We Made History With the Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund!

By Prof. Alemayehu G. Mariam

July 25, 2019 — Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund (EDTF) FIRST ROUND OF CALLS FOR PROPOSALS.

We are proud to announce EDTF will issue its first round of calls for proposals on July 25, 2019.

All parties interested in submitting proposals to undertake projects are encouraged to do so by following the guidelines provided.

Complete documentation on proposal submissions and EDTF contacts are available by clicking HERE.

Thanks to…

First, I would like to thank the nearly 25 thousand donors who contributed $1 a day to help us collect over $4.6  million in less than 10 months.

Second, I would like to thank our volunteers who served as the backbone of EDTF since its beginning. Our EDTF volunteers gave their time, money and resources freely because they believe in the EDTF cause.

Third, I would like to thank the members of our global chapters now numbering 39. Our chapter members are the driving engines of our local engagement campaigns.

Fourth, I would like to thank the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) for their generous support in establishing our EDTF Secretariat. We deeply appreciate UNDP’s confidence in our objectives and capacity to deliver on our promises.

Fifth, I would like to thank the members of the EDTF Advisory Council. It is a privilege and an honor to work with so many professionals who made significant financial and technical contributions and dedicated their Sundays to EDTF for a better part of a year.

Last but not least, I would like to thank H.E. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for delivering Ethiopia’s Call for Help to Diaspora Ethiopians. Good leaders share a vision and inspire others to help them turn their vision into reality.

How we made history…

One of EDTF’s informal mottoes is, “Making history together.”

Is that just a tagline or a true statement?

It is a true statement supported by evidence:

No diaspora group has ever attempted to raise $1 a day from its members to support critical projects in their home countries.

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On August 9, 2018, when the EDTF Advisory Council was established, we had no prepared plan, template or blueprint on how to run a global trust fund.

But we ramped up and in less than 3 months working around the clock, we launched the EDTF website and began collecting donations.

The three months were full of challenges ranging from compliance with complex statutory and regulatory requirements to ensuring a robustly functioning website.

In less than 5 months, we had laid out and implemented the supporting infrastructure for EDTF with recruitment of volunteers and establishment of global chapters.

In less than 7 months we had established a secretariat in Ethiopia to begin preparatory work for project implementation.

In less than 8 months, we had set up a stellar Board of Directors for EDTF in Ethiopia and fully registered EDTF under the societies and charities law.

In less than 10 months, we collected over $4.6 million and are now announcing our first round of request for proposals.

EDTF uses 100 percent of collected donations for project. No donation is used for  administrative or other purposes.

EDTF is supported 100 percent by volunteers who feel honored and privileged to help their people.

EDTF is 100 percent independent from any and all government involvement in its decision making or operations.

EDTF is 100 percent committed to ensure all are treated without regard to ethnicity, religion, language, region, race, gender or any other insidious classification.

EDTF conducts its business with maximum transparency and accountability. EDTF prides itself in being an open book to its donors and anyone interested. All EDTF donors are listed on our website unless they request anonymity. We make weekly reports of donations received and, once projects are implemented, we will provide up to date financial reports.

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Challenges along the way.. 

Whether EDTF has lived up to its promises depends on what it does with donors’ money.

With the announcement for request for proposals, donors and others can now take a clear look at EDTF’s plans and implementation strategies.

Since the inception of EDTF, some have questioned our ability to ensure the financial and management integrity of our operations. We have addressed those issue through verbal assurances. But now, all can review our policies and rigorous procedures posted on our website and appreciate the lengths we have gone to ensure  transparent and accountable operations.

I must candidly report that some misguided people have tried to take EDTF hostage, or at least make EDTF a whipping boy for political issues in Ethiopia.

Some people have called to cancel their monthly contributions because of  something that happened in Ethiopia or because someone in Ethiopia said something they do not like.

That has been puzzling to us because EDTF is not directly or indirectly involved in any political activities.

EDTF has members and volunteers come from the full spectrum of political orientation.

We do not have a political or other litmus test. All are free to express whatever views they have and we respect differences in views of our donors and supporters.

As long as people are interested in donating $1 a day for the defined projects, we ask no questions.

The best way to deal with a negative attitude is to produce positive results.

EDTF’s golden hour…

We at EDTF have always believed “EDTF is a gift we hope to pass to future generations.”

EDTF is not a 2, 5- or 10-year project. It will go on and on.

We collected $4.6 million in our first year. There are those who say we should have collected $46 million.

Talk is cheap.

Those who refuse to give $1 a day have no moral right to criticize those who have built up a $4.6 million fund.

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But some people are hard wired for negativism.

