic manner such as food, shelter, educational supplies and every single basic thing to succeed in the program. First I was learning surveying as diploma program. In addition I was having a wish to work as Hair Dresser that the project could make my wish come true. Currently, I am working as a hair dresser. In the near future, I will get certificate on the survey profession and will continue my education. Next to God, I want to thank everyone who contributed in my life. I really make myself self-sustained and skillful youth! I am very happy and thankful about that.”

Abeba A, Chef

Abeba lost her mother at a young age, and she did not know her father. She lived with other family members, but after a time, they were no longer able to care for her. “Everything was dark and I lost all my hopes for living and better life. It is during this challenging and uncertain time that God prepared for me an opportunity called Youth Development Program (YDP). This project not only provided me with all basic needs such as: shelter, food, clothing, medical, life skills and so on but also blessed me with numerous opportunities which helped me to lead an independent life. After finishing high school, I joined one of the recognized hotel and tourism institutes and trained as a Chef. Shortly after working in a restaurant I got a very good opening to work as a Cook and Janitor for Children’s HopeChest Ethiopia Country Office. I am starting to live an independent life and became very confident about myself too. I am so thankful for Children’s HopeChest staff and other individuals for the love and care they have shown me.”

Nigist T, Hair Dresser

Nigist lost both parents at a young age. She lived at the Moses Children’s Home orphanage through her childhood years, but then the orphanage closed. “That was the turning point for God prepared YDP to continue my life situation. Due to the help of God, sponsors, EGCDWO, Kebena Gunet church and HopeChest, I could join YDP. Then the project provided for me shelter as a family, food, clothing, materials for personal hygiene, medical treatment, educational support, and arranged life skill trainings. I was interested to be Hair Dresser so the project helped me to get the training. Currently, I graduated and am working as a hair dresser. I really want to thank God and every one engaged in YDP. I may not achieve this success in my life without your dedication.”

Tekalegn N, Chef

Tekalegn grew up at the Moses Children’s Home orphanage, not knowing anything about his family. “When the orphanage center failed to fulfill our need and ceases providing service, God renewed my fractured hope by transferring me to YDP. YDP was different in many aspects from the former orphanage center. Not only getting supports from minor to major needs, but also I could exercise how to live in a given community and being close to a local church. Now, God made me strong and equipped in several aspects that I am going to live independently. I am a chef now and working in a small restaurant. Thank you everyone for contributing a lot in my life.”

Tamirat A, Driver

Tamirat came to the Moses Children’s Home at the age of 6, without any knowledge of his family. “After getting different supports for many years from the orphan center, unexpectedly it couldn’t work out due to their financial problem. At that time YDP comes to my life with new approaches and hope. The supports continued and the project made me continue education. Not only this, I also got spiritual support and counseling on the time I needed. I learned Auto Engine for 1 year and also got 3rd level driving license. These all could happen through the help of God and YDP. Now, I am working as a driver. Thank you for your support and follow-up.”

Kasech A, Nurse

After losing both parents, Kasech was living with a foster mother. When her foster mother passed away, Kasech went to Kidene Mihret Children’s Home at the age of 11. “After spending many years in this orphanage center, I reached the maximum restricted age that I should leave the center and was desperately looking for someone to help me finish what I started in my life until I could become self-sustained. On this critical season, God brought YDP to my life that my wish and passion to win life could come true. I joined YDP and started to live in a community. I got different supports on every aspect of my life until now I have graduated in Nursing. My life could get safe, self-sustained and comfortable. I want to thank everyone in YDP for upgrading my life!”

Bezuayehu S, Marketing

Bezuayehu lost her mother at age 5 and had no knowledge of her father. She was living with an aunt until age 7, when she was placed at the Moses Children’s Home orphanage. When the orphanage was no longer able to provide care, “At this moment, God prepared YDP to transfer and continued my hope in life. I was feeling very happy when I saw the place in YDP because it was obviously better than before. I got different supports from little needs to major areas of my life. After getting all supports, I have graduated in Marketing. I really what to thank everyone in YDP and want to say God bless you. You really make a difference in my current life and future too. Thank you so much.”

Ketama H, Construction (finishing work)

When Ketama lost both parents at a young age, he lived at the Moses Children’s Home orphanage with two of his brothers, until the orphanage closed. “That was the time that God prepared YDP and transferred us. Through the help of my sponsor and these different Christian organizations, I could continue my education with other supports. The project helped me to get skill training on home finishing works specifically gypsum works. Now I am casually working but when my contacts expand I hope to work permanently. Working on interest is difficult especially in Ethiopia and specifically for orphans like us. But YDP is making it possible that let God bless all causative bodies. I recognize your impact in my life now and in the future.”

Abereham H, Barber

Abereham lived at the Moses Children’s Home orphanage with two of his brothers, after losing both parents. “Even if being orphan is difficult thing in life, God gave me closest brothers to grow together. It was frustrating when our orphanage center failed to provide usual supports. God interferes his hand through YDP and made real our hope to continue safe and sustained life. After having many supports in YDP I trained and became a barber. Now, I am working in a barber shop. I can see God’s hand in my life and family that there is nothing he can’t do. I learned his love and patience through these past life experiences. I have different plans in life and I hope God will help me. Thank you all of you for making me achieve this in life.

Tesfatsion Tsegaye, the HopeChest Ethiopia Country Director, encouraged the graduates with these words:

“Let me use this great opportunity to congratulate the first YDP graduates of 2015 on your accomplishment. You have achieved an important milestone in life. You have completed your childhood and are about to step into the rest of your lives. I ask that you take your place in the world with integrity. M.H. Mckee noted, ‘Integrity is one of several paths-it distinguishes itself from others because it is the right path…and the only one upon which you will never get lost.’

Finally I would like to extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation to all those people and organizations involved with this ministry. Special thanks goes to Dean Hanson, the major donor for the YDP project; Ethiopian Guenet Development and Welfare Organization, Kebena Guenet local Church leadership; project committee, and project staff. Your contributions have made a difference in the overall wellbeing of the youths graduating today. Congratulations!”

We echo Tesfa’s words of congratulations to all members of the graduating class, as well as a sincere thank you for your support of the YDP. Thank you!