Enjoy Weezer & Improve Schools!

In May of 2018, legendary rock and roll band, Weezer, released a cover of Toto’s famous song, “Africa.” Shortly after, they created and sold “Bless the Rains” t-shirts and donated all of their profits to Roots Ethiopia!

We LOVE Weezer and we think the feeling is mutual. And we want to SHARE THAT LOVE in 2019!

Weezer and Roots Ethiopia have teamed up again to create a better, brighter future for families and children in Ethiopia. With help from Weezer, we’ve gotten our hands on a few RARE items you can’t find anywhere else…

  • 4 VIP Tickets to the Weezer & Pixies Concert! Sunday, March 31 at 7 p.m. at the Alliant Energy Center Coliseum in Madison, Wis.
  • 1 Fender Squier Bullet Strat Guitar Autographed by Rivers Cuomo, Pat Wilson, Scott Shriner and Brian Bell of Weezer.
  • 4 Africa/Rosanna Green Vinyl 7” Limited Edition Records. 
  • 4 “Bless the Rains” T-Shirts (which are currently sold out on Weezer’s website!)

Starting March 4 and before 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 11, 2019, place your silent auction bid so that you and three of your friends can enjoy this legendary Weezer experience. 100% of the proceeds will go to Roots Ethiopia’s programming.

The winning bid will be notified by March 12, 2019!



Top 10 Reasons We are Headed to Ethiopia This Week!

Let’s get right to the reasons our team is headed out this week to Ethiopia:

1. Our fabulous photographer, Lauren, will spend an entire day by the side of a local woman documenting her ‘day.’ Lauren will be able to create a body of work that is unique and powerfully speaks to the work of Roots Ethiopia.

2. Hygiene: We are in the assessment stages of including a major latrine and handwashing station build at all of the local schools where we have LRP’s. Our hygiene team will be hard at work gathering data, visiting latrines, and interviewing school children and their families.

3. Coffee. The best 40 cent macchiato in all the world.

4. Parachutes – there will be 3 enrichment projects at 3 of our LRP’s and they will include art AND parachutes! Artist volunteers Jeni and Marci will lead these beautiful school programs.

5. LRP’s LRP’s and more LRP’s! We will see 2 new proposed LRP’s and 2 LRP’s completed earlier in the year. Then, we will celebrate our 9 LRP’s by gathering our USA Team, our team of community facilitators, and leadership from these 9 schools to talk about how our educational enrichments strategies are meeting community needs and concerns. This ½ day event will allow us to engage in deep listening as communities tell us what they need. We hope to experience another bonfire evening with singing and dancing!

6. We will visit 2 new community sites, Shone and Mudula. We will get a bird’s eye view of Roots Ethiopia community work on this trip; visiting IGA’s, sponsored students, and learning more about these 2 special communities.

7. Our Board Treasurer in the USA will meet our Accountant in Hosanna. Fiscal transparency is one of our top priorities!

8. Videography! Our dynamic duo will take to the field and begin our first efforts at videography. Desta, our Board member raised in the area, and Jeanne, our Board member with videography skills, are readying themselves for a full week of beauty caught on film.

9. SO many new IGA’S! ALL of our community facilitators have had special continuing education/training to better facilitate our small business start-up grant selection and support. And, ALL of our beneficiaries are currently attending local workshops at our 12 community centers to build their business skills. We will visit these hardworking business women and men and learn about their work and their goals for the future.

10. Meskel Flowers. It’s the season.



Artful Giving Aims to End Poverty in Ethiopia

It has been BUSY at Roots Ethiopia. Our team has been planning #ArtfulGiving and we almost forgot to update all of you! It is tomorrow night!! Over 200 people are expected to attend.

Come for the Art, Stay For The Conversation!!

The benefit, held September 19, 7-10p.m. at Prairie Café and Bakery in Middleton, Wisconsin will include neighborhood friends, supporters of our vibrant non-profit, and those who appreciate art for a cause in a beautiful location. We expect over 200 attendees from around the state who have a heart for art, Ethiopia, and all the potential of women worldwide. Jennifer Rikkers Art, Lauren Werner Photography, and Chris Callahan, jewelry artisan from CMC Studio, are our generous artist hosts.

