In Hawassa, Ethiopia, the NGO is better known as “Beteseb”, which means “family home” in Amharic. The name was chosen by the children, and portrays the true mission of Let Us Change in Ethiopia: offer a family and a home to beggars and former streetchildren. The Ethiopian operation was in hands of Aynalem. She led the organisation for 10 years, and took care of the children as if they were her own. In 2020, she passed the torch to her son Robel, who is now managing the daily operation and finances.
'Founding mother' Aynalem
The Ethiopian operation was in hands of founder Aynalem E. Wolde for years. As ‘Emay’ (mother) she visited the homes every day and made sure that the operation kept running like a well-oiled machine. She maintained good ties with the city of Hawassa, monitored the situation of all the children and was always responsible for the community building that is possible thanks to Let Us Change. All those years, Aynalem formed the bridge between the Ethiopian operation and the Belgian non-profit association, thanks to her close relationship with co-founder Johan. In 2020 she passed on the torch to her son Robel.
Robel is a 40-year-old economist and has his heart in the right place. In 2010, he was introduced by his mother Aynalem to the organisation. Starting from 2020, he takes over the position of General Manager in the Ethiopian operation. He has a good relationship with the children, and always takes their needs into account in order to let the organization grow. During the day he drives around to get supplies for the children. In the afternoon he helps the children with their homework, or he works in the office for the follow-up of the finances.
Robel is a busy bee, and his background as an economist comes in handy for the future of Let Us Change. Robel wants to invest in social entrepreneurship. With the expansion of the bakery and weaving mill, Let Us Change offers extra employment opportunities. Local poor people can enjoy cheaper rates and the organization becomes self-sufficient. In the long term, Robel wants to provide vocational training for the young people in the homes. Further more he wants to acquire as much resources as possible from the local social enterprises, to reinvest in the houses. In order to realise these plans, the local NGO is supported by the Belgian department of Let Us Change and the Italian NGO IPO.