UNICEF appointed 15 year old humanitarian, Hannah Godefa, as its Goodwill Ambassador on January 4, 2013.
The young humanitarian who is a citizen of Canada and whose origins are Ethiopian, was appointed Ambassador at a signing ceremony held at the offices of the UNICEF in the presence of Shadrack Omol, Officer in Charge of UNICEF Ethiopia, officials from the Canadian Embassy and Hannah’s father, Godefa Asegahegn.
Hannah is the founder of “Pencil Mountain”; a resource mobilization project on basic school supplies to support children in remote areas of Ethiopia. This project has delivered over 400,000 pencils and other school materials to Ethiopian school children in the last seven years. This time, Hannah also brought with her around 600 books that will be donated to Debre Markos University, along with some wheelchairs for handicapped children.
“I was amazed to see how personal the projects were, and how UNICEF really works to supplement the work of the community. I will share what I have learned with my network in Canada and use this role to, not only educate and encourage Ethiopian students about the importance of attending school, but Canadian students as well, to become more aware of the importance of education,” said Hannah, talking about the UNICEF projects she was involved in.
Hannah had the opportunity to visit UNICEF-assisted projects and interact with children, the youth and local authorities in different regions such as the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Regional state (SNNPR).
“I believe this is an important venture because UNICEF understands the value of education, and that it is for all children, everywhere. This is not only part of their mandate, but proven through their everyday work. I promise to do everything in my power to be an advocate and representative of Ethiopian children through the provision of this new role from UNICEF. Most importantly, I hope that through this role, I can be a teacher and role model for children everywhere for years to come,” Hannah stated.
Speaking at the event, Shadrack Omol, Officer in Charge of UNICEF Ethiopia, said that Hannah is a role model for children, peers and especially girls. He said that her outspoken personality, together with her strong presence in the public domain, sends powerful messages that reach the hearts and minds of children and youth all over the world.
Hannah travels across Canada and educates the youth about the importance of education. She says that she understands that the actions we take today will affect the future. She has received several awards, and among them are the “Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee” Award, “Seasoned speaker and advocate” Award, as well as a nomination for “June Callwood Outstanding Award for Volunteerism”.