By David Hylton
Public Relations Specialist
Continued drought, famine and high HIV/AIDS rates are all major issues that impact children and youth in Ethiopia, but with ChildFund International’s help, the next generation of leaders are fighting through those problems and charting their own futures.
At Abogida Digital Studio in Ethiopia, a group of like-minded youth are setting themselves up to become future TV journalists or, perhaps, the next big movie maker. Two years ago, youth in ChildFund International’s programs in Ethiopia attended a video and photography training institution to learn about film production.
“A month before our graduation, we started discussing our future employment opportunity and the way we find [jobs],” says 21-year-old Abraham Salasebew. “While analyzing this, we came up with the idea of establishing our own studio.”
The group of 11 fledgling filmmakers approached ChildFund Ethiopia staff and shared their vision for the studio. In response ChildFund offered technical and financial support for the entrepreneurial effort.
In April 2008, the young business partners received a legal license to establish the studio. They opened shop with one digital camera, one video camera and a computer. The group, though, still faced financial hurdles with high rent payments for the studio and a loan that needed to be repaid. Working with ChildFund Alliance partner ChildFund Deutschland in Germany, the group obtained a photocopy machine, a sound mixer and a tripod, and other acillary equipment and supplies to boost the studio’s capabilities.
With these additions, Abraham and his colleagues began getting new clients and are now making a profit. The Abogida Digital Studio offers photo and video recording and editing, film production and other photographic services.
“We would like to thank ChildFund for its commitment to support unemployed youth like us to realize our vision and change our [hopeless] position,” Abraham says.
For more information about ChildFund’s work in Ethiopia, click here.
More on Ethiopia
Population: 85.2 million
ChildFund beneficiaries: More than 1 million children and families
Did You Know?: Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa, means “new flower.” It was established in 1886.
Next in our “31 in 31” series: Youth watching out for children in Vietnam.