Hello from Malawi!

It’s Ray Misomali, Help One Now local leader! I am honored to work in Malawi to empower families and facilitate growth and development in my community. With my background in public service, non-profit management, business development, and my partnership with Help One Now, I am committed to serving and empowering my community.

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia and visit my friend and Help One Now Global Empowerment Director, Aschalew Abebe. Aschalew is an incredible friend and has a well of knowledge in development work, and I was excited to learn from him. 

Heading to Ethiopia, I felt hopeful and expectant for everything I would experience there and how I could use what I learned to help impact my community. After hearing many success stories, I couldn’t wait to see the work being done to empower families, students, and communities in Ethiopia. 

Upon arrival in Addis Ababa, I met up with Aschalew right away. He was extremely hospitable and immediately welcomed me into the community and culture. We attended a church service, ate at a local Ethiopian restaurant, and began visiting a few of Help One Now’s initiatives.

Throughout my time in Ethiopia, I was able to experience the Family Business Program through the lens of the families who have participated in it. The ways their lives have changed since starting their small businesses is phenomenal. The impact will last for generations to come!

Each of these businesses was unique and suited the skills and resources of the business owner perfectly. Not to mention their businesses are filling the needs in their community. 

For example, one business that we visited was a grocery store. The owner runs her store as a quick roadside shop out of her home, selling snacks, drinks, and other goods. Both of her daughters help her with the business. With their business success, the family has been able to establish personal savings and is saving with a microfinance group! There is a lot of foot traffic from the busy road bringing customers to her shop, leaving exciting opportunities for expansion. 

Another business we visited was completely different! It was a stationery shop run by college graduates. Their team is extremely talented and creative. They are located in a heavily populated area near the university and already dream of expanding to include graphic designing and t-shirt printing. 

We also visited coffee shops, farms, livestock businesses, and more! Each business requires unique skills, resources, and knowledge, presenting new challenges and growth opportunities. 

The beautiful thing about each family we visited is that they have each created their own business that perfectly suits them and their community. This model not only empowers the family but also provides the community with needed resources and supports the local economy. The ripple effect of empowering one person impacts so many lives.

Changing a community at the core takes partnership on so many levels. Thanks to the partnership with the Ethiopian government for sustainable land permits, many of these businesses could thrive. Thanks to the global partnership, each business’s startup opportunities are made possible by those who have generously donated to the Family Business Program. On a global level, partnership and community with Aschalew in Ethiopia will bring change in my own community in Malawi. 

I am so grateful for the time I spent in Ethiopia. It was a blessing to visit with Aschalew and see the life-changing work happening across the country!

Together We Build!

Ray Misomali