Y’all I told you last week on The Happy Hour #96 with Jen Hatmaker and Rachel Hollis that I would be journeying around the world with them, and we all arrived home a few days ago after being in Ethiopia together for a week. Jen told us both that we would fall in love with all things Ethiopia and I’m here to tell you that she wasn’t lying, in case you thought she might have been!

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I loved the food. I loved the scenery. I loved the people. I loved it all except the time I almost vomited in the van – yeah I didn’t love that. I think it’s a win for a trip if you only almost vomit and don’t really ever vomit.

Our team came from all over the US and met up in Ethiopia with one mission. To listen and tell the stories back to you. We journeyed out each day with that one goal in mind. I would ask myself each day if I was ready to be entrusted with despair and hope all wrapped up in one story. To be prepared to handle their pain with respect, and to handle their success with such over the top joy was my mission each day.

Our team was awesome, and it was great to experience Ethiopia for the first time with them! Stick with me through this post today. I’m gonna share a few stories with you, and then let you know how you can help! I promise it’s easy. I promise we aren’t asking too much of you, and I promise that you will want to get in on this!

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I was new to Ethiopia, but this wasn’t my first time to be a witness to work done in a foreign land, and I’m here to tell you that the most wonderful thing I witnessed with my own eyes each day was the leadership that Help One Now has on the ground in Ethiopia. Can I tell you that there is not one American working for them in Ethiopia. Not one. Every single leader for Help One Now is Ethiopian.

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What this means is that what happens throughout the programs in Ethiopia works in Ethiopia. These men and woman (LOVE this woman and her heart for people and her journey towards her leadership role!), know what works best in their country, and Help One Now trusts them to do just that. It was truly amazing to see the programs that they are developing for their own people.

We were honored to be able to see a few of their programs that they are running, but there’s one specific that I want to share with you guys. The program that meant the most to me as a momma, woman, wife, leader, dreamer, and entrepreneur was the Family Empowerment Program. It is just what it says, nothing shady about it, they are empowering families to thrive.

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I’m honored to introduce you to a few of the ladies that have been a part of this program and their lives, their children’s lives, and their communities are being transformed daily through their empowerment.

Meet Etsaganet. This was the first woman that we met and I was so challenged by her bravery and strength. Her story goes the same way that most of the women that we met went. Struggles. Sickness. Disappointments.

But her story didn’t end with those struggles.

Etsaganet’s empowerment changed the entire trajectory of not only her life, but all the people that live in her house. Help One Now identified her as a vulnerable woman, they provided 6 months training for her, helped her identify her skill set, and then set her up for success! Y’all success is just what I witnessed!

Her struggles no longer defined her, but now her business was defining her in ways that she never imagined it could before.

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She’s running her own business. On her own. Cooking this amazing food every single day and making a living by doing it.

I have several kids in my home that want to be chefs one day – thanks to their daddy always teaching them things in the kitchen – and watching this woman live out this dream in her own way while providing for her family was overwhelming to watch.

She told us what Help One Now has meant to her. She has lost her dad due to illness, her mom is sick, and she is now supporting her family and creating a new life for them.

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This is her whole family that lives with her. As we were taking this picture and they were talking to us, her mom – the most adorable woman in the front row – lost herself to her emotions. Tears. Lots of tears. Then every single daughter in the back also lost themselves to tears. They told us that they were so happy for what Etsaganet had done for herself and for their family.

You see, this empowerment program didn’t just change Estaganet’s life, but every single person in this picture is living a new reality.

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Basically she’s running the Ethiopian food truck in her neighborhood. And let me tell you that us Austin peeps know a good food truck when we see one! In fact I stopped at a local taco truck just this morning!

There she is doing her thing and serving her delicious food.

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What I noticed about this woman + the other ladies we met:  Chaltu, Beletech, & Ginet is that they all are strong, brave women who needed a bit of a push. Haven’t you ever felt that way before? You needed someone to believe in you, and help you with resources to get you moving. That is what this team on the ground that’s led by all Ethiopians is doing for these vulnerable women. They aren’t simply handing them money and food and hoping that gets them through the next year. They are giving them resources, training, materials, confidence and then letting them do their thing and THRIVE while doing it.

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These women are rocking it, and we’d love to ask you to help more women just like them! If we all gave what we could give today we could make a huge difference in the community work that Help One Now is doing on the ground.

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Here’s the break down. It takes $1,000 to send one woman through the entire year long program. When she’s completed the program she’s a rocking business owner. Running her own business. Making her own money. Supporting her own family.

This program doesn’t create dependency, but yet sustainability.

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So ….

Are you willing to donate whatever you can today? $10 is awesome. $98 is awesome. $250 is awesome. $1000 is awesome. Seriously EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR COUNTS.

We’re so excited about you partnering with us, that we have a few gifts for you guys ….

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Of course you aren’t giving for the gifts, but we’re happy to share them with you.

Alright guys. Let’s do this. Not for us, but yet for all the ladies in Ethiopia who have a great passion to run their own business and need someone to walk alongside them, share resources with them, train them, and then watch them change the world.

I wouldn’t ask you to do anything I hadn’t done, so I’ve sent my gift in, will you join me?

Let’s help more women run businesses in their community! Give your gift HERE!