Ethiopian Society of Winnipeg

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Housing Project 98.


It seems that there is always someone who is very concerned about what is going on back home and how to help. Some of us care enough to help when we get a chance. I am one of many that follows the western civilization and the new life style in North America. The thought of helping others back home always seemed "mission impossible". Until my friends and I came up with the idea of saving up our income tax-return,  to send it home to help the poor.

Our dreams to give a helping hand started to become a reality, when one of our friend Elias went to visit Ethiopia.  Elias was visiting Ethiopia when he came across  a group of families in the Entoto area living in a canvas tent.  It was hard to swallow for Elias to see the homes of these people, a simple canvas tent.  It had no bedroom, living room or dining room.   It was just a tent that several families lived in for 5 years. It is really hard to imagine.  Elias was  saddened by seeing the living condition, especially the children living in the tent day in day out and be it rain or shine. It brought tears to his eyes to see the poor living conditions, but Elias knew at that moment these families needed more than his tears or sympathy.


This was the tent they called home for the past five years. Very durable (Shera DenQuan) survived for five years in below 0 temperatures,  rain and the scorching sun. This was the last year for it to be used.

Elias said "I did not know what I was promising but I wanted to promise to do everything possible to help them."  Elias  researched and found out that, tt would  cost us $300 CDN  to build a home for a family.  Elias gave the families his word to tell  his friends in Canada about the sad experiences.   He promised to do what ever it took to help build a house.

Elias came back to Canada with a video tape and pictures of the families living in the canvas tent. After hearing the stories from Elias, seeing the tapes and pictures  We were all moved and so determined to put our words into action.


Kids (our hope) checking their new home and trying to help their parents.

There were 17 families that needed a home . So, we divided all the seventeen families for two of us each, which cost one person Only $150 CDN.   The money coming out of our pocket didn't compare to the hardship the families went through.   None of us had to think twice before we started to make this a reality. In addition to our contribution for "The Housing Project",  we had a social (party) evening.   Which really helped make our mission possible.

We did it!!!  We managed to build 17 houses we promised to build. That is a moment none of us will forget..   Many of us visited the families we helped and brought pictures for the ones what weren't able to go. It is a wonderfull thing one can do.  It just goes to show us that it doesn't take a lot of effort or money to make a difference.   All you need is determination, hope and persistence, the rest will just fall into place.


The father, proudly standing by the door in 1998.
Today the father of five kids have passed away after being ill for a few months. He passed away after about a year his home was built. At least he was happy for a year before his death. Today our generation we hardly contribute for our country, or we have so many reasons and excuses not to. Mostly not knowing how to go about doing it.  It makes us so proud being able to contribute this way and being able to see the results.


During the rainy season or extreme weather conditions we are secure in our cozy warm homes. We go camping for the weekend to "rough it"  and stay in a tent for a night, and could not wait to get home if it rained or we get a little bit uncomfortable.  But this was their  home no matter what the weather conditions are during the day or night, no where to go or no where to hide


During the construction of the houses,  the families were their own engineer, contractor and builder. All we had to do was provide them with the money to get the material.  Our helping hand lifted them from feelings of hopelessness.  They had faith in us to extend a helping hand, and our help from many miles away gave them hope, faith and strength to do the rest.  Build a house




Just look at the smile you get when you give a gift from the heart.  Click on the picture to enlarge the smile.