Ethiopian Diaspora Fellowship (EDF) is proud to announce our fourth cohort and the class of 2019! Every year we are more and more impressed and proud of the incredible achievements of all the applicants we get to read about during the selection process.
Our newest fellows Samrawit, Meki, Edom, Rebekah and Feven have achieved so much in their communities, schools, and careers and all have the genuine desire to impact Ethiopia through their respective partner organizations. Our fellows will be working in healthcare and agriculture management with our partners St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College, GreenPath, International Institute for Primary Health Care- Ethiopia, and Agricultural Transformation Agency.
EDF is designed to equip young diaspora professionals with leadership, service, and creative storytelling skills before sending fellows to Ethiopia for a transformative 6-month fellowship working with partner organizations in Ethiopia. To date, EDF has sent 14 Ethiopian Americans to Ethiopia and each have proved to make a difference on the ground, in our partner organizations, and back in our diaspora communities!
EDF is a nonprofit that receives all funding through community members. The fellowship program would not be here today without that support so we are asking for your help in supporting the new class and investing in the work they will execute in Ethiopia. Please visit each of the fellows crowdfunding pages and read more about their story and consider donating.
Samrawit Tamyalew is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point – she holds a degree in Mathematical Sciences and commissioned as a Field Artillery officer. She served in the U.S. Army for five years and held various operational management roles, was at the forefront of the integration of women into combat arms, and served overseas in a combat deployment to Iraq. In Iraq, she was the Organizational Liaison Officer where she facilitated communications between senior stakeholders which allowed them to control operations and coordinate assets onto over 700 high-risk objectives. She has been working for the past year with the Hurricane Maria relief efforts, standardizing and overseeing the logistics coordination for all equipment that enters and leaves the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Her long-term career goal is to work in social impact and create a platform that will generate opportunities for the greater Ethiopian community in a for-profit space. Samrawit is enthusiastic to be an EDF Fellow and learn how she can serve her community.
Meki was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and moved to the U.S. with her family at the age of 4. A recent graduate from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she is currently involved in refugee resettlement in the United States.
As a strong believer in the power of education, Meki and a group of close friends created Tesfa. Tesfa is a charity that helps primary age students in Ethiopia stay in school by alleviating educational related financial burdens. Tesfa’s mission is to become the bridge between education and underserved children across Ethiopia. Meki will be pursuing a Master’s in Public Health in the Fall of 2019.
As an EDF fellow, Meki is looking forward to working in the public health field in Ethiopia, as well as expanding Tesfa’s network in Ethiopia.
Edom is a graduate from Dartmouth College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Geography with a focus on Global Health. Edom’s academic and work experience has focused on issues related to health equity and development.
After graduating, she moved to the UK to pursue an MSc in Control of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where her coursework exposed her to a wide range of quantitative and qualitative epidemiological methods to analyze, design, and evaluate public health data and programs. Edom lived in India, where she worked on a project addressing treatment delivery models for Tuberculosis. She has also lived in Zimbabwe, where she managed a project that investigated geographic access to HIV care.
As an EDF fellow, Edom hopes strengthen health systems through research at the intersection of implementation and policy and foster relationships with local communities.
Rebekah Tsadik has a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a Master’s degree from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy. In 2018, she engaged in hands-on study of the global food system through visits to farmers and producers in Sicily, Spain, and Thailand. Prior to graduate school, Becky and her sister operated a business called Bereket, or “gift” in Amharic. They served modern Ethiopian cuisine throughout Los Angeles and donated a portion of proceeds to nonprofits in or servicing Ethiopia. This year, she spoke on a panel about reducing food waste in San Francisco; managed volunteers for MAD, a symposium in Copenhagen about restaurant industry reform; and earned a scholarship to Eco Practicum, an independent study program on food, waterways, and inequality in upstate New York.
As an EDF fellow, Becky will continue to advocate for underserved communities and small-scale farmers. She will bend the narrative about agricultural investment in Ethiopia to favor a system that not only sustains, but also thrives.
Feven is a recent graduate from Duke University where she earned a dual degree in Public Policy and Global Health. She is interested in working on issues surrounding international development, health, and policy. Through the U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program, she worked as an intern at the Department of State within the African Bureau. Upon graduation, Feven traveled to New Delhi, India to join the Political Section of Embassy New Delhi where she helped research and write the 2018 Human Rights Report for India. At Duke, Feven was on the executive board of DESTA, Duke’s Ethiopian and Eritrean Student Transnational Association, which fosters appreciation for Ethiopian/Eritrean culture.
Feven is excited to return to Addis Ababa as an EDF Fellow and hopes to learn a great deal about initiatives related to Ethiopia’s rural development.