Aster Bekele

Aster Bekele is the Executive Director of the Felege Hiywot Center. I have been in the United States for 31 years and have enjoyed the freedom and the opportunities as a citizen since 1981. I desire to give back to my Hoosier community as well as to the homeland of my birthplace, Ethiopia. My motivation of starting a mission began in 1975 following my move from Franklin College to IUPUI when I began living at 25th and Martindale. At that time, I realized there were many kids who could use my help and I started tutoring them after school. While working with these children, I realized an impression was being made on them as they learned about the living conditions of children in my homeland, Ethiopia. They started to understand how fortunate they were compared to Ethiopian children, even though compared to Indiana standards they may have considered themselves underprivileged. It was while working with these neighborhood children that the idea of a mission connecting the poor orphans of Ethiopia to the needy children here in Indianapolis started.