Wegene Foundation’s 18th Anniversary

The U.S.-based nonprofit Wegene Ethiopian Foundation will celebrate its 18th anniversary with a dinner ceremony in Springfield, Virginia on Saturday, October 27th, 2018. (Photo: From Wegene 2018 Oldies Night fundraiser/Facebook)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: October 23rd, 2018

Wegene Ethiopian Foundation Celebrates 18th Anniversary

New York (TADIAS) — For almost two decades the Wegene Ethiopian Foundation, a grassroots Ethiopian American nonprofit organization, has been providing financial assistance to youth and education-related projects in various parts of Ethiopia.

The Wegene Ethiopian Foundation is led by a quiet hero named Nini Legesse, a hardworking mother of three children, who came to our attention six years ago when she was honored at the White House as one of fourteen civil society leaders representing the East African Diaspora as “Champions of Change.” At the ceremony a statement from the White House noted that the work of Wegene and other honorees helped “to mobilize networks across borders to address global challenges.” Nini’s organization provided, among other services, financial support to build an elementary school in Jimma, Ethiopia.

Among Wegene’s main objectives is “to improve the daily lives of the less fortunate and disadvantaged children and their families in Ethiopia by overcoming three critical barriers in the poverty cycle: poor or no education, poor housing, and family instability.” In addition, close to home here in the U.S. the 501(c)(3) organization, which was founded in 2000 by a group of like-minded individuals in the Washington, D.C. area, also runs a kids club that raises funds through “bake sales, movie nights, crafting, and various other activities in order to create awareness and reach out to Ethiopian American youth.”

“My work for Wegene is more of a mission and it’s something that I’m very passionate about,” Nini told Tadias in an interview after she won the “Champions of Change” award in 2012. Nini came to the U.S. when she was 17 years old and says “I’m grateful that Wegene has created an opportunity to cultivate social ties to my home country and to make a difference in someone’s life at a personal level.” She added: “This work offers me fulfillment and civic satisfaction beyond imagination. I think we each have to realize our human potential for compassion and love.”


(Photo from past Wegene Ethiopian Foundation annual fundraising event/Tadias Magazine)


Wegene (WEF) at ESFNA Soccer Tournament, 2015. (Photo: Twitter @WegeneEF)

Nini shared that among her many role models is Dr. Catherine Hamlin. “I admire her lifetime devotion and mission to treating childbirth-related injures of disadvantaged women in Ethiopia,” she said. “I’m amazed at how humble and loving she is. Her book, The Hospital by the River, is one of my favorite books.” She continued: “My other role model is Mrs. Marta Gebre-Tsadick, the Founder of Project Mercy. Marta is a remarkable woman. It is incredible what she and her husband have created. They built a school and hospital and established agricultural development programs. To me, she is a woman who has become a force of nature. Lastly, but equally as important, my mother and each of my six sisters have been my role models especially because I am the youngest child in my family.”

This week the Wegene Ethiopian Foundation will celebrate its 18th anniversary with a dinner ceremony at the Waterford in Springfield, Virginia on Saturday, October 27th. “Come out for a night of dinner, dancing, entertainment, and philanthropy,” the announcement said. “We cannot wait to share with you all the milestones we have surpassed this year and our goals for the future year.”


If You Go:
Wegene Ethiopian Foundation’s 18th Year Anniversary
Sat, Oct 27, 2018, 7:00 PM –
The Waterford Reception Center
6715 Commerce Street
Springfield, VA 22150
www.wegene.org
Click here to buy tickets

Watch: Wegene Promotional CFC Video

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