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Ethiopia, 4 January 2013: UNICEF Ethiopia appoints Hannah Godefa as its new Ambassador

© UNICEF Ethiopia/2012
Hannah Godefa, the new UNICEF Ambassador to Ethiopia and Shadrack Omol, Officer in Charge of UNICEF Ethiopia at a signing ceremony held in the UNICEF premises.

Hannah’s message is simple; education is the key to success

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 4 January 2013 - Today, UNICEF Ethiopia appointed young humanitarian Hannah Godefa, a citizen of Canada with Ethiopian origin, as its Ambassador at a signing ceremony held in its premises. The event was attended by Shadrack Omol, Officer in Charge of UNICEF Ethiopia, Mrs. Emy Baker, Chargé d'Affaires of Canada Embassy, Hannah’s father Ato Godefa Asegahegn, members of the media and UNICEF staff.
Fifteen year old Hannah involved in humanitarian activities when she visited her native land, Ethiopia, for the first time. Coming from Canada, Hannah got her inspiration when she interacted with local girls from the countryside who lack access to basic education materials. ”Even though I was happy to see my extended family, I was also very sad to see children my age that do not get much food, medicine, quality education and orphaned due to HIV and AIDS.” said Hannah.
Touched by such an impoverished situation, she became the founder of “Pencil Mountain”; a resource mobilization project on basic school supplies to support children in remote areas of Ethiopia.

© UNICEF Ethiopia/2012
Hannah Godefa, the new UNICEF Ambassador to Ethiopia at a signing ceremony held in the UNICEF premises.

During the last seven years, her Pencil Mountain project has delivered 25,000 (twenty five thousand) pencils to Ethiopian school children followed by another batch of 400,000 including other basic school supplies.

The Ministry of Education distributed the items all over the country that arrived with the sponsorship of the Ethiopian Airlines cargo. This time, she has brought along 600 books for Debremarkos University and wheelchairs for handicapped children.

Speaking of her new title as a UNICEF Ambassador Hannah said, “It has always been my dream to help children who do not have the opportunities to reach their highest potential. The most important message I want to give to Ethiopian children is the value of education. Children are imaginative, intelligent and valuable and they truly can change the world if given the opportunities to learn.” She further said, “Working with UNICEF as an Ambassador will allow me to contribute to defend the rights of children, including the right to education, health, nutrition, water, sanitation, equality, protection and participation and ensure compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child because that’s what UNICEF is all about.”

Shadrack Omol, Officer in charge of UNICEF Ethiopia on his part commended Hannah for her commitment and dedication to help the children of Ethiopia. “Hannah is a role model for children, her peers and especially girls. Her outspoken personality together with her strong presence in public domain sends powerful messages that reach the hearts and minds of children and youth all over the world. She demonstrates what is possible if one is determined. We are confident that she will make a positive contribution especially in the area of girl’s education during her ambassadorship”.

During her stay in Ethiopia, Hannah had the opportunity to visit UNICEF-assisted projects and interact with children, the youth and local authorities. In addition, Hannah gave various interviews on both national and international media and was invited to speak at big events.

For more information please contact:
Ms. Wossen Mulatu, Communication Officer, Media and External Relations, UNICEF Ethiopia,
Tel: +251 115 184028, Mobile: +251 911 308483, email:



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