On the last day of Women’s History month, we want to celebrate all of the amazing women who are leaders in our local partner organizations. Today, we’re sharing the story of one of these women!

Zinash Tsegaye Kallo is making a difference at the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane-Yesus (EECMY), a faith-based non-governmental organization in Hawassa, Ethiopia. In her role as the Director of the Development and Social Services Commission for the South Central Ethiopia Synod (SCES) Branch Office, she leads and directs the Branch office’s programmatic and administrative work. She is also a wife and mother of four children. We asked Zinash to share her story and this is what she sent us:

“I was born and grew up in a very remote village. During my childhood, access to education for a girl child was nearly impossible. At the age of 11, I had to walk 9-12 miles on foot on a weekly basis to access primary education. After I went to high school, I had to travel 14 hours on foot to meet my family twice a year. I was a very hard-working student and was able to finish my university education in 1997. After a brief work life, I got a scholarship and earned my Master’s degree in Gender Analysis in Development at the University of East Anglia in the UK in 2002.

Over the 22 years of my career, I assumed several leadership and expertise positions in government offices, local and international NGOs and the private sector. I assumed my current position in November 2019. My key role is to coordinate about 100 staff members and manage over 38 million Birr (nearly 1 million USD) annually. Since I joined this office, I connected with various donors and partners and the branch office’s annual budget has increased from 24 million Birr to 38 million in just a one year period. This is a great achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many organizations saw donations decrease. I see myself as a devoted, trustworthy and hard-working woman with good communication and mobilization skills. When I think back on my current level of success as a woman, I really thank God and my family, who were very much committed to educate me.”