Board member

Marta Gabre-Tsadick


Marta Gabre-Tsadick was the Co-Founder of Project Mercy. Her remarkable story is told in her book, Sheltered by The King. Marta was the first woman Senator of Ethiopia under the late Emperor Haile Selassie and served as a Director in the Office of Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In that capacity, she had the privilege of accompanying international figures on their visits to Ethiopia, as well as accompanying the late Emperor Haile Selassie and his wife on their official foreign trips. While serving as Senator in Ethiopia, Marta and her family were forced to flee the country shortly after the Communist takeover.

In 1977, after relocating to the USA, Marta and her husband, Deme, and Fran and Chuck Dickinson established Project Mercy. The organization was initially formed to provide emergency relief aid, educational assistance, and refugee relocation help to African refugees. In the 1980's through the 1990's, they initiated innovative food and sewing programs that enabled Project Mercy to distribute food and clothing to hundreds of thousands of refugees from Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, and Ethiopia. In 1993, Marta established a partnership between the elders of Yetebon, a rural area in Ethiopia, which paved the way for the current community development program continued by Project Mercy.