Young Diplomats is a youth-led not-for-profit organization that is committed to empowering Ethiopian-Canadian and Eritrean-Canadian youth. The organization does this through initiatives that promote education, health, culture, diasporic networks, capacity building, community development and a sense of belonging.


Our programs are guided by the following pillars:


  • Education & Learning

  • Career & Professional Development

  • Physical & Mental Health

  • Diaspora Partnerships


Mobilize (Unite) Ethiopian and Eritrean youth in Toronto.


Create youth-friendly positive spaces.


Connect youth with role models and mentors who look like them.


Provide youth with resources to enable them to reach their short-term and/or long-term goals.


Challenge youth to create opportunities that they want to experience.


It's not only what we do but how we do it that matters:


  • Meaningful Partnerships and Dialogue: YD builds partnerships with other organizations and community groups to provide youth with wider access to resources and opportunities. Dialogues with parents in the community has also helped bridge intergenerational gaps between parents and youth.


  • Leveraging Resources: Thanks to partnerships, collaborating on events, and sharing networks, YD has been able to sustain itself as a resourceful organization. If we do not have the internal resources that one of our youth members need, we can usually point them in the right direction.


  • Innovation & The Arts: Youth are always the earliest adopters of technology and artistic movements. YD's use of social media platforms, active online presence, and arts-based programming have proven to be an important and unique aspect of YD's success in youth engagement.


YD was formally incorporated in September 2006 as Young Diplomats Ethiopian Youth Development Group. In January 2007, we launched our flagship program, Vibrant Things Mentorship program, which was funded by the Youth Challenge Fund. The creation of our first program was inspired by one of the key learnings from our needs assessment (Download Report Here, see pp. 201-246), which is that young people yearned for positive role models and the possibilities associated with developing and expanding their personal and professional relationships.


Our name, Young Diplomats, emerged in recognition of the fact that we held unique positions as facilitators between first generation East-African immigrants and their second-generation children.  Now, we view our name as a representation of how we should always carry ourselves as we continue to learn and grow as a youth community.


Executive Director

Hallelujah Ghide


Bethel Woldemichael

Daniel Balay

Kalkidan Tesfu

Nabil Shash

Nathaniel Jembere

Othniel Litchmore

Philip Belayneh

Samra Zeweldi

Naomi Amanuel

Program Manager

Eden Shibeshi

Youth Outreach Worker


Alpha Abebe

Bruk Retta

Eman Jamie

Eskender Mekonnen

Helena Shimeles

Jacob Milyon

Kiddist Mengesha

Maraki Fikre Merid

Natnael Feseha

Ruth Amanuel