Africa’s Mother Teresa

Above: Abebech Gobena, who has been called ‘Africa’s Mother
Teresa’, is the founder of Ethiopia’s oldest orphanage. She is
the subject of CNN’s African Voices. – - (Cover Image: CNN)

African Voices

June 22, 2010

Every week CNN‘s African Voices highlights Africa’s most engaging personalities, exploring the lives and passions of people who rarely open themselves up to the camera. This week the show profiles Abebech Gobena who has saved the lives of hundreds of orphans and is known as “Africa’s Mother Teresa.”


  • Abebech Gobena is the founder of Ethiopia’s first orphanage
  • Her humanitarian work started when she saved the life of a baby girl suckling on the breast of her dead mother
  • Now Gobena’s orphanage cares for over 700 children
  • Watch: Meet Abebech Gobena – Africa’s Mother Teresa

    Video: Taking Care of the Children

    Video: Educating A Generation of Children

    12 Responses to “Africa’s Mother Teresa”

    1. 1 Martha Jun 23rd, 2010 at 1:20 am

      Thank you Woizero Abebech Gobena. You are a true social entrepreneur! I just hope we all Ethiopians can learn from you and be productive members of society in our beautiful nation. You are the most humble and selfless human being. Your faith and the love you have for your people and country is measureless.

    2. 2 Ye Oak Town Lij Jun 23rd, 2010 at 4:02 am

      She is one of those rare angles on earth!

    3. 3 mesfin Jun 23rd, 2010 at 5:18 am

      Thank you Woizero Abebech for the great {humanitarian} work that you have done and continuing to do for your people. The history of that country will always remember you.

    4. 4 Haile Jun 23rd, 2010 at 7:15 am

      W/o Abebech is such a wonderful and inspiring lady who has done an incredible job for the helpless children and for the nation. Some good people and the government has helped her thus far. As she said well, now is the time to assist her in planning for the future of this organisation to secure a better future for those under her care. If a single woman has been able to achieve so much with little resources, (just imagine the possibilities with those who have plenty of resources). It takes a heart. Thank you W/o Abebech! May you be blessed with long life!!

    5. 5 Sabataa Dubbii Jun 23rd, 2010 at 2:15 pm

      This is for Ababach the living knight.

      “A knight came first, a very worthy man
      who, from the earliest time when he began
      To ride, had vowed himself to chivalry
      Honour and truth, freedom and courtesy
      and nobly had he fought in Holy Land
      In fifteen battles, had held command
      In Africa, and in Russia,
      And won high honour in the land of Prussia
      And both in Christendome and Heathenness
      He was renowned for his great worthiness
      To him a seat of honour all men gave;
      For he was very wise as well as brave,
      Yet in his port as meek as is a maid.
      He never a discouteous word had said
      In all his life to any living wight.
      He was a very prefect, gentle knight.
      In all his life to any living wight.”

      —— Ababach Gobena is a living warrior! She is perfect and gentle. Bless her.
      Canterburry Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

      Sabataa Dubbii

    6. 6 Desta Jun 23rd, 2010 at 11:30 pm

      w/o Abebech: I’M proud of u. u are my hero.

    7. 7 saijan Jun 24th, 2010 at 5:42 am

      a wonderful gift. good samaritan

    8. 8 Brochu Jun 24th, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      Abebech Gobena, God give you health & a long life to see your children’s success.

    9. 9 Dallas Jun 26th, 2010 at 5:40 am

      There are millions of caring and loving Ethiopian mothers. Emmama Abebech Gobena just happened to be the special one. May she be blessed with long life.

    10. 10 Öiechâ Önî_Öné Jun 26th, 2010 at 11:13 am

      Abebech Gobona is a persona of her own!

      Religious instituions Canonaize some persons for ‘good deeds’ accomplished in thier life time. So much so thier deeds are usually ascribed as a ‘miracle’than human. I do not believe in miracles, but most were canonized more for their political acts than the humanitarian deeds. We can take our own AbunéTeklé-Hymanot as an example.

      To me Abebech Trancends, if not all, most. She was almost a middle aged women when she faced such human tragedy on a routine-visit and gave up all and gave it all. Her humanity and humane motives far out wiegh her religiosity. This can be shown from the simple Orthodox incantation that she conductes and her outlook towards religion. Paraphrasing her “There is only one God and everything else is a division made by humans here below” How perfound and transcendent!

      To say Abebebech Gobena is a role model may not mean much. She has set such high stadard it is hard to follow. But some horizon to gaze at and aspire to (reach)! I am proud and lucky to share this Planet and this Ethiopia with Abebech Gobena!

    11. 11 Dg Jul 1st, 2010 at 9:14 am

      Thank you. You make me believe in hope again!

    12. 12 WEGENE BIFTU Dec 17th, 2011 at 2:40 am


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