Amsale is a leper and lives in Korah, a village that was cobbled together on the foundation of the city dump. Originally built as a community for lepers and outcasts, Korah is one of the most impoverished places in Ethiopia. From hardship to hope, Amsale's life was transformed with a hand-up through the 10x10 program.

Watch Amsale's Full Story Here.


10×10 is our program in Ethiopia focused on sustainability. Over the course of 10 months we give 10 women the attention and care they need to flourish while teaching them valuable life skills. For the ten months, these women will have their basic needs cared for so they can focus solely on learning a skill to give them a hand up. Our program is based in Korah, a densely populated sub city on the outskirts of Addis Ababa. Korah is home to the most marginalized and vulnerable members of Ethiopia’s population. In all of Ethiopia, 89% of the people live on under $2 a day, and 46% of people live on under $1 a day. The women in 10×10 have gone from making $.30 a day to 7 to 9 dollars a day. Some have even saved enough to provide for themselves and their families, as well as rent an apartment! These women are learning that though they may have been cast out by their society, they are not useless or unwanted. They have a calling, a purpose, and they are able to provide for their families and lift themselves out of poverty.


For Amsale, poverty led to all kinds of problems — from malnutrition to disease. Frequently, she would have to resort to the most desperate of measures just to provide food and water for her family.



Child Abuse

Child Prostitution


Amsale received a hand up by learning the principles of the 10×10 program: financial literacy, parenting, hygiene and other life skills.

Solution Details
  • Amsale learned a trade that empowered her to confront her circumstances and supported her through the process.  Today, Amsale is a street vendor, selling products that are indigenous to the people of Ethiopia. Amsale repeatedly sells out of inventory and is a natural retailer.  She incorporates the financial principles and life skills learned in the 10X10 program.
  • Amsale’s children are able to attend school, receiving the education they will need to break the cycle of poverty in the long term, and she is able to provide the necessary care for her ill mother with the additional income. Amsale said she only dreamed of this life she now gets to live.


For Amsale, the result goes far beyond meeting her family’s material or education needs –although both have been life-changing.  Ultimately, by taking part in the 10X10, Amsale has regained her dignity and has been empowered to become a leader of other women in her community. Today, Amsale isn’t just fighting extreme poverty in her own life.  She’s giving back, pouring whatever she’s learned into others.


Your advocacy and donations help families complete our holistic, hands-on 10×10 program. But that’s just the start of the impact. Graduates who have been empowered to lift their families to sustainability are also equipped and expected to re-invest the skills they’ve learned in their communities. We teach with our lives, so they can teach with theirs. This hand-up approach produces results that are sustainable.

A hand up for sustainability; one individual, one family, one community at a time.

GIancarlo OspinaEthiopia