Today’s highlighted organization is The Ethiopian Community Center in Sacramento (ECCS) located in California. As I was looking up Centers and Foundations who have been on the frontline of helping the Ethiopian community, I found the website for ECCS. I wanted to let others know about the humanitarian work of others around the country. Speaking to the former President of ECCS, Kebede Gashaw, sparked a curiosity and motivated me to learn more about how others became interested in this line of work and how the people are being helped in their respective areas.
Fifteen years ago, Kebede started working with a small group of people to get them involved in caring for Ethiopians as he saw the needs of those he called newcomers and the older generation who stayed at home and were not involved in any activities. It was worse seeing the children in this state as well. He then formed a non-profit which is now The Ethiopian Community Center in Sacramento. They had ambitious plans and raised money to buy a facility that focused on training and support. They used the funds raised to purchased a host of computers and computer related accessories. Shortly after forming their new computer center, it was robbed. They became discouraged and struggled to recover but have not been able to rebuild upon their former plans for providing computer training.
Currently, they continue to fund raise for projects and focus on social events such as American and Ethiopian holidays, summer BBQ’s and winter activities to forge unity and provide encouragement to those they serve. There are 40 to 50 people who use the Center’s resources out of the predicted 4000 to 5000 Ethiopians in the surrounding area, as stated by Kebede. They hope to restart their goal for training and technology but with a new standards for security. At this time the Center has a new President Shemelis Workneh who is hoping to move the organization further in enriching the lives of other Ethiopians. As for Kebede, he has just returned from Ethiopia where he frequently travels for business and assists in the farming industry.
You can help to support ECCS by visiting their website (link above). Contact them and see how you can help. I really enjoyed my conversation with Kebede. He really is a humble individual who has a heart for his community. I loved his sincerity and respect for the other members of the organization, especially the new President Shemelis Workneh.
Stay tuned for more interesting highlights on Ethiopian based non-profits. Next, I will be hosting a Center in Massachusetts.