OA Staff Highlight: Meet Getahun
You hear us sharing our success stories regularly.
Now get to know the people who make our mission and vision a reality.
This is Getahun, our Country Director. He runs the OA Program on the ground in Ethiopia and we could not be more blessed to have him steering the ship.
In his own words, here is Getahun’s Story:
“My name is Getahun Bezabih, I was born in 1977 and grew up in the city of Hawassa. I have five siblings, two brothers, and three sisters. I am the second child to my parents. I grew up in a larger family sharing home chores like farming duties, taking care of animals like chicken, sheep, cows, oxen, and horses. In my spare time, I used to play different local games with my brothers, sisters, and fellow children. Since I shouldered a higher responsibility in my childhood, education was given less priority. This irritated and pushed me to be obstinate. As a result, I managed to finish my schooling until I got two MA degrees despite the hardships and challenges faced in the life detours. I did my undergraduate degree in religious studies, philosophy, ethics, and conflict management from the renowned Eastern Mennonite University (USA) in collaboration with MK College. I did my graduate studies in community development from EGST and Organizational Leadership from MYML College.
Regarding work life, I have spent most of my precious life helping, mentoring, teaching, guiding, counseling, and living with the most vulnerable children and youth at various humanitarian organizations and I have witnessed numerous lives transformed. Due to the impact, I have made in their lives both in deeds/ actions, words, decisions, leadership, and dedication our relationship continued to be strong and flourishing.
I came to know Jesus Christ and received Him as my Lord and Savior in 1994. Jesus found me when I was desperate in life and he gave meaning and taste to my life. He saved me and I love him. For I cannot live without him. He is the true source of my life. I enjoy having a fellowship with him. I have worked for OA for 4 years and 6 months at two different times (one is from Jan 2017 to September 2019 and the latest be from December 2019 to date).
My current job within OA is Country Director. The purpose for which OA exists in the Korah community draws my attention more than anything else. I.e. breaking the cycle of poverty from children through education. Equally, the visionaries/founders’ personality, love, and commitment they have for the people, their leadership and all involved in this ministry inspire me incredibly to work together.
From my job, I like communicating the mission and vision of OA to staff, beneficiaries, key stakeholders particularly to the government and business community, and making OA known in Ethiopia and beyond. Discuss with beneficiary children and challenge them to think critically, to make their utmost effort, and get the best out of OA with the goal of achieving the best education or training along with skills so that to be competent in the competing global market and get jobs and break the cycle of poverty from their lives and that of their families. I.e. to make their own destiny. To understand for what purpose God has created them and live life in all its fullness and what God has intended for them. Last but not least is updating donors on the activities on the ground, monitoring activities, coaching and empowering staff, and listening to their concerns.
I am married to Leyla Hassen twelve years ago and we have two children. My older daughter’s name is Meiraf Getahun. She is ten years old and in grade 4. The younger boy’s name is Bekibir Getahun. He is six years old and in KG3. In my spare time, I spend time with my family. Especially, I help my wife in cooking food, washing dishes, cleaning rooms, assisting my children to take a bath, and most importantly assisting them in their schooling, personal development, and pray together as a family. I read the Bible and different historical books. I also spend some time with families and friends to pray and encourage each other. Finally, I take a walk to get physically and emotionally fit for the job.
I always seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to discern God’s purpose in my life and am committed to taking action on what I believe is true in the light of the Scripture. I do not fear man, rather respect. And I take a calculated risk in my life. I have learned this many times in my life and I really enjoyed, grew, and developed confidence. Leadership is risk-taking.
My favorite bible verse is:
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”