Nothing inspires us here at Roots Ethiopia more than tangible, from-the-ground-up success stories. This week we’re celebrating the BIG transformation at Donga Tunto Primary School, led by the heroic commitment of its devoted principal and 30 teachers. Continue reading “Donga Tunto Primary School – The Inside Story”
Each day, we are blown away by the impact one individual can make when they support a cause. That impact grows exponentially when a whole team of individuals work together to make change.
We were recently introduced to Royal Robbins, an eco-friendly outdoor and travel apparel company. The folks at Royal Robbins have made gear that can travel the world because that’s what their customers do. They #goeverywhere and they believe in the power of the global community.
Our amazing field staff go everywhere too. They travel across multiple microclimates and encounter rain, heat, and cold in a single day. And yet, they had no access to gear that could withstand all of those conditions.
We realized that we had a problem, and that Royal Robbins was the solution.
Royal Robbins’ customers rave about their Convertible Jacket. It’s breathable. It’s durable. It can adapt to just about any climate – including the remote SNNPR region of Ethiopia where our team spends most of their time.
Royal Robbins generously offered to outfit our entire team with their Convertible Jackets. Our field staff in Ethiopia are thrilled to have reliable gear that will allow them to focus on what matters most – their work.
So, what is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and how does it relate?
CSR is a business approach that focuses on not only delivering profits, but on delivering economic, social, and environmental value by supporting charity and non-profit work. And the business community is quickly finding that non-profits aren’t the only ones to gain.
When companies support causes they believe in, they can put meaning and action behind brand values. They can engage new audiences and create customer loyalty. Double the Donations reported that 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for products from socially responsible companies and that 93% of the world’s largest 250 companies now publish annual Corporate Social Responsibility reports.
Our partnership with Royal Robbins is proof positive. Their support has made a world of difference to our staff, and, in the process, they’ve earned a new following of Royal Robbins believers that will stand boldly behind their brand and products.
There’s an Ethiopian proverb that we live by, “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.”
We’re truly grateful for Royal Robbins’ support as we work together to make lasting change.
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!
So go on and BLESS THE RAINS WITH WEEZER!!!
We are so excited for you to meet Barkot Alemu, a 14 year old girl whose name means “Blessing the World”. What a perfect name for a shining star in her 8th grade class at Mugunja Primary School in rural Ethiopia. Barkot is the top student in her class, and she’s an amazing leader among girls and students in her village. Continue reading “Meet Barkot – a smart young student with an exciting future ahead of her!”
One of the things we are most passionate about here at Roots Ethiopia is identifying and removing the barriers between all rural kids and a good education.
Some of those barriers involve financial means or distance from a school or adequate seating in a classroom or the availability of books.
And sometimes the barrier is a pair of eyeglasses.
Yesterday a volunteer team of Ethiopian vision professionals visited the school children we work with in Halaba.
This is especially important for the 30+ children in our special needs program in Halaba. Children with Down Syndrome have a higher rate of vision impairment, and our plan is to serve their vision needs as fully as we can.
We love that over 80 students and their families were included in vision testing. We planned to evaluate 40 special needs students, but word got out and our team of volunteers worked as long as daylight allowed.
We love knowing that so many kids saw themselves in the men and women who tested their eyes — representation matters! Maybe there is an ophthalmologist in the crew of kids tested!
We are especially grateful for the kindness and generosity of the volunteers! The children benefited from their time, their skills, and their compassionate care. What a difference this will make!
Next step: providing proper eyeglasses for these students. Stay tuned for more details!
This post is contributed by Marcie Frehner, member of the 2014-2015 Volunteer Travel Team with an emphasis on arts and literacy. Marcie has been essential in developing the Roots Ethiopia/h2Empower Partnership and has developed a delightful friendship with the Founder of h2 Empower.
Roots Ethiopia’s work with schools started by supplying tables, chairs, desks, and textbooks to schools in need. Over time, with donor support and a lot of hard work, Roots Ethiopia began to do more. There is a natural continuum to working with schools. First students need a place to be, they need supplies with which to work. The next step is to use these resources most effectively. Along the way, Roots Ethiopia always asked, how do we empower the local community to use these new resources best? How can we support school leadership to manage resources and use them to make the most impact in their schools and their communities?
In 2014 and 2015 I was part of the Roots Ethiopia’s travel team, finishing every evening of work in Hosanna. Every night we gathered in the hotel restaurant and briefed each other on our day. In 2014, Meghan Walsh, Roots Ethiopia’s Founder, found herself at a table next to another woman having similar conversations. They introduced themselves and shared their passion for being in Hosanna, SNNPR. It turns out this woman, Helen Boxwill, was the Founder of an organization called h2 Empower. Helen and Meghan strongly share the belief that the best way to support sustainable improvements in Ethiopian education is to empower Ethiopians to help Ethiopians. A partnership was born.
