Yessera welcomes Woizero Serkalem as Representative

Once again Yessera has been fortunate, in its quest to draw together, into a synergy of creative know-how, people of long standing dedication, and deep-rooted concern for Ethiopia, its wellbeing and further development.

Woizero Serkalem, Ms. LaDena Schnapper, comes to Yessera with a wealth of tested and productive experience from her 51 years of involvement(among earliest Peace Corps, serving at Dessie, 1963) in a variety of Ethiopia related activities.

It is truly a delight to have someone like Woizero Serkalem as a Yessera Representative. So demonstrably, on so many levels, she embodies Yessera’s ideal of life-long learning that can be creatively reworked, multiplied and widely shared.

Just to give an example. Out of her deep attentiveness and immersion in Ethiopian culture, Ms. Schnapper has managed to create opportunities for others to reengage the profound heritage of the past. As a pioneer in the States helping Tesfaye Lemma to found the folkloric Nile Ethiopian Ensemble as well as Tesfa Ethiopian Museum, or discursively re-presenting the healing, community building power of rituals like the Ethiopian coffee ceremony—she models a consciousness that can tap into possibilities inherent at the roots.

Then, there is Woizero Serkalem’s delight in reaching wide and far. To have in close proximity someone who has woven a rich tapestry of local and international interconnections means Yessera would access the wisdom, partnership and support of many causes she has championed in her many roles and frequent travels.

As it journeys forward, in its new phase to expand and diversify its work, Yessera hopes then to put to good use its new Representative’s vast repertoire of skills. To bring hope, with skilled consciousness of possibility to empower youth, especially girls, to celebrate human creativity, and much much more.

Iwnetim, menged kemenged gar yagenajnal(Truly, paths have ways of conjoining)

Aklilu Gebrewold,

Executive Director