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Finding Tangible Hope with Lily Yoseph

  • Broadcast in Current Events
Billions Rising

Billions Rising


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What kind of hope do you offer others? Our guest is Lily Yoseph, founder of Tangible Hope.

Lily Yoseph, Tangible Hope

After living on three continents and exploring a number of careers, Telile “Lily” Yoseph found that her life’s purpose and passion lay in her own backyard— the small community in Kofele, Ethiopia where she was born in 1963.

After high school, Lily moved to the Netherlands and then Los Angeles, California. Yet in the years away from her family, Lily had experienced some difficult times and still had not found what she called her “life’s purpose.” So in 2008, after 25 years away from home, Lily returned to Ethiopia.

Knowing that she could not help everyone, Lily made the decision to help one family in a way that would immediately and concretely improve their lives. She chose a family with eight children and had a house built for them. It was during the construction of that home that Lily met Ubo, a seven-year-old girl who stayed at home doing domestic chores to help her family rather than going to school. “One day, I took her picture and showed her the photo,” Lily says. “She smiled and said, ‘I didn’t know I’m that beautiful.’”

That encounter touched Lily deeply. She says, “I made a decision that day to do all I could to make sure that no girl would grow up without knowing how beautiful she is or having the opportunity to go to school.” After arranging to support Ubo’s education herself, Lily flew home to California and, with the hope of creating opportunities for more girls like Ubo, established Tangible Hope Foundation—a nonprofit that runs on a shoestring budget out of her one-bedroom apartment.

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