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Lauren Yaffe's Fundraiser:

Empower Women in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with Developing Families Together

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Lauren Yaffe


In May 2012, my family and I visited my cousin who was living and volunteering in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We spent time tutoring at a local University, visiting patients at several hospitals and clinics, hanging out with orphaned children and teenagers who were preparing for and recovering from spinal surgeries and meeting with the founder of the non-profit organization Developing Families Together ("DFT") that provides micro-loans to impoverished Ethiopian women.

For one day, my mom and I spent time with Kidest Belete, the founder of DFT to learn how and why she created a non-profit organization to empower, educate and financially support women in Addis Ababa. In addition to learning about the non-profit from a business perspecitve, we left the office for the countryside and visited 2 of the micro-loan groups of women to see how they have succeeded in starting and sustaining businesses with the support of international donors.

The first group of women used the loan to start a restaurant serving home cooked meals to construction men during the day in the countryside. The second group of women became wholesalers for milk and coal and created their own Ethiopian spices for sale such as Burberry (a staple in Ethiopian food).

Inspired by the hospitality, humility and work ethic of the women that we met with in Addis Ababa, I am determined to raise $2,100 to support an entire group of 20 women start a business, gain access to medical care and learn important business and life skills. The micro-loan itself is only $200, but the additional $1,900 is needed for DFT to provide business and life skills training to the women as well as offer healthcare services for the women and their children. DFT selects the women that are most in need; those women that may have HIV/AIDS, children and no source of income. DFT works side by side with these women over the course of 2 years providing training and mentorship before letting the group of women operate the businesses on their own. Of 31 groups that DFT has formed, 30 groups have created sustainable businesses to this day!

With your help, we can sponsor a group of 20 women in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to become empowered, self-sufficient income earning mothers for their families.

Thank you for your time!



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