Ethiopia: Founder Of Mekedoniya Binyam Belete Awarded Certificate Of Special Congressional Recognition
Binyam Belete, born in 1978, is the founder of Macedonia Humanitarian Foundation in Ethiopia.. He started out by taking in 20 elderly homeless people into his house. Currently, his foundation provides housing, clothing, food, and medical support to over 1500 people who have no other means of supporting themselves. Among these 1500 people are rape victims, mentally ill people, and elderly homeless people with different problems.
Biniyam has received several awards for his humanitarian deeds from different institutions. His foundation was presented the Award of Recognition by Tedros Adhanom from the FDRE Minister of Foreign Affairs. He has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Bahir Dar University.
The sixth of ten children, Binyam was born to his mother Tsege Bekele and his father Belete Addis in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. His father is devout orthodox Christian and well known for his charity
Binyam graduated from St. Joseph High School. In his grade 12 matric exam, he scored 4.0 GPA, one of the seven people to do so in the whole country in 1993. He joined Addis Ababa University and studied law. After working for three years as a lawyer, he decided to come to United States to his parents.
While in the United States, Binyam worked many jobs that had to do with helping disabled people. He worked as an airport wheelchair attendant for three months in Atlanta. He also worked as a teacher in a school for mentally ill students.
After working various jobs, Binyam, with the help of his family, managed to buy a supermarket. Alongside running his store, he got his second degree on non-profit management and development. After saving some money, he decided to go back to Ethiopia and start his Humanitarian foundation. On 07 January 2010 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, he started Macedonia Humanitarian Association.
While working in Macedonia, Biniyam met his wife Eleni Gebre Eyesus. Before meeting him, she used to be a nun in an Ethiopian Orthodox Church monastery
The name Macedonia comes from the Bible, 2 Corinthians 8. In the Bible, the Macedonians were people who despite their meager conditions still managed to be very generous. In an interview with EBS TV, Biniyam mentioned that he was inspired by this story to name his foundation, Macedonia. He said that he does not think that one needs to be rich or educated to help others. Instead, he believes that “being human is enough to help human beings”. Evidently, most of the supporters of this foundation are not wealthy and can in fact be considered materially poor.