Friends! Aschalew Abebe here, Help One Now Global Empowerment Director and Ethiopian Local Leader!

After casting the vision for the Family Business Program years ago, I’ve seen the incredible impact this program has made on my community, and I now have the pleasure to travel to Help One Now’s seven other partner countries, meet with their leaders and oversee the empowerment work. I recently had the pleasure to visit my good friends John and Orpah Chinyowa in their beautiful country, Zimbabwe! The purpose of my visit was mainly to assess the progress of their development work, specifically the Family Business Program.

When I arrived in Zimbabwe, Pastor John greeted me at the airport. He welcomed me to Zimbabwe, thanked me for coming, and the trip began! I knew there was much to do in the six days of my trip, so we got to work soon after my arrival!

John and Orpah launched The Family Business Program in Zimbabwe in the fall of 2020, and a total of 56 families are already empowered! During my time, I was able to visit 10 of these families. Each family I visited was working hard to change their situation for the better. They are committed, brilliant, passionate, and resilient people.

After visiting these families, it was clear that the Family Business Program has positively impacted each family. The impact was clear from the data, but also the nature of the families! The data typically shows that after a family goes through the program, their income has dramatically increased, their kids are enrolled in school, and they’ve established a savings account!  However, the beautiful part that doesn’t come across in the data is the pure joy of a family’s transformation. Hearing the happiness when each family speaks about how their lives have changed since starting the program was beautiful to witness. We are expecting that this number will continue to grow exponentially, as there are still many more candidates who wish to go through the program.

One of my passions in global development work is training the next generation with the skills they need to empower their communities. While in Zimbabwe, I was happy to hold training sessions with the staff members. I was able to cover project planning, monitoring, and evaluation. The main focus was on doing close supervision of empowered families, collecting and compiling information, and reporting project progress. I also trained the leadership and management staff on leading change and transformation.

Overall, I had a wonderful experience in Zimbabwe. The hard work that the Zimbabwe team did to host me and plan our trip did not go unnoticed! I had a wonderful time staying with John and Orpah. Their home was warm and full of life and love! A true reflection of who they are as leaders. I also enjoyed Oprah’s incredible cooking, along with ice cream and watermelon every day! I’m so thankful for their kindness and generosity and can’t wait to visit again.

Together We Build!

Aschalew Abebe