Helen has been an educator for the past 30 years, she has taught kindergarten through high school, been a Director of Language Arts and then Principal and Coordinator of a family literacy program. She spent one year as a volunteer in Ethiopia, teaching at the Hosanna Teacher Training College. While there, she worked with female students, local teachers, and set up a library system through the town, winning the Teacher of the Year Award from her sponsoring agency. Read more about Helen’s incredible accomplishments here!
Roots Ethiopia and h2Empower, came together at a time when Roots was strategizing how to best support teachers and schools with new resources. h2Empower shared their knowledge and experience to bring us to that next level.
h2Empower’s vision is to “empower the lives they touch through supporting access to high quality education for all, helping communities develop sustainable improvement in quality of life and increasing connectivity to the global community so that all individuals can reach their highest potential for their families and our greater society.”
The h2 Empower vision compliments the goals of Roots Ethiopia perfectly!
Roots Ethiopia’s Board of Directors has voted to help fund h2 Empower’s work over the next few months (the work is well underway and we will be updating you over the next few weeks) in the following areas AND Root’s Learning Resource Project schools are FULLY included in this exciting new phase! The collaboration includes:
- Training provided by Code Ethiopia and h2 Empower.
- 8 days in Hosanna.
- Includes 103 schools from the Hadiya Zone and all of the Roots Ethiopia LRP’s.
- Training sessions will be focused on 3 different groups to address unique needs: Primary/Secondary/College. Trainers are highly qualified Ethiopian library and literacy leaders.
- Training sessions will include experience at Hosanna’s first Community Library — which includes a children’s library, a student library, and a computer lab!
Girls Empowerment Training
- h2 Empower will train gender club advisors and officers in order to develop concrete ways of changing attitudes towards girls and developing a culture of inclusion for all in the school and workplace.
- Each school has a gender club serving girls to help them complete their education.
- gender training includes developing girls sports teams, addressing girls empowerment, and discussing issues such as FGM, puberty, and early marriage.
- Each and every government office has a gender officer to advocate for the needs of women.
- They will use a curriculum developed by FAWE: Forum for African Women Educationalists. This curriculum has been adopted by the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia.
Your recurring monthly donation help Ethiopians to continue to develop the skills to educate their communities in profound and sustainable ways.
Roots Ethiopia’s Learning Resource Project (LRP) in Hawora, Ethiopia is now accepting donations!
The Lenssen Family, with the help of Crowdrise, have created a personal online fundraiser entitled, “Educational Transformation for Hawora Village,” and are quickly moving towards their goal of raising $26,000 for this under-resourced Ethiopian school in the Hadiya Zone. Your help is needed because improving rural Ethiopian schools takes a motivated group of givers dedicated to improving educational opportunities to help young minds soar.
When supporters like The Lenssen Family share the realities of conditions in Ethiopian schools with their networks in personal and creative ways, remarkable changes occur. Individual motivations to help, paired with locally generated school proposals* and support from the Roots Ethiopia leadership are transforming rural schools in beautiful and measurable ways.
Sarah Lennsen, Lead Fundraiser for this project writes,
At Hawora Primary School a typical class has 70 students who crowd into a room with broken furniture, worn out blackboards deteriorated walls and dusty dirt floors. The lack of teaching materials available for teachers and students is taking a toll on their quality of education: very few textbooks, no science supplies, and a shortage of sports equipment. Additionally, the school lacks vented toilets–instead they have pit latrines that are shared by boys and girls, posing hygiene and sanitation problems that further inhibit a healthy learning environment.
Donating to this project will reinvent the school and lead to sustainable improvements that will benefit the entire community. Every donation you make to our Learning Resource Projects ensures a brighter educational experience for Ethiopia’s eager learners.
Learning Resource Projects are one of Roots Ethiopia’s core programs. We currently provide support for 9 schools in Southern Ethiopia, with several more in our pipeline for 2016. Email us for more information at email@example.com.
*School Proposals are generally 20-30 page reports which include detailed local assessments, analysis, outcomes, strategies, risks, budgets and sustainability of school projects. They are carefully scrutinized and approved by our Board of Directors prior to partnering with Lead Fundraisers.
Roots Ethiopia’s work is solely supported by public contributions. Your investment is critical to our work of supporting education and job creation in Southern Ethiopia. Thank you for being an important part of this mission!