Planting Seeds of Educational Opportunity by Dr. Marika Lindholm

Dr. Marika Lindholm has made a 5-year commitment to support Roots Ethiopia’s Learning Resource Project (LRP) and we couldn’t be more excited! She’s the founder of and co-editor of We Got This: Solo Mom Stories of Grit, Heart, and Humor.

She’s penned this letter below with her thoughts on our LPR program, why creating educational opportunities is important, and why she has committed to help.


As a sociologist who has taught the sociology of education and a feminist who advocates for increased opportunity for girls and women around the world, I’m thrilled to support Roots Ethiopia’s Learning Resource Project (LRP).

All parents, regardless of whether they live in a modern high-rise or in a tukul surrounded by eucalyptus trees, want their children to have educational opportunity. My husband Ray and I have made a five-year commitment to supporting this program because we know it will change lives.


Success in school is not always guaranteed, but research shows that children who defy odds and overcome educational challenges are blessed with more than a work ethic. They had someone in their life, someone who was not their parent, that invested in their success. Roots Ethiopia’s LRP offers more than academic support and help with test preparation; it’s a weekly testimonial that a student’s success is valued. This is life-changing.

Students from 19 primary and three secondary schools (benefiting from Roots Ethiopia’s LRP) will be fortunate to have tutoring in five core subject areas and preparation for regional and national exams. In addition to building confidence and filling in gaps, they will learn how to make study plans and enhance their time-management skills. Most of us understand the value of extra attention and tutoring for any young person, but imagine the tremendous impact it has in a region and a country where schooling is not always a given – especially for girls.

I’m thrilled that girls will be equal beneficiaries of the tutoring program, which is certain to propel these dedicated students into unique opportunities and leadership roles. The recent appointment of Sahle-Work Zewde, the country’s first female president, signifies an ideological shift and commitment to increasing opportunity for women.

Metasebia Shewaye Yilma, a media entrepreneur and president of the Ethiopian women’s business group AWiB, told NPR on Thursday that she is “ecstatic” at Sahle-Work’s appointment, calling it “superb news for all us here, especially for women.” It’s exciting that the tutoring program is in-sync with this historical milestone for Ethiopian women.

My spouse and I have had the good fortune of being able to give our five children tremendous educational opportunity. As a sociologist, I know that socioeconomic status is the greatest predictor of educational success. I’ve seen the research that demonstrates the value of tutoring and personalized attention for students who, due to structural and geopolitical circumstances, face challenges and barriers to equal opportunity in education.
Roots Ethiopia, in its culturally sensitive and hands-on approach to tutoring and other educational support, is paving a bright future for Ethiopian students to excel, give back to their region, and shape the nation’s future.

I’m proud to sponsor a small fragment of this wonderful work and encourage others to do the same.

Dr. Marika Lindholm
Founder Empowering Solo Moms Everywhere
Co-editor of We Got This: Solo Mom Stories of Grit, Heart, and Humor

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