By: Aster Mengesha Gubay
Friday, June 18, 2010
A unique history, an exuberant culture, and an undeniably beautiful population - Ethiopia is truly a country blessed with endless potential. But to fully harness these possibilities groups such as the Ethiopian American Youth Initiative are desperately needed. Initially started as a support group for the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia, EAYI has evolved into a social network that is dedicated in spreading the Ethiopian culture and its’ distinctive history, establishing developmental projects to create a more productive Ethiopia, and bringing about solutions to the direr situations of this East African country. All of these goals, which, should be noted as realistic ones, contribute to a brighter future for the Ethiopian population are clearly illustrated within the well thought out mission statement of the Ethiopian American Youth Initiative.
As we move forward, our organization aims to change its name and reassess its Mission Statement. The name we will be considering during the 2010 EAYI Conference in Washington, D.C. is the “Ethiopian Global Initiative.” With the new name comes a new Mission Statement, which is,
“…to combine and capture the social and intellectual capital of students and professionals to further engineer the transformation of Ethiopia by engaging a new generation of socially responsible Ethiopians. In partnership with leading public and private sector organizations, the Ethiopian Global Initiative aims to undertake and support sustainable developmental endeavors in Ethiopia. The Initiative also aims to promote the interests of Ethiopians globally by serving as a catalyst for community-based projects that promote civic engagement and economic prosperity.”
This proposed Mission Statement highlights all the essentials to taking steps in the right direction. The intent is to gather young minds, scholars, professionals, entrepreneurs, etc., and do “collectively what can not be done individually” and essentially “go forth and prosper.” A big emphasis is also placed upon the concept of a collective collaboration by incorporating “public and private sector organizations” in hopes of bringing together a diverse set of ideas and launching them into projects that will all in-turn transform Ethiopia. And who wouldn’t want that?
The Mission Statement also touches base with enhancing Ethiopian interests on the global fronts, interests that I interpret may include seeing more athletes in global arena, creating a more profitable Ethiopian coffee market for the coffee farmers, introducing a vibrant democratic system in Ethiopia, and getting the younger generation of Ethiopian students more opportunities in the workforce and to compete world-wide. Much praise should be contributed to the fact that this organization accepts that effective change cannot—and subsequently, will not—happen instantly over night. (Patience is included in this journey.) By saying this group is a “catalyst for community-based projects that promote civic engagement,” we lucidly communicate that we hope to get other things started with a push from the Initiative.
It is safe to say that this organization has definite potential in achieving its’ goals and excelling on the national and global level. Linking and networking with Ethiopians, Ethiopian descendants, and with people who highly favor the Ethiopian culture around the world, will in the long run create a much stronger alliance among the global Ethiopian community. I personally believe anything can be achieved once unity is obtained and it is clear that the Initiative’s sole purpose is to bring people together who have the shared interest in seeing Ethiopia and Ethiopians succeed. With such a mission statement, the Initiative will have many years of successful business, a flourishing membership, and will be able to obtain its' goal of transforming Ethiopia through collective action.
Aster Mengesha Gubay is the Director of Government and Community Relations for the 2010 Ethiopian American Youth Initiative Conference.