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Hannah Godefa

Hannah Godefa visits Gambella and learns how Ethiopia is saving lives through its health extension programme 

: 1997
Place of Birth: Canada  
Profession: Student  
Known for: The Hannah Godefa Foundation/Pencil Mountain 
Goodwill Ambassador since: 2013 
Works with UNICEF on: Education 

Hannah Godefa was born in Canada on 19 November 1997. Since the age of seven, Hannah has cultivated a desire for giving and founded a project; “pencil mountain”, which has since delivered close to half a million pencils to thousands of children in rural Ethiopia.

A citizen of Canada with Ethiopian origin, Hannah has been recognized locally and internationally and has impressed thousands with her mature and kind demeanor and her ability to

make a difference in the lives of children and young people.

As a young humanitarian, Hannah speaks about how, through education, we can eliminate many problems children and youth face in Ethiopia today. Hannah is a symbol of education and change for many children. She proceeds to use her power of speech to captivate and mobilize youth to fight for children’s rights to education. Her main message is simple, but powerful: “Education is the key to success”.

On January 2013, Hannah once more, showed her commitment to the issue of children and became a UNICEF National Ambassador to Ethiopia. Her new role opened doors to see UNICEF-assisted programmes in different parts of the country in terms of Health, Education, Child Protection, Nutrition and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). While in the field, she has inspired many of her peers and especially young girls to pursue their education to the highest level. She has also developed Public Service Announcements advocating for girl’s education in Ethiopia.

On October 2013, Hannah impressed many when she made a speech at the highly successful International Day of the Girl Child at UNICEF Head Quarters on "Innovating for Girls’ Education”

On December 2013, Hannah moderated the event of the newly appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and world famous singer and song writer Katy Perry, with the Executive Director of UNICEF- Anthony Lake at the UNICEF headquarters in New York.

From Left: UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, UNICEF Ethiopia Goodwill Ambassador Hannah Godefa and global pop superstar Katy Perry

From Left: UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, UNICEF National Ambassador to Ethiopia Hannah Godefa and global pop superstar and new UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Katy Perry

On 23rd January 2014, Hannah joined H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations, H.E. Mr. Paul Kagame, Co-Chair, MDG Advocacy Group and world leaders to participate in an interactive discussion very close to her heart “Investing in Girl Empowerment for MDG Acceleration” in Davos, Switzerland. On 28 May, Hannah was the youngest person to speak at the Maternal New-born and Child Health (MNCH) High Level Summit in Toronto.

On 7th July 2014, Hannah made a speech regarding the ways and means to facilitate girls’ access to education, and girls’ and women’s rights within education, including their protection against sexual and other forms of violence at the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) meeting held in Geneva.

Currently, she lives with her parents and little brother- Lucas, in Ottawa, Canada. Her most recent Awards and Nominations include:

  • Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award (youngest in Ontario, Second youngest in
  • Canada),
  • Nominated for June Callwood Outstanding Award for Volunteerism,
  • 2 Mayoral Awards
  • Awards from her school for seasoned speaker and advocate
  • Award of Canadian member of Parliament for serving her community successfully

Recent Articles on Hannah Godefa


Articles from other sources

- Watch Hannah Godefa at the International Day of the Girl Child 2013



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