The focus of our ministry in Ethiopia, Africa is to prevent children from living on the streets and from engaging in prostitution. We sell accessories using traditional Ethiopian materials and hand-woven stoles using organic cotton. These products are sold in Japan; and the profits help provide women with an income and jobs. We also forge partnerships with various organizations and private companies, to develop products that benefit humans and the environment.
To create a “Healing Port” where visionaries from Ethiopia and Japan can gather.
To create a “Port of Sending” where people can find their unique calling.
To create relationships between Ethiopians and Japanese, to facilitate and empower mutual understanding and cooperation.
To create spaces where people can connect, so that each can understand the other person’s culture and the blessings inherent within it.
In 1984, Ethiopia experienced devastating drought and hunger. Eisuke Kanda, who was the national director of Japan Food for the Hungry, visited Ethiopia to distribute food, water, and daily supplies to people who were dying due to lack of necessities. His ministry was published as a picture book “The Gentle and Compassionate Light in Gondar '', and translated into several languages. Eisuke Kanda established an NGO called “Friends of the Voiceless International (FVI)” in 2010. I joined FVI in 2011, and visited Ethiopia for the first time and learned about the ministry of partner organizations in 2013. Ethiopia is one of the fast-growing countries economically, yet, underprivileged children are still trapped in a cycle of poverty.
I joined a homegrown ministry that helps street children and girls exploited in prostitution. I was touched to see boys and girls being saved from the street and given a clean home, education, and skills to earn their own living.
I also witnessed the negative side of humanitarian NGOs. Many children returned to the streets even after receiving aid. NGOs rely predominantly on donations from abroad such as Europe and the U.S., so their ministry is easily affected by recession and the global economy. In addition, leaders then tended to craft programs to appeal to western donors rather than catering to the real need in local communities.
Children who are potential beneficiaries become afraid of being out of the “list of recipients” and they experience pressure before the eyes of NGO staff.
On perceiving these challenges, I started to consider ways of creating a relationship of mutuality between Ethiopia and Japan. “Saving” children from the streets and prostitution appeals to the humanitarian community and to donors. Yet, preventing children from even entering into street life before that happens is far more important. In Ethiopia, I came to know of a visionary who was previously a street child. As a result of his experiences, he developed dreams of improvement for Ethiopia. As I befriended him, I came to share his vision of prevention. To facilitate this vision, I established Musubime Works. I hope to prevent Ethiopian boys and girls from living on the streets through our business and activities.
Founder of Musubime Works
～ In Ethiopia ～
～ In Japan ～