The HRF partner, the China Foundation for Rural Development(CFRD), today inaugurated the 3rd anniversary of its establishment at the Skylight Hotel in Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian branch of CFRD, formerly the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, registered as an international NGO in July 2019.

Wenkai Zheng, the president of CFRD, stated that since the organization’s establishment in Ethiopia, it has been running projects such as school meals, school bag distribution, food item support, water, sanitation,and women’s economic development. In his opening remark, he complimented HRF for its ongoing support and partnership in implementing projects involving school meals and related issues. Finally, he highlighted CFRD’s commitment to further strengthening their relationship.

In her keynote address, H.E. Roman Tesfaye, former First Lady of Ethiopia and CEO of the HRF, spoke about her travel to China while serving as First Lady and her invitation to the CFRD to visit Ethiopia in 2014 to foster people-to-people connectivity, during which she shared her intention to start a school meal program in Ethiopia. She said that she had consulted the Addis Ababa City Education Bureau for guidance on carrying out her vision for a school meal program. Afterward, she founded the Yenat Weg Charitable organization, which was immediately under the then First Lady’s office’s supervision at the time.

According to her, that was the first time CFRD entered Ethiopia, and along with the support of local donors, she managed to launch the first school meal program in Addis Ababa, which Yenat Weg Charitable Organization was providing.

In her extended speech, she underlined the importance of investing on education by saying “investing in education is not charity, rather it is an investment in building our future that pays the best interest.”

Finally, H.E Roman thanked the former Mayor of Addis Ababa Eng. Takele Uma for his contribution to consulting with his cabinet and taking over the school meal program after her excellency’s office.

During the ceremony, HRF was awarded a certificate of honor from CFRD for its hard work and trustworthy partnership.

Hailemariam & Roman Foundation

October 2022, Addis Ababa