Transformational Organizations: Felege Hiywot Center


Felege Hiywot LogoTransform Consulting Group wants to highlight the impact that the Felege Hiywot Center (FHC) is having on the lives of urban youth and creating a ripple effect in Indianapolis. FHC serves Indianapolis students, second generation Ethiopians in Indianapolis, and orphans in Ethiopia.  FHC teaches gardening and environmental preservation, embracing Ethiopian heritage, and community service.

Founder and Executive Director, Aster Bekele, is a native Ethiopian who has lived as a U.S. citizen in Indianapolis for more than three decades. A retired Eli Lilly scientist, Bekele got the idea to teach and mentor children about math and science through creating a garden center in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood.

By participating in summer, after-school and in-school programs, students develop:

  • Gardening skills
  • Awareness of nature and nutritious food
  • Commitment to environmental preservation
  • Ability to make nutritious food choices
  • Entrepreneurial skills to sell the bounty of their crops
  • Recycling and composting skills

FHC’s agricultural and environmental training also incorporates language arts, math, science, and social studies lessons. Each child has the opportunity to become an active community servant, a helpful team player and a responsible family member. FHC’s afterschool program reduces intergenerational stress by helping second-generation Ethiopian youth understand their heritage, history, and culture. Participants learn to share with each other and with others in the community while developing leadership skills. FHC also facilitates one-on-one financial supports between American families and individual Ethiopian orphans. Lastly, because of the location of FHC, they are creating access to nutritious foods in a neighborhood that is considered a “food desert”.

Transform Consulting Group applauds FHC’s use of the natural environment to teach, its efforts to increase cultural identity and emphasis on community service. To find out more about the Felege Hiywot Center’s programs, click here. Interested in how your organization can make a similar successful impact? Contact Transform Consulting Group today for a consultation!