My name is Beyene Haile, born and raised in Ethiopia. My family and I came to Canada in 1991 as a result of civil war.
Prior coming to Canada, I worked under the Ministry of Education in different positions and as a Deputy Mayor of Aksum City. I lived in the Sudan as a stateless person and worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross. I lived the lives of refugees went through, lived through, I tested it, I experienced it be it as the tension, homelessness, statelessness, living with hunger living in a war torn country and being traumatized by all things
The journey my family endured was very long and harsh, and filled us with doubts of ever finding each other again. We faced hardships but we didn’t kneel down and succumb to these hardships but kept going and we survived. We had to overcome man-made and natural disasters including, drought, famine and war. Despite these challenges we grew stronger from the experience.
Following in my father’s footsteps, a leader of many villages in my home country, I have always wanted to give and do more for my people and were deeply connected and trusted. I find myself always wanting to belong and, contribute to my community, whatever that may be. It was how I was raised.
Currently I am working as a Newcomers Settlement Advisor with the Windsor Essex YMCA, helping Newcomers settling in to Canada.
In my personal life, I believe in acting locally and internationally to serve humanity.
My personal vision is believing that one thing leads to another and when people are given the opportunity, the entire community is improved.”
This can happen by sharing my vision to like-minded people, who believe as I do that educated people can solve problems. This can bring Hope to impact educational change, which can help communities overcome common problems of poverty, famine, drought, war and disease.
That is why, in 2006 I cofounded Voice for Hope Educational and community Development Inc. with a mission statement to relieve poverty in developing nations by providing food, education, health care and other basic supplies to persons in need.
Voice for Hope Inc. is a Windsor, Ontario based community organization committed to providing the educational tools necessary to help communities overcome adversity. Our focus is on Ethiopia, particularly Aksum.
Believing in this, by cooperating and partnering with Rotarians and none Rotarians, Voice for Hope members are supporting an elementary school and a new high school in my birth village in the outskirt of Aksum city in Northern Ethiopia. To do this, the role of Michael and Shelly Duben with their organization, Rotarians Enhancing Learning in African Youth (R.E.L.A.Y.) is significant. I am also a proud member of Lassalle Centennial Rotary Club, which is a key supporter of this cause.
Also after doing needs assessment of health needs in the community under the strong leadership of PDG DR. Donna Schmidt and other senior Rotarians and Rotary International a clinic for 25,000.00 is under construction.
This a dream becoming true and showing the true nature of Rotary services across the world.
For the volunteer work I contributed, I have been awarded the following awards.
Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee Medal, Newcomer Champion Award, Alumni Award of Distinction, Person of the Year and Peace Maker Medal.
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