SOS is proud and honored to announce our new Humanitarian Ambassador, Freweini Mebrahtu! Ms. Mebrahtu, or Winnie as we’ve grown fond of calling her, will serve SOS in a mission-driven capacity, working side-by-side with our volunteer groups, leading special projects and fulfilling speaking engagements to further the mission of SOS.
As a chemical engineer in Ethiopia, Ms. Mebrahtu developed and manufactured a reusable feminine hygiene pad to mitigate the oppression of Ethiopian girls and women. Historically, females there are stigmatized and shamed during their natural cycle and usually become marginalized, drop out of school and at the very least, hindering their day to day life. Ms. Mebrahtu’s life-long mission to empower women to reach their full potential has helped over 800,000 Ethiopian women, allowing many the opportunity to pursue a larger role in the economic and social development of their country. Ms. Mebrahtu was forced to flee Ethiopia due to the on-going heinous civil war, putting on hold her worthy organization and heartfelt mission until it is safe to return.
Ms. Mebrahtu initially reached out to SOS this summer from Virginia because, she says, “I heard an incredible story about SOS organizing a large shipment of medical supplies to my home country, a place that is far beyond most people’s thoughts. I could not get over the fact that this Louisville organization was doing so much for my country and I had to find out more. It was like I finally started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and that light was SOS, as bright as the sun.” Ms. Mebrahtu adds, “This came at a time I was questioning humanity, but I have found humanity at SOS. This has given me the opportunity yo continue my mission to help those in need in a bigger way.
Ms. Mebrahtu will bring that same engaged compassion and drive to SOS and will work with both our international and local/domestic teams. Denise Sears, president of SOS, says, “We are incredibly humbled and honored that the CNN Hero of the Year, Freweini Mebrahtu, chose SOS as the organization to join and support. As a woman from Ethiopia, Winnie brings an authentic and knowledgeable voice to our humanitarian focus and speaks on behalf of women and children in our world’s neediest regions. Her personal story and her humanitarian spirit are inspiring.”
We invite you, our valued supporters, to visit and meet Freweini next time you’re in the neighborhood or when you’re in to volunteer. We look forward to reporting great things to happen with the addition of our new hero!