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Big News for 2023! 
Soccer equipment donations keep our core program strong!

Executive Director, Dereje Aleme, spent the most recent working trip in October/November 2022 getting a fence built around the property which will become the new base for all of LEP's work in Ethiopia. LEP is in process of preparing plans for a new training program. More to come soon!  

Donations to LEP go directly toward the work on the ground inside the juvenile prison where we work with hundreds of children and youth. In addition to giving, you can also

select Lighting the Ethiopian Path and the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to LEP. Contact us if you have questions. 

We work with hundreds of kids each year and are always in need of jerseys, shoes, and other equipment that is in good condition and clean. Do you have some donations? Contact us at to arrange for a pickup or shipment of your items to be taken to Ethiopia on the next trip. 


Lighting the Ethiopian Path transitions youth into servant leaders through sports. Each program is unique to the context, informed by personal experience of overcoming obstacles specific to East African life, and based on enduring principles. The idea of sportsmanship is a principle that crosses all borders with the power to dissolve hatred, an excellent foundation for change. Football, because of its prevalence across the globe, has the unique power to engage communities of every background. At LEP, we train local coaches, mentor young leaders, and empower youth with the life skills needed to overcome any obstacle. With the help of their team and community of local mentors, youth choose to take the steps needed to meet their goals, stay in school, resolve conflicts without violence, respect all members of their community, make ethical and empathetic decisions, and find their purpose in life. Local young adult mentors who understand the unique strengths and perspectives of each culture create change in mass through LEP programs.

Kenyan children playing in front of Mosque

At LEP, we envision community transformation through youth teams who learn to appreciate their own worth, experience God's love, and find their voice as servant leaders blazing new paths.


We seek to transform the future of Ethiopia, one team at a time.


The choice to become part of change belongs to each of us. It is not forced from the outside, but the overflow of an inner desire to make a difference.  Transformation is strongest when shared by those who also share your culture and its resources.  This is why LEP believes deeply in local leadership. Our Executive Director and Founder is Ethiopian and grew up in Addis Ababa. He possesses a heightened understanding of the intricacies and complexities of life faced by youth where we work.  Join him and our Ethiopian staff in empowering youth to blaze a new path. 

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