My name is Lynn Steinberg and I am the Marketing Director at Roots Ethiopia. I visited Ethiopia two times in 2014. The first visit was with my family and the second visit I was part of the Roots Ethiopia Travel Team. After both of my trips, my oldest daughter Izzy was particularly interested in the young girls who are unable to attend school in Ethiopia due to lack of family resources, early marriage practices, and inadequate sanitation facilities. Here is a picture of Izzy with her sisters at a school in Hosanna, Ethiopia.
For her 11th Birthday, she started an online fundraiser called #3Girls3Futures. Her goal was to send three girls to school, but she had rules. Her main rule was that family could NOT support her efforts. She was adamant that nobody even remotely related to her could donate to her fundraiser. She was determined to do it all on her own. She also would not let me tinker with or edit her words on Razoo which was a huge challenge in control for me! I was also concerned as I know the challenges in raising money, but I encouraged her to do her best, knowing full well that our family would fill in any money that she was unable to raise.
After some hardcore fundraising presses at her school, where she literally asked teachers point blank for money (that’s Izzy), she was able to raise just under $600! For a month or so she was at a standstill and I began to think that we might have to step in. Soon after, the church we attend asked Izzy if the Youth Group could support her fundraiser. The Youth Director helped to organize a cook-off after services on August 1st. Members of the St. Paul AME Church in Carrboro, NC contributed various dishes ranging from baked spaghetti to peach and cranberry pie. Roots Ethiopia supplied rack cards about our various programs and the congregation absolutely LOVED learning about our education efforts in Ethiopia. They especially loved engaging their youth in gaining a global perspective and teaching them that they CAN be a part of progress in the developing world.
Reverend Nixon, Pastor at St. Paul in Carrboro said,
“The St. Paul A.M.E. Church Youth Ministry (Y.P.D.) is proud to support the Roots Ethiopia Program, a program to help raise funds to assist young girls in Ethiopia to attend school. The Y.P.D. (Young Peoples Department) is the Youth Ministry of the AME Church. This fundraiser was led by St. Paul’s youth Izzy Steinberg. I am proud of our youth for their love, compassion, and concern for others.”
In the end, Izzy and the Y.P.D raised enough money to send 7 girls to school in rural Ethiopia! It was an incredible effort that will change the lives of entire families in Ethiopia. Izzy cannot wait to visit another school and learn more about the lives of young Ethiopian girls on her upcoming trip to Ethiopia this October.
Here are some pictures from the event! Please contact Roots Ethiopia if you are interested in getting your Youth Organizations involved in supporting education in the developing world.