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The Weeknd donates $50,000 to University of Toronto's Ethiopian Studies Program

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Yasmin Aboelsaud Aug 08, 2016 12:33 am

The Weeknd is known globally for his music, but locally, the Ontario native is getting known for his generosity.

The Grammy Award-winning Abel Tesfaye has donated $50,000 to the University of Toronto’s Ethiopic Studies program, according to the Bikila Award.

“We are pleased to announce a very generous donation of $50,000 made by the internationally acclaimed award winning artist Abel Tesfaye, The Weeknd, for the establishment of Ethiopic Studies at the University of Toronto,” wrote the Bikila Award on their Facebook page.

Bikila Award is an organization created to empower young people of Ethiopian decent reach their highest potential and to celebrate their achievements. In 2014, Tesfaye was awarded with the Bikila Award’s Processional Excellence Award. And as the organization reached out looking for donors, it seemed Tesfaye did not hesitate to respond.

“Currently, the lack of resources and knowledge for adequately preserving cultural materials in Ethiopia means our cultural and historical heritage is disappearing at an alarming rate. The Ethiopian studies program at the University of Toronto will play a vital role in teaching Ethiopia’s heritage to consecutive generations of students, in supporting digitization efforts, and to the dissemination of source material to the research community within and outside the University,” stated the school on the website, which was shared by Tesfaye on Twitter.

The donation puts the organization one step closer to starting the program, which is set to launch within a year. And not only did he donate, The Weeknd, who is of Ethiopian decent, also encouraged others to do the same.

He may be a superstar hit-maker to many, but to us, The Weeknd is also a generous philanthropist. And we’re proud to call him a Torontonian.

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Yasmin Aboelsaud
Senior Staff Writer, music aficionado, fueled by coffee, travel & Drake.

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