Ethiopians students attending Mekelle University have created a charitable organization to support 80 children living with HIV/AIDS or who lost their parents because of the virus.
The more than 2000 members of the student have created Mekelle University Charity Club and received support from local businesses in Tigrai to continue the support of the children, who receive food, clothes and educational materials.
The students have established the charity club on both campuses of the university. As a result, they collect food from their cafeteria, educational materials from governmental and non-governmental originations and from individuals. They also organize fund-raising programs like beauty contests, fashion shows and music concerts.
Tsion Taddesse, president of the charity club and a student on the business and economics campus, told VOA, “If all students, in 21 universities of Ethiopia, are participating in similar activities, we can see changes in the lives of children who don’t have anything to eat.”
Kaleb Tesfay, a charity club member, said, “We have to participate in social works on the side of our academic programs and everyone has to look for potential resources in his/her locality to help the poor.”
Kalkidan Taddesse, public relations director on the main campus, said that the club plans to have sustainable sources of income in the coming years.
“We are working with the city community and everybody is helpful in empowering the charity club,” said Kalkidan.
“We will leave from campus in the near days after graduation and sure enough our juniors will take the path. New leaders are already elected,” said Piniel Gedion, another active member.
The students appealed to all Ethiopians living within the country and abroad to participate in supporting lots of children victims of HIV/AIDS and other social crisis.
Girmay Gebru also interviewed children who benefit from the organization’s activities.