The evening benefit will include art created by women in support of women. Artful Giving expresses what compels us all to create a better future for women as they strive to support their families with meaningful and sustainable work. This event reaches across boundaries and borders to support global needs.

Proceeds from this event will be directed to our Self-Help Entrepreneurs (S.H.E.) which is creating 30 small businesses in 30 days for women in rural Ethiopia.

Here are some pics of what this event is going to look like! Who is excited??? #ArtfulGiving!!

We will be sharing more images from this event over the next few days! Please contact us if you are interested in hosting a similar event in your hometown at info@rootsethiopia.org.

Sponsor a small businesses in Ethiopia during our 30 businesses in 30 days campaign this year! $325 or $27/month sponsors one coffee shop, market stand, small store, or a bread and tea stand in rural Ethiopia!

Roots Ethiopia is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working in Africa, specifically helping Southern Ethiopia. Roots Ethiopia supports community identified solutions for job creation and education.

Roots Ethiopia is Laser Focused on Goals

It’s a wrap! Our leadership team just returned from a jam-packed weekend of strategizing, planning, thinking, exchanging, learning, and growing. Driving the pack was the incredible Katie Belanger, a non-profit strategist who kept us in line, narrowing our focus to our immediate to-do list, our 1-year goals, and our 5-year goals.

Katie Belanger complimented Roots Ethiopia on our ability to organize and bring our team together. She explained, “Roots Ethiopia is at a pristine moment – you have been highly operational with tons of incredible work already accomplished. You don’t need to unlearn or undo. You are ready to move ahead and strategically form a professional organization built from scratch.” That felt pretty good to hear! Thanks, Katie!

Meghan Walsh, Founder of Roots Ethiopia told our Board:

“Our growth is on fire! We are aware of our strengths and weaknesses. Today we are bringing together our leaders with different skill sets to create a plan to get to our next steps. Good for us for arriving here! What is next and how are we going to get there? That is what we will work on today.”

Well, put as always Meghan!

Of course, there was the regular Roots Ethiopia banter including potty talk (mainly stories from our field visits), nicknaming (Soddo and Brittanica are the nicknames of two of our Board Members), carb loading (Bruegger’s Bagels), caffeinating (Starbucks) and silliness! It is this energy that keeps our Board culture solidified and our leaders motivated to lead.

Thank you to all of our loyal supporters, including the many new donors who have joined the Roots Ethiopia family of givers this year. Together we are sticking to the mission of Roots Ethiopia in smart and strategic ways:

Supporting community identified solutions for job creation and education in Southern Ethiopia.

Roots Ethiopia is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working in Africa, specifically helping Southern Ethiopia. Roots Ethiopia supports community identified solutions for job creation and education.

Soccer Jersey Give-Away–Happy New Year!

Roots Ethiopia is celebrating the Ethiopian New Year and the Ethiopian Soccer Team win against Central Africa with an Ethiopian Soccer Jersey Giveaway!

Roots Ethiopia is going to celebrate New Year’s with a JERSEY GIVE-AWAY! Everyone who donates to ANY of our projects for ANY amount will be entered into the draw. We will host a random draw using random.org on Saturday, September 14th at 9 P.M. Central.   So come on, win this beautiful jersey! (Adult L, Adidas tags, if you know shirt sizes in Ethiopia, this is more like an adult S and/or a children’s XL).

You can donate on our secure server HERE for any of our 3 core programs (IGA’s, School Sponsorships, and our General Fund). You can also donate HERE for our special project in Amacho Wato. Choose your favorite program and don’t wait — you have one week!


Do you want to learn more about the Ethiopian New Year?

September 11, 2013. Ethiopian New Year, also called Enkutatash or Ri’se Awde Amet, is a significant holiday for Ethiopians.  New Year’s Eve is sometimes spent attending the church or mosque.

On New Year’s Day, there is much celebrating, good food, family, and neighborhood friendliness. If a family can, they will purchase new clothes for their children. The children will get together and go from home to home singing and collecting coins (birr). The girls sing in groups during the day, followed by groups of boys on New Year’s night.

Evening ends with coffee and children who have spent their coins on candy at the local suk.  The holiday occurs on September 11 in the Gregorian calendar, except for the year before each Western Leap Year, when it occurs on September 12.



Thank you to everyone who supported this campaign. We appreciate your support of our program and of Ethiopia’s national soccer team!