1. The beginning
Yenege Tesfa was founded in 2001 in the city of Gondar in Ethiopia out of the philosophy that homeless and parentless children deserve a better future. The organisation became a registered local NGO in 2004, and in 2012 they became a proud street work partner of Mobile School. Together with Retrak Ethiopia, Yenege Tesfa became the first organisation to implement the Mobile School methodology on the Ethiopian streets.
2. What's in a name?
Yenege Tesfa means ‘Hope for Tomorrow’ in the Amharic language. The general mission of the organisation is to provide Gondar’s orphans and vulnerable children with a happy family life and a chance to a home, education, good health and a bright future.
3. 1 + 1 = 2
The organisation runs not one, but two mobile schools! In 2016, Yenege Tesfa expanded its programmes to Debarq, a town located about 100km northeast of Gondar and the gateway to the famous Simien Mountains National Park. A lot of children leave Debarq, looking for more opportunities to build a future in Gondar. That’s why Yenege Tesfa started to implement different programmes in this mountainous town to tackle the migration of children.
4. Inspiring leadership
The founder and manager of Yenege Tesfa is Nigisti Gebresselasie, who received both national and international recognition for her incredible work for street-connected youngsters and communities in Gondar. In 2012 and 2018 we were delighted to welcome Nigisti in Leuven to discuss and exchange ideas on the partnership between Yenege Tesfa and Mobile School.
5. Mobile library
Since the mobile school quickly found its way on the streets of Gondar, the team decided to develop a second cart themselves: the mobile library! This box on wheels filled with books gives children the opportunity to relax and enjoy a book during the sessions on the street.
6. Thousands of contacts
Every year, Yenege Tesfa reaches over 5000 contacts with street-connected children with their mobile school interventions on the streets of Gondar. After the implementation in Debarq, the numbers of children reached by the organisation almost doubled, making it one of the projects with the most contacts in the Mobile School network.
7. Host of the Ethiopean exchange
In 2017, the Ethiopian street educators from Yenege Tesfa Debarq, Yenege Tesfa Gondar and Retrak Hosanna gathered in Gondar for a one-week exchange programme during which they discussed challenges and successes they encounter in their work on the streets. Moreover, the street educators also created brand new activities to play on the Ethiopian streets.
8. Link with Belgium
Yenege Tesfa has close links to various organisations in Belgium. Thanks to the continuous efforts and support of vzw Nosissa, Dertiende Ster, Caprioolkinderen and Embrace, the organisation is able to offer a wide variety of programmes to the communities in both Gondar and Debarq.
9. Wide range of other projects
These other projects include 8 Homes for Tomorrow, a learning centre, a vital care programme, agricultural support for single mothers, family reunification, income generating activities and many many more.
Want to know more about Yenege Tesfa’s incredible work in Ethiopia?