Abraham Fiseha and a group of like-minded friends formed Youth Impact in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2002. Abraham was born in Ethiopia, but was schooled and worked in the U.S. and Canada. He decided to return to home after communism fell – concerned with the fragile state of his countrymen, especially the youth.
Two-thirds of Ethiopia's population is under 24 years of age.
Children are living on the streets in Ethiopia
Abraham and his friend, Tekle, found 12 men and women with a similar vision for mentorship, and the group gave themselves to prayer, bible study, and life together for one year in order to seek out their next steps and dream up possibilities. At the end of that year, some left with another ministry in their hearts, and some, led by Abraham, his wife, Salem, and Tekle, stayed to start Youth Impact.
Youth Impact Ethiopia began its ministry with a home for orphaned boys and a home for orphaned girls. Each house took in a small group of children and provided them with food, shelter, education and spiritual guidance for 10-12 years – until the children entered either higher education or the workforce.
While the fruit of the two homes were undeniable, they called for an amount of resources that was difficult to maintain, and the team at Youth Impact felt led to provide mentorship and physical resources in a more sustainable way.
Today, the ministry operates:
A two-year mentorship program for street boys
Youth Impact Library
An educational hub for the children in one of Addis Ababa’s most impoverished neighborhoods
A place for middle and high school students to gather for fellowship, academic work and tutorial support.
At the Hope Center, boys anywhere from 12 to 24 years old are provided with two years of food, shelter, intensive mentoring, and vocational training. In addition, most boys who join the center have lost valuable stretches of schooling, so evening classes are supplied in order for them to catch up. Once their two years have finished, the boys either get jobs in the areas they’ve trained in, or continue their studies at a university.
The Youth Impact Library and Shalom Center provide a host of resources to underprivileged kids in an extremely poor district of Addis Ababa. The goal is to help youth and teens develop reading habits and a thirst for knowledge, while also fostering student-to-student and student-to-staff relationships. One hot meal per day, school supplies, uniforms, laundry, showers, tutors, and more are all provided.