Meet Alemewerk: A woman for the job!

Alemewerk really is the woman for the job!

Please meet Amelewerk. She’s a member of a Self-Help Entrepreneur (SHE) group. Her work and her SHE group’s positive momentum has suffered during the pandemic. In Ethiopia, the challenges of escalating inflation made work and success very challenging. During the past year, Roots Ethiopia put your support to work to revitalize SHE members with additional support and training for hard-working and determined women, including Alemewerk and her SHE group.

Alemewerk is so happy to share that she has a new outlook and fresh energy for success. She excitedly said, “I support my family selling fruits and vegetables. The most significant achievement for me is not only selling fruits and vegetables but also thinking like I have a job. I oftentimes do not stay at home, but go out and assess the market to help me do my business better. I feel strong and able to do so much more with the training, the savings program, and my SHE group who are excited about each other’s successes.”

(Alemewerk in blue, preparing her local market space)

Amelewerk’s years of harsh struggles have been healed by working hard every day and having support to make it through so many challenges. She is so happy to be part of the Self-Help Entrepreneur program and she says, “I am ready to do more, just watch me!”

Alemewerk’s hard work and dedication are inspiring. Go and get it, Alemewerk!

(Alemewerk making a sale)

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”

Meet Ruhama!

When the Roots Ethiopia field staff first met Ruhama, she was working for a road construction company lifting heavy materials. With no parents to care for them, Ruhama and her brother and sister were struggling to survive on their own.  Ruhama wanted to attend school, but regular attendance wasn’t possible. Despite her desire to achieve and learn, Ruhama worried whether a difficult childhood and so many demands on her to take care of her family’s needs would assure she would always be poor and without the education.

Today, with the help of Roots Ethiopia’s School Sponsorship program, Ruhama attends 9th grade. She and her older brother still work to support the family, but the support Roots Ethiopia provides means Ruhama attends school daily.  Your support means Ruhama’s school fees are paid, her school supplies and a new set of clothes, shoes, and a uniform are ready for the start of every school year. Ruhama’s family also receives food support 3x a year.

It’s a challenge for a 15-year-old to balance work, taking care of family, and school. Ruhama is tremendously ambitious and driven. She says, “Even though life is difficult for me living in the countryside, Roots Ethiopia’s support helps me to continue my education and move me toward my dreams. No one can stop me from making my dream of education come true.”

You are making such great strides, Ruhama! Keep up the great work!

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.