Ethiopian Freweini Mebrahtu was named the CNN 2019 Hero of the Year for her remarkable achievements, and now she has moved to Louisville and is taking on a new role at SOS, a Louisville-based global health organization that collects and redistributes surplus medical supplies to local partners and to communities around the world.
Freweini is a Chemical Engineer who developed a reusable feminine hygiene pad and created a company that produces 1,000,000 pads per year and employs 60+ people, of which 90% are women. Her mission in life is to empower women and girls to reach their full potential so that they can play a bigger role in the economic and social development in their countries.
Unfortunately, her work has been interrupted by the ongoing civil war in Ethiopia, and her company in Tigray is on hold for security reasons while Freweini and her family relocated to the United States. That led her to Louisville when she reached out to SOS about working for the organization, as it would allow for her to continue her humanitarian work and spread the message about the need to elevate the lives of girls worldwide.
“My mission in life is to empower women and girls to reach their full potential so that they can play a bigger role in the economic and social development in their countries,” says Mebrahtu. “I decided to join SOS because I believe their mission to create a healthy environment for underserved populations like women and children seamlessly merged with my life’s work. The SOS mission is so close to my heart and passion.”
“We are incredibly humbled and honored that CNN Hero of the Year Freweini Mebrahtu chose SOS as the organization she wanted to join and support the mission,” says SOS President and CEO Denise Sears. “As a woman from Ethiopia, she brings an authentic and knowledgeable voice to our humanitarian focus and speaks on behalf of women and children in our world’s neediest regions. Her personal story and her humanitarian spirit are inspiring.”
As SOS’s Humanitarian Ambassador, she will be involved in many aspects of the organization from hands-on preparation of outgoing medical supply shipments to special projects and community speaking engagements.