The Gobezie Goshu Home in Ethiopia is a humanitarian project helping abandoned, destitute and disabled elderly persons as well as young children in Adwa, Ethiopia. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit founded by Tsige-Roman Gobezie in 2003 and based in Santa Maria, California, USA, and Adwa, Tigray, Ethiopia.
Known originally as the Gobezie Goshu Home for the Elderly (and in Ethiopia now as Gobezie Goshu Support for Elderly and Children), this charitable organization has been an inspiration to all in both Ethiopia and abroad.
Preschool children also have become beneficiaries of the organization. Following an initiative of Tsige’s, local educators have been inspired to build more private kindergartens to provide essential basic education for many more three- to six-year-olds in preparation for entering government-run schools at age seven.
Tsige-Roman Gobezie is a native of Adwa, a town of about 60,000 in the northern Ethiopian province of Tigray. During the political turmoil of the Marxist regime in the 1970s and ’80s, Tsige, the first female pharmacist of Ethiopia, left her homeland and sought asylum in the United States, where she worked as a pharmacist for Santa Barbara County in California until her retirement many years later.
In 2000, Tsige made her first trip back to Ethiopia, where she was devastated by the poverty she saw in her hometown of Adwa – especially of the many men and women living in the streets without food, shelter or hope. Tsige learned to her dismay that there were no government welfare programs for the elderly. On her return to the United States, she made a firm resolve to help: “I cannot help all these people… but I will do at least a little.”
When Tsige-Roman retired in 2003 in California, she began, with a group of volunteers, to raise funds in the United States and abroad to help these elderly people. She sold her home and her possessions in California, and returned to her Ethiopian birthplace to devote her life to those less fortunate than she.
Her non-profit charity, Gobezie Goshu Home for the Elderly, soon took on helping many more needy elderly people, living in their own humble homes. This entailed purchasing and bringing to them basic foodstuffs, clothing and bedding. Oftentimes, Tsige was the one who would personally tend to their physical hygiene as well.
When Tsige began paying for the tuition of preschoolers in 2004, this added a whole new dimension to her charitable work. It continues to be a major part of her outreach and the need for funds to support that outreach. Over one thousand local three- to six-year-olds per year are being sponsored in a dozen privately-run kindergartens throughout Adwa by generous donations to this cause.