My name is Mentesnot Mengesha and I have been a resident of Newham for the last 30 years; my family and son also live here. I fled Ethiopia as a refugee but I quickly settled in the borough and I am now a British citizen.
I first became acquainted with the Renewal Programme through the late Joan Farrell, of Plaistow United Reformed Church, who suggested I volunteer within the organisation’s Refugee and Migrant Project whilst I was attending NVQ courses in Business Administration. After a short time, there was an opening for part-time employment within the charity and luckily enough, the Home Office allowed me to take the job whilst my asylum application was being considered. I stayed at the Renewal Programme for seven years before moving to take up a job in a new area of interest.
Since my time at the Renewal Programme, I have gained decades worth of experience working across different sectors including the national and local government offices, not-for-profit organisations, NHS Trusts and academic institutions. I have also gained undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications including a research degree and teaching qualification.
The Renewal Programme helped me to progress on a career path I felt incredibly passionate about. For this reason, the charity has always remained close to my heart. The variety of charitable work the organisation does means it has reached out to so many people within the borough of Newham over the last 50 years and it continues to respond to local needs.
Local charities are struggling at this moment in time due to the tight budget regime they have to perform in. Local needs are exponentially increasing, but the variety of charitable work the organisation does means it has reached out to so many people within the borough over the last 50 years and it continues to respond to what the people of Newham need.
The Renewal Programme have diversified their projects and funding sources to respond to the community. I’ve witnessed innovative projects coming to the scene because of the charity while other organisations downsized.