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Initiatives that impact: Supporting NGO Wuha Sira


For half a decade now, the IE Foundation has been supporting an initiative launched in Ethiopia by IE University professor, Gayle Allard. The IE Foundation provides an annual grant to the NGO Wuha Sira, which in turn funds a social entrepreneurship project to provide and distribute clean water in a southern Ethiopian city. By making safe water available in the city of Dilla, which suffers from severe water shortages, not only are children protected against disease and even death from contaminated water, but women and girls are also freed up from the several hours spent per week carrying water to their families. This means that more women can work, and girls can go to school.

Wuha Sira, with support from the IE Foundation, also funds scholarships for girls to attend private schools in Dilla, and programs to feed the families most negatively affected by COVID-19. Wuha Sira will soon launch a scholarship program for young women to study Water Management at Dilla University.

Professor Allard has brought IE University students to Ethiopia every summer since 2013 to work on the project. They gain a firsthand understanding of this beautiful country where poverty is a grim reality. Many students involved in these visits find that the people they meet and the reality of the situation changes their outlook on life. After returning, they often continue to help fundraise for Wuha Sira or encourage the firms where they work to support the projects in Ethiopia.

Watch the video: Wuha Sira Initiative


Testimonial from Michi Raymond, IMBA 2016

“In 2016, I took a trip that changed my life. One week after arriving in Dilla, we discovered one of the girls in the program was severely ill. Along with other members of the IE Community, I initially came to Ethiopia to teach English and help young women further their education, but we quickly discovered we could help in a much bigger way. Twenty different individuals, from all walks of life, came together that year to launch a medical fund to help this young girl and her family pay for her medical expenses and the procedures that ultimately saved her life.

The IE Community is a family, and that family extends to over 130 nationalities. A part of contributing to this family means giving back to our communities around the world, and the Wuha Sira Initiative is a way to have a positive impact on a community that truly deserves it.

I’ve been working with the Wuha Sira Initiative since 2016, and in the five short years since we were founded, we have been able to: provide scholarships for young Ethiopian women to further their education; fund a clean-water startup with a local Ethiopian entrepreneur; provide food and shelter to children who lost their family or loved ones due to COVID-19; and help finance the construction of a 24-room dormitory so that young women from small villages can attend and live on campus free of charge. Currently, we are pursuing an opportunity to send young women to college on a full scholarship.

We all experience a moment that changes our life forever, and this was mine. Thank you for supporting the Wuha Sira Initiative.”