What is a Green Famine and How You Can Help.

Suffering and a Green Landscape: What is a Green Famine?

The trees look green, fields are planted…but why is there no food? “Green famines” exist in areas dependent on rain-fed agriculture and areas with extreme poverty. In over 80% of Ethiopia, family food and income largely depend on one thing – the weather. Continue reading “What is a Green Famine and How You Can Help.”

Sewasew on Art, Nature, and Connection

Welcome to our first Ethiopian artist feature! Each artist has donated their artwork for our Threadless Shop. This generosity is so important for our mission, and it brings beautiful and original Ethiopian art into your home in a unique and fun way!  Visit our shop on Threadless to view (and buy!) this amazing artist’s artwork! Continue reading “Sewasew on Art, Nature, and Connection”

Etta with cake

Every Little Bit(e) Helps Communities in Rural Ethiopia

Cami Blumenthal serves on the Roots Ethiopia Board of Directors. Two of Cami’s four children were born in one of the rural areas served by Roots Ethiopia. In this guest post, she shares how her daughter has been using her baking skills to support a cause important to her.

During this time of COVID-19, I found myself worried about how the pandemic would affect the families in the southern region of Ethiopia. The Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia is a rural region where many vulnerable families lack access to healthcare and live on 50 cents per day. How could we help keep Ethiopian families safe and healthy?

Thankfully, Roots Ethiopia was able to pivot its focus quickly and deliver food, soap and health education to thousands of families in rural Ethiopia. This resulted in keeping many families fed, together and safe.

Meanwhile, back in my bubble outside of Seattle, Washington, my biggest challenge was how to keep our four children engaged in virtual school while also being mindful of their emotional well-being since they could no longer enjoy favorite activities. Talk about privilege!

Our daughter, Etta, who is age 11, LOVES to bake and she’s quite talented at it. Being home full-time created the time and space to further her passion of baking.

I quickly realized two important things during this time. First, I have no will power and so eating daily baked goods isn’t great for the waistline. And second, I realized Etta needed to share her joy of baking more broadly as her treats were delicious! That’s how Etta launched her own business, E’s Sweets.

As Etta and I talked about what to do with the money she would earn, she thought of how she could use her baking as an opportunity to do some good in the world. It took her no time to decide on Roots Ethiopia as the organization she wanted to help support by donating a portion of what she earned.

Etta began taking orders in June and has already donated $80 to Roots Ethiopia. I’m proud of her hard work and her big heart in wanting to make an impact in this world.

What I’ve learned through all of this is that each of us has an opportunity to find a way to support the causes that speak to us, and every little bit counts.

I’m so grateful to those who have chosen to support Roots Ethiopia. Your generosity is making a difference in the lives of many.


It’s All Big To A Kid!

Our work with schools, children, and educators in rural Ethiopia creates lasting change. Your contribution today means Ethiopian students will have the resources they need to start school, stay in school, and succeed in school.

To keep our work going strong, we’ve launched a donation campaign to support students, schools, and teachers in Ethiopia. And we’ve rooted it in the idea that no amount is too small to impact a life — it’s all big to a kid! Every donation makes a child’s world a little bit bigger and widens the door to new opportunities.

What does $10 do? It provides three textbooks for a library. It helps a local school get one donation closer to its first microscope. It fills a backpack with school supplies. It supports a fund to provide educators continued professional training. It creates a ripple of change through the community.

We’d like to share a few stories of the children, teachers, and schools we’re working with in Ethiopia:




We established two special education classrooms in Ethiopia. The teachers from both schools have attended training at some of the excellent special education centers in the capital city, Addis Ababa. We continue to help the classrooms with support for more students, more teachers, and quality teaching materials.

Students enrolled in the special education program are fed lunch and given safe transportation to school EVERY day.

Meet one of our special education students, Seiyed. Before entering our special education classroom in Halaba, Seiyed struggled with language and had trouble reciting the alphabet. Now he can recite the alphabet like a boss! He has progressed rapidly with the help of our program, see for yourself!





Your donation provides tuition support for students, improves school facilities and equipment, aids in professional development for teachers and staff, and delivers books and supplies to bright young students. Remember, it’s all big to a kid!

Please SHARE this with others who might want to learn about our work to improve school facilities and provide tuition support in rural Ethiopia!

*Donations will be allocated to our “LRP: Schools Receive Critical Learning Materials” and “School Sponsorship Fund” as needed.

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!



Meet Jonah, an 12-Year-Old Crocheting Prodigy and Budding Philanthropist

At just 12 years old, Jonah Faiso Larson has already mastered the art of crocheting and opened his own crochet business, Jonah’s Hands.

It began when Jonah was just five years old. His aunt gave him a bag of old craft items and Jonah was immediately drawn to the crochet needle. After watching hundreds of YouTube videos, Jonah picked up the talent and was “hooked.” Now, Jonah crochets each morning and evening, creating anything from scarves, to potholders, to bags, and ornaments. Jonah has developed his crochet skill and is often called a crochet prodigy.

But it’s Jonah’s philanthropy that’s garnered national recognition. Jonah uses his talents to donate some of his goods and earnings to organizations he holds dear. Roots Ethiopia was fortunate enough to receive several of Jonah’s most prized pieces – some of the very first projects he ever crocheted when he was just five years old. He donated them to be sold in Roots Ethiopia’s online store during our annual “Upcycle Sale” so that profits can support our programs. In 2019 Jonah started a GoFundMe campaign and generously gave $9,300 to begin work on “Jonah’s Library” near the place he was born. Later, he invited Anthropologie to donate $5k to help create Jonah’s Science Lab at the same school! The library is finished, and the science lab is undergoing construction as of February 2020. It is an honor and a privilege to work with Jonah. We love the talent of both is hands and his heart.

We’re proud to work with such an aspiring young artist, and we’re so grateful to Jonah for his continued support and generosity. Keep up the great work, Jonah!

To learn more about Jonah’s Library, you might want to catch his debut on NBC’s Little Big Shots! We surprised him with a video welcome from students at the school! You can hear Jonah’s story here.  Minute 22.37 is the start of Jonah’s segment. (We’re not crying, you’re crying! It’s very emotional!).

To support Jonah’s work, we are grateful for any gifts made to It’s All Big To A Kid. Gifts made this this campaign will be dedicated to work at the “orange” school, which is Jonah’s favorite color.