Kongit Girma: Spotlight on Board Members!

Whether they are contributing to fundraising/donor engagement, translation/cultural knowledge, organizational development, or financial expertise, the Roots Ethiopia Board is a critical part of providing the financial resources and fiscal oversight needed to enable the work we all do for rural Ethiopian communities.

We’d like to introduce Kongit Girma, one of two Ethiopian-born members who serve Roots Ethiopia from the USA. (Read to the end if you would like to know more about service on Roots Ethiopia’s incredible Board of Directors!)

Kongit helps the Board to view decisions through a truly Ethiopian-centered “lens”, as well as sharing her wealth of knowledge about elementary education, languages, issues concerning Ethiopian women and children, and cultural nuance. Her enthusiasm for pitching in and helping out…whether she is reviewing a program idea or translating a document…is contagious and inspired. She is also not afraid to ask the tough questions that keep conversations centered on our most important stakeholders, Ethiopian communities, and beneficiaries.

  • Kongit, what inspired you to serve as a Board Member for Roots Ethiopia?

“Before I joined Roots Ethiopia, I wanted to give back to my native country and Roots Ethiopia’s mission answered my calling. My background is in education and I was inspired by the work that Roots Ethiopia has done before I joined the Board. I like their direct support to families, students, and schools as well as Roots Ethiopia’s approach in asking what is needed in the communities instead of imposing services the way we—living in the USA—see fit.”

Continue reading “Kongit Girma: Spotlight on Board Members!”

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.”

Ethiopia Facts — Three Unique Characteristics Featuring The Letter C!

When many people think of Ethiopia, they think of the ancient archaeological finds, the bustling city of Addis Ababa where life is lived on the streets, or the rock-cut Christian churches of Lalibela still standing since the 12th–13th centuries. But, keep reading…here are a few things you may not know:


Many of us rely on that first cup of coffee to get us going. We have Ethiopia to thank for this! As the story goes, a long, long time ago, a goat herder saw his flock eating a certain plant, after which they were noticeably more energetic. He gave the fruit a nibble himself…and the coffee industry was born.




Many cultures have their own calendars instead of the Western Gregorian calendar. And most follow the ’12 months to a year format. Not Ethiopia! Each year in the Ethiopian calendar has 12 months with 30 days. The last month, called “Pagume,” has five days (or six on leap years.) Ethiopia computed the birth of Jesus Christ believing that Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden for seven years, and therefore, Ethiopia has a different year than the Gregorian calendar, as well. They’re seven years behind, so this year in the United States is 2022. In Ethiopia, it’s only 2015.



Finally, Ethiopia, Africa’s oldest independent country, is the only country in Africa that has never been colonized. On March first, almost 125 years ago, an army of civilians defended themselves against the Italians thereby allowing Ethiopia to be recognized as an independent state. During World War II, Italy again occupied Ethiopia but never established control.

There are so many reasons to love Ethiopia! Today’s blog post is a quick tour of a few of the MANY special characteristics that shape Ethiopia.