Korah Community

Location: Korah, located in Addis Ababa

Ministry Director: Tesfaye Tekeste

Overview: The Korah community is a small village in the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. Today Korah is known as a trash dump community, but originally it was established as a leper’s colony – a result of the placement of a leprosy hospital in the community about 95 years ago – and people afflicted with leprosy throughout Ethiopia gradually descended upon this community. Eventually the city of Addis Ababa designated this community as the spot for the city landfill.  The population of Korah is estimated at over 100,000 people living within 2 square miles, making the population very dense. An estimated 3,000 lepers live in the village today, and around 10% of the population in Korah are HIV+. The three main income sources are begging, collecting recycled materials at the local trash dump and daily labor. An estimated 3,000 families rely on the local trash dump for their livelihood, collecting food and recycled materials to support their families.

Emiyu Agash

Name: Lydia Gedamu

Story: Lydia is 14 years old and in grade 6. Her favorite color is pink and she likes playing jump rope with friends. English is her favorite subject in school, and she dreams of becoming a doctor when she grows up! Lydia lives with her mother, Emiyu Agash, who supports their family as a single mother, trading items found in the trash dump.


Name: Belianay

Story: Belianay is 11 years old and in grade 3. He loves school, especially his Amharic class. At recess he enjoys playing soccer with friends, and he wants to be a doctor when he grows up. Yerabe, Belianay’s grandmother, is his primary caregiver along with her husband, and affectionately refers Belianay as her son, rather than grandson.

Gena Erkoya

Name: Kidist Temesgen

Story: Kidist is 15 years old and in grade 7. She enjoys going to all classes at school, but her favorite class is her music class, and she dreams of becoming a professional singer one day. Kidist’s mother, Gena, is 37 years old, and earns an income by washing clothes for people around her village. She is currently separated from her husband and supports Kidist on her own.

Desta Kassahun

Name: Desta Kassahun

Story: Desta is 10 years old and in grade 3. She loves learning English and her favorite color is red. She enjoys playing “monkey in the middle” with her friends at school, and when she grows up she wants to be a police officer because she wants to enforce world peace.  Desta’s parents, Fetanech and Kassahun, have 4 children and 1 grandchild who live with them, and work the trash dump in Korah to support their family.

Lydia Fitsu KG

Name: Lydia Fitsu

Story: Lydia is 7 years old and in grade 1. Her favorite colors is red, and she loves playing soccer with friends. Her favorite subject in school is English and when she grows up, Lydia wants to become a pilot! Lydia lives with her mother, Abaynesh, and older sister, Meseret. To earn an income for the family, Abaynesh washes clothes for other families.

Asanagech Fantie

Name: Asnakech Fantaye

Story: Asnakech is 12 years old and in grade 4. She lives with her mother and older brothers, Geveo and Dawit. Some of her favorite things are the color green, music, soccer, and eating pasta noodles. Her mother, Balaxier Brihani, is 39 years old and single mom. To earn an income for her family she works the trash dump and sells candles in front of the Orthodox Church.

Nardos Ashenafi

Name: Nardos Ashenafi

Story: Nardos is 10 years old in grade 4. Her favorite things are the color red, learning math, playing hide and seek with her friends, and eating injera with meat. She lives with both of her parents are her little sister, Rediet. Her mom, Etagen Belachew, is 30 years old and works as a housemaid. Her father, Ashenafi, is 40 years old and works as a cleaner.

Dagim Welese.

Name: Dagam Welese

Story: Dagam is 5 years old and in grade KG1. He lives with his mother in Korah. Gebianesh Mula is 24 years old, and was previously married but her husband left her when Dagam was just 1 month old. She earns an income by braiding hair in their home.


Name: Fentay Sesay

Story: Fenaty is 40 years old and is originally from Gondar in Northern Ethiopia. She is divorced from her husband, but they had two sons together. Solomon is 18 years old and is in vocational school studying furniture making and woodworking. He pursues his education at night and works during the day in order to contribute to the family income. Nhusenaye, is 20 year old and works in the electricity field.

Getay Derama..

Name: Getay Derema

Story: Getay is 26 years old and is originally from an area called Meta Robi, about 72 kilometers from Addis Ababa, and came to Korah 10 years ago. Her husband, Tesfaye Abraham, is 40 years old and works as a beggar as much as possible in order to help contribute to the support of the family. Together they have three children: Ephraim, 9 years old, Askalech, 4 years old, and Tsegay, 2 years old.

Yede Woldu.

Name: Temesgen

Story: Temesgen is 4 years old and in grade KG1. He loves going to school and his favorite class is PE. At recess he enjoys playing with toy cars. Temesgen’s mother, Yede Woldu is 30 years old,  and supports herself and her son by washing clothes in the village and making injera for her neighbors.

Deborah and Aman

Name: Deborah

Story: Deborah is 23 years old and is originally from Harar, in Eastern Ethiopia, but  moved to Addis Ababa when she was a child. Deborah is married but she and her husband are currently separated, but have a daughter together, 3 year old Aman.

Mulu (child is Edelawit)

Name: Mulu + Edelawit

Story: Edelawit is 6 years old and in grade KG2 this year. She loves the color yellow, playing tag with friends at recess, and her favorite subject is math. When she grows up, Edelawit dreams of becoming a doctor! She lives with her mother, Mulu, who supports their family by making and selling injera.

Kidist Gezachew.

Name: Kidist Gezachew

Story: Kidist is 5 years old and in grade KG1 this year. She loves playing soccer with friends at recess, the color yellow, and her English class, and she dreams of becoming a teacher when she grows up! She lives in Korah with her mom, dad, and two siblings. Her parents work as daily laborers to support the family.

Haymonet (child is Surafel)

Name: Haymonet Yilma

Story: Haymonet is a 32 year old single mother of two. Her husband left her when she was pregnant, and she has not seen him since. She struggles to provide for her children, and works selling potatoes on the street to earn an income. Surafel is just shy of 3 years old, and little Rediet is 1 year old.

Etenish Mengesha

Name: Etenish Mengesha

Story: Etenish is a 31 year old mother of four, married to her husband Mekunye. They live in Korah with their kids, Sisay, 20 years old, Hana, 9 years old, Abune, 8 years old, and Meklet, 1 year old. To support their children Mekunye works as a security guard and Etenish works making handicrafts.

A Night In Korah

Videographer and storyteller, Ryan Daly, spends a night in Korah and documents his experience to share with the world. The people featured in this film are part of our ministry in Korah.