Welcome to Ethiopia, Aanne

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Our Changemakers team has made it to a totally new location with a new host! Meet Aanne Atomssa (below, center), a member of our finance department in Minneapolis. But Aanne is way more than just a member of our US team. She is a humanitarian who is not afraid to bravely be better and always makes time to do the doable. Aanne is also Oromo — from Ethiopia — and she has spent the last 20 years living in Minnesota, calling both places home. She does a lot to foster community here in Minnesota and realized a couple of years ago she wanted to do more of that hard work in Ethiopia as well.

About a year and a half ago, Aanne went back to Ethiopia for the first time since she left, focusing on a project to help build houses for internally displaced Oromo women and their families in her a community. Now, Aanne is back to check in on them, and to continue her hard work with the communities she cares deeply about.

On this trip, Aanne is partnering with Days for Girls to bring menstrual products to girls in Ethiopia who might not otherwise have access to them. “Sometimes, girls will miss school for one or two weeks because of their periods,” Aanne explained. “It’s kind of taboo to talk about these things, so the girls are shy when you first bring it up, but after we talked for a while, everyone came up to ask me for a pad.”

Transporting all these supplies from Minnesota can be quite expensive, so todays Changemakers project was to cover the cost of some of Aanne’s luggage! This way, she could get all of the supplies over to Ethiopia and eventually to the communities she’s supporting.

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