“I Dreamed of A Career Helping People”

March 29, 2019

“I Dreamed of A Career Helping People”

The sting of death and the victory of hell have been vanquished; for You, O my Savior, … cried to those in hell: “Enter again into paradise.”—Kontakion of the Feast

I was living abroad in the mid-1980s, when there was a terrible famine in my home country, Ethiopia. My dad worked for the UN’s World Food Program, and we lived in Haiti and Jamaica while I was in high school. During that time, I saw two things.

First, we would watch television and see thousands of people suffering in Ethiopia—I remember feeling like I wanted to be part of a solution, one of the people doing something about it. It’s part of why I studied agriculture at university.

Second, sometimes we’d drive around neighborhoods in Haiti, and my dad would explain that people in this or that area really needed food assistance. Part of his work in Jamaica was a school-feeding project, and he told us how providing breakfast for kids helped to keep them in school because they knew they could get a meal there.

So as a teenager, I dreamed of a career that would help people. I don’t know where I’d be without this kind of work. I feel that I’m blessed to serve other people and see the changes in their lives. I see it on their faces every day.

This week’s staff reflection is written by Haregewoin Mamo Desta, Ethiopia Country Representative