Around the world, the family unit plays a key role in the stability of the local society—a fact that is especially true in developing nations. Another fact is this: communities whose economies are struggling at the very local level often see high levels of orphaned and abandoned children. These abandoned children—sometimes referred to as “poverty orphans” are left to fend for themselves because parents cannot provide for them. They are often taken to orphanages in the hope that they’ll have a better life, be educated, and have a higher chance of survival. This is a choice that no parent should ever have to make.
Our Family Empowerment program seeks to change this reality. By walking alongside each family as they take significant, proven steps, the Program shifts the narrative; it helps keep families together. It helps them directly thrive in their community, but more than that – it ripples outward into the entire community itself. As more and more families are empowered through the Program, the outlook of the entire community improves. The local economy strengthens, which leads to more opportunity for everyone.
In Ethiopia, the Help One Now Family Empowerment program is led by Aschalew Abebe, our local leader. He and his team work to select eligible families, based on both the family’s need and their passion to change their situation. Aschalew then looks for the most profitable and viable business ventures in the area so his team can provide training in business planning, management, and development. Finally, we help provide tangible items to help them succeed, ranging from a milk cow or a chicken farm to supplies and equipment for a barber shop, workshop, or small cafe to raw materials for spice shops or for tailoring clothes. During this process, Aschalew and his team offer mentorship and business counseling to ready the family for the next stage of their lives. The program also includes basic food support, personal health education, and spiritual development, and we verify that their children are receiving an education. Every effort is taken to ensure that our Empowerment Program is as holistic as possible.
This Program has proven that it works (in fact, it works so well that we are working to implement Family Empowerment Programs in our other countries as well). Already, two different communities in Ethiopia are being changed through the hard work being done by Aschalew, his team, and the families that are enrolled. Over 50 families have completed the Family Empowerment Program, 20 families are currently enrolled, another 50 candidates have been identified and will begin the process soon, and many more families will go through this program as soon as we can provide the funds for them to do so — and that’s where you come in!