Featured image: Seeds of Africa
Launched in 2007, Seeds of Africa takes the unique approach to address poverty in Africa on a family level. By using the powerful potential of community, the non-profit organisation is built upon the mission to better the issue of poverty by creating a holistic education and community development centre within urban communities in Africa. Its founder, Atti Worku, began Seeds to better the issue that she had witnessed first-hand. Born in Ethiopia and with extensive travelling experience under her belt, the Columbia University graduate put action behind her desire to make change through direct action and involvement.
Worku’s successful efforts have garnered her multiple awards (including the African Diaspora Award for Community Service), the opportunity to speak on prestigious panels hosted by many American universities, and, the role of serving on the Advisory board for the Open Heart Big Dreams Fund and the Aspen Institute Society of Fellows New York Vangaurd Leadership Board. We sat down with Atti Worku to hear about her experience in this impressive journey as a young woman, her about her most memorable moment and how it feels to be making positive change.
I can imagine that you’ve had so many memorable moments during the experience of creating Seeds of Africa; what would you say was the best moment or most memorable moment?
There have been many memorable moments while doing the work that I do. The moments we received our 501 C 3 status in the US and our NGO license to operate in Ethiopia were pivotal. Perhaps my most memorable moment was the first trip I took to Ethiopia a few years after the school had opened. To see our students in the Seeding Education program in class asking interesting questions, to see what they were learning, and to see them playing as kids are supposed to was very special to me. Also, visiting the women business owners who have done amazing work and are changing their own lives with the micro loans that Seeds of Africa’s Sowing Community program has provided greatly inspires me. It’s hard to choose just one moment, as my journey with Seeds has been incredibly rewarding.
How does it feel for you to see Seeds of Africa benefit people first hand?
The feeling is beyond what I can describe. First, I feel very lucky to do this every day. It’s not easy work; its challenging to raise money and to change people’s mindsets, but the result is so worth it. It makes me proud to see women from my community improving their lives and saving to be future home owners. It inspires me to see the students develop and express their vision for the future. It has taken the blood, sweat and tears of many people for us to get to a place where we are truly making it possible for our students and their families to transform their lives. Seeds of Africa is a great source of pride and fulfillment for me, and I feel like I have found my life’s calling.
Are there any future plans to grow Seeds of Africa and any exciting upcoming events or future plans?
Yes, we plan to grow Seeds of Africa in the future to reach more children and their families in Adama and beyond. We also have our fifth annual Seeds of Africa Benefit in New York City on November 7 2018. We expect to host up to 300 guests for the fundraiser, with all proceeds supporting our education and community development programs in Adama, Ethiopia. We will celebrate our annual event with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, great music, Ethiopian performances, and special presentations of our work and impact in Ethiopia.