The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program
Ephraim Abdi Debele / Ethiopia

Province: Oromia
City/Town: Derba
Age: 18

Class of 2015-2018

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Scholar: Ellina Chinangwa Scholar: Fatumah Birungi

Ephraim is from Derba, a city near the Ethiopian capital. He has worked in agriculture for much of his life; growing up, he and his brothers helped care for the family’s cattle and sheep, in addition to cultivating onion, corn and other crops in the garden. His father is well known in the community for his love of planting trees and Ephraim learned to protect and value the environment through his influence.

One of Ephraim’s goals is to change the perception of his profession in Ethiopia. “Most people at home think agriculture is inferior and I have to change this attitude. Without agriculture, no life exists on this Earth. When I go back I will be respected because I studied abroad, and I’m going to change this idea that people who have an education shouldn’t get their hands dirty.” He adds, “I received this very privileged chance to receive an education and I have to keep my promise to my community and teach them everything I have learned at EARTH, especially to young people.”