“There comes a point where we need to stop pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in”. These words from Bishop Desmond Tutu embody the heart behind Help One Now’s mission to empower families in developing countries through high-capacity local leaders with proven solutions to end extreme poverty. Over the past 10 years we have learned a lot…we’ve tried a lot…we’ve had successes and failures…and we’ve come to the conclusion that empowering families through education and entrepreneurship is the most effective, sustainable and scalable way to end poverty.
Around the world, the family unit plays a key role in the stability of the local society. While strong families build strong communities, a breakdown in the family—due to illness, unemployment, socio-political instability or any number of reasons—yields vulnerable communities and systemic poverty. The Help One Now Business Launch Program (BLP)—designed by our local leadership in Ethiopia—seeks to change this reality. It’s a highly collaborative program designed to combat chronic poverty by equipping families to achieve long-term financial independence, family stability and to become active contributors to the growth and stability of their local economy. This holistic approach starts in the head with a growth mindset, builds in the heart, and takes shape through the hands. The goal is personal, cultural, social and economic transformation…no small task.
As we have focused more and more on family empowerment, we have seen remarkable and lasting change. It confronts extreme poverty at its root. We have seen families start businesses and then start second businesses, hire employees, and care for vulnerable children on their own. We have seen women send their older children to trade schools and universities. We have seen children reunified with extended family because of the stability created through empowerment. We have even seen an empowered family legally adopt an orphaned child! This program has been working so well in Ethiopia, that we are now in the process of adapting and implementing it in all of our partner communities around the world. To date, we have enrolled over 700 families in our Business Launch Program in Ethiopia, Haiti, Uganda, and Dominican Republic with an average increased income of more than 300% — and many of these families now have 2-3 years of self-sufficiency under their belt!
With a deep focus on empowering families and the decision to expand this business launch program, we knew we needed someone brilliant to lead us forward.
Enter the one and only Aschalew Abebe…Dr. Aschalew Abebe, that is. We have been partnering with Aschalew since 2013. He is the perfect fit for this role, after all, he designed the program! Aschalew has two decades of community development experience, education and training; he understands the ethos of Help One Now and how we operate around the world; and all of our partners have a deep respect and love for him. He is a strong leader, a forward-thinking innovator, a passionate world-changer, a master collaborator, and an endless supply of laughter and joy. Aschalew Abebe Temesgen, PhD. is our new Global Empowerment Director.
The Global Empowerment Director is a highly collaborative leadership position responsible for the operational oversight, vision and expansion of the HON Business Launch Program. He will support local leadership in each HON partner community through the process of vision casting, assessment, planning, implementation and ongoing evaluation of the program. In the long term, the Global Empowerment Director will lead a global empowerment team to successfully fulfill the Business Launch Program portion of the overall organizational goal to empower 100,000 families in 10 years.
In essence, Aschalew will be empowering the local leaders with whom we partner as they work to empower families around the world. There is no better person to fill this role, and we are excited and blessed to officially welcome Aschalew to the Help One Now Team.
“Family empowerment goes to the root. It is about breaking the cycle of poverty. It’s the best way forward to creating positive change in the world. Poverty, trafficking, violence towards women, they are all branches of a tree without the roots of family empowerment. When we empower families, brokenness is healed, dignity is restored, the impact is magnified. Healthy families take care of others. You heal families, you heal communities”.
—Aschalew Abebe Temesgen, PhD. Global Empowerment Director, Help One Now