Alfred Lord Tennyson, the 19th century British poet laureate said it best:

Once in a golden hour
I cast to earth a seed.
Up there came a flower,
The people said, a weed.

Once in a golden hour in August 2018, we cast a seed called EDTF

Up there came a flower in August 2019, but some people said it is a weed.

We are committed to following our positive vision and are now ready to back it up with positive action.

For those who think $1 is nothing and cannot make a difference, I would like for them to ponder this:

The vast majority of Ethiopians live on less than $1 a day.

Factory workers in Ethiopia make $26 a month!

A fresh university graduate in engineering makes $100 a month.

There is the power of 1. Power of $1.

Let’s us join up with EDTF in the second phase of our fundraising campaign.

In December 2018, I wrote the following:

In 5 years, the Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund will be the template for a diaspora trust fund all over Africa. I suspect there will be some who will laugh at me today and say I am delusional.

But the fact is Nigerians, Ugandans and others are already coming to us and asking us for our template.

There will be speed bumps on our way to cultivating our EDTF  “golden seed” into a beautiful flower of hope and optimism. But the harder the struggle, the sweeter the victory.

In life, there are those who make history and those who read history. There are also those  upon whom history is made.


“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” Horace Mann</strong


  1. le nefesegeday ashebari amara genzeb alawatam

    i will not contribute a single penny tothose who kill brothers and sisters hoping to get rich. This is a scum project to get positions and establish political and other related ties with the state. Mahibrekidusan beg money in the name of poor churches and kolo temari, tradional or Ye abinet temari and abusing people who donot belong to the ethnicity of ruling mahibrekudans assocition

    Drop dead led by amharas

  2. That will be the last money you will collect from diaspora. Professor Almariam shame on you for participating in this unholy scheme to collect money for dictators.

  3. Great Job. Need to involve more Ethiopians abroad. The starting of a call will also enhance EDTFs practical implementation.

    God bless you all

  4. I propose the $4 million USD to be distributed to the 4 million internally displaced refugee Ethiopians and the rest the $0.6 million to be distributed to those 600,000 Ethiopians starving currently on the verge of death for lack of rain in summer 2019.

    Ethiopian government’s budget for the year 2019/2020 is $13 billion USD dollars with $9 billion USD dollars out of the the $13 billion USD came as forms of loans and aids from Egypt supporters countries such as Israel , Europe and USA(EDTF included). Very few was sent from Middle East , Africa or Australia.

    Diaspora sent way more than $4.6 million USD but the money somehow got diverted.

  5. Fake Doctor Ass,

    Dr. Ass is prostitute of terrorist/dictator Abiy, who is the leader of a terrorist organization, EPRDF. Narcissist, crocked and prostitute Dr. Ass is the most dangerous person of Ethiopian origin in the whole wide world. Every action he takes and every article he posts sows seed of poison, division, oppression, slavery, assassinations, hunger and poverty all over Ethiopia and among ethiopian diaspora in particular and Africans in general.
    EDTF(Ethiopian diaspora trust fund) is a total HOAX, SCAM, ILLEGAL and CRIMINAL. 100% of the money goes in the pocket of Dr. Ass, his crocked friends and terrorist/dictator Abiy. No Ethiopian diaspora in his/her right state of mind should be donating not even a penny to his FAKE/HOAX FUND. Since this fund is supporting a terrorist organization, EPRDF, it must be banned effective immediately and all leaders of the FUND should be locked up in jail ASAP.
    All patriotic Ethiopians and their friends all over the world must unite, work together 24/7 365 days a year in order to totally and completely annihilate/DESTROY EPRDF, the metastatic cancer of ethiopia,and dump it in dust pin of history. GOOD RIDDANCE. LONG LIVE EPRDF.
    Dr. Ass, I have question for you.
    You are known to be the number enemy of terrorist TPLF. You believe, like myself, that TPLF agents have committed a great deal of crime against ethiopians. Where we differ is you are a MAN OF WORDS and I am a MAN OF ACTION. The last time i checked all criminal individuals belong in jail. How come your impotent, playboy, terrorist master Abiy DID NOT JAIL NOT EVEN A SINGLE TPLF MEMBER or their AGENT?? AN INQUIRING MIND WANT TO KNOW.

  6. kurtegna yehone ye geleseboch sebe’ena le ager hulentenawi edget ena lewte wesagn yemehonun yahel ye bezuhanum tesatefo be ejegu asfelagi new mknyatum be bezuhanu ye geleseboch demer wetet newena betam ye temesegene ena yetewedwde sera jemerachehuwal ena bertu 1ken be agerachen ena be hezebachen lay tsehay latetelk endemeteweta selemenamen ye tebarekew ye lemat enkesekase yeketel. Fetari tegelachehun yebark

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