Wegene Ethiopian Foundation

 

Wegene Youth Club

WYC Executive Summary

One of our priorities is to help build a more connected and engaged community. In order to achieve this objective, We engage the youth to assist them to gain important skills in philanthropy, social responsibility and civic participation. The youth is provided a platform that allows them to learn new skills (e.g. leadership skills, teamwork, responsibility, and problem-solving ability) increase their sense of belonging within their communities. The children of the board members have established a sub-group within WEF in 2006, which is called the Wegene Youth Club (WYC). WYC fundraise through their bake sales, craft sales, and sponsor events throughout the D.C. metropolitan area, such as movie nights in Northern Virginia, feeding the homeless initiatives in Washington, D.C., and dance parties in both Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland. WYC raises awareness among the Ethiopian and Ethiopian American youth living in the U.S., introduces Americans to the hardships faced outside of the United States, and helps connect WEF to local businesses in the DC area. WYC has secured local vendors for their programs, such as pizzerias and t-shirt companies, and has attracted a more diverse member base through their programs. It is a great thing to donate money to a cause. But there is something special about touching the cause with your hands and hearts to solving problems with your actions. That is why Wegene engages the youth in a variety of ways to help their communities. The WYC members have been donating their time, energy and resources.
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WYC Initiatives in the U.S.

It is estimated that the Ethiopian American diaspora population in the Washington, D.C. metro area, including the states of Maryland and Virginia, is approximately 350,000. Here are a few initiatives that WYC engage in, within the area:

  • Holds multiple fundraising bake sale events in the DMV area ( at the entrance of grocery stories like Gaint, Safeway and Walmart)
  • Holds fundraising movie nights and Zumba events (usually at the Sydenstricker United Methodist Church in Springfield VA)
  • Tutors multiple children from elementary to high school in the DMV areas (uses the rooms of multiple churches in the area)
  • Supports multiple homeless shelters in the DMV area (provides toiletries, food, clothing, shoes and supplies)
  • Holds Community field days at different DMV parks to raise funds and spread our foundation’s mission
  • Organizes cultural shows and Ethiopian food tasting events to introduce the Ethiopian culture to the community
  • Volunteers to clean local schools and parks on regular basis
  • Collaborates with local schools, pizza stores, groceries stores, and vendors
  • The foundation sponsors professional accomplished guest speakers to discussion sessions to address issues the Ethiopian American community faces in the US (including identity issues, bullying, how to properly raise children in the US, how to apply to college and so on.)
  • Sponsors the “Laptops for Success” programs for under privileged children in the DMV area
  • Provides the youth to acquire leadership experience by letting them serve in the youth club board
  • Collaborates with local DMV area non-profits, including providing volunteers and some financial assistance