Did you know coffee can change a life?

Would you believe that coffee can make a difference? Because of you, Tsehainesh’s coffee shop is flourishing.

Just 3 months ago Tsehainesh did not have work. Living in a rented room with her husband, she was home caring for her tiny daughter while her husband searched for day labor work in Hosanna, Ethiopia.

Tsehainesh was frustrated — her baby daughter, Bereket, needed to begin solid foods and they didn’t have enough resources to provide nutrient-rich food for her. Tsehainesh KNEW she had skills to make and sell coffee. But, she had no capital to create a tiny shop (tinish suk) on the edge of the town’s bustling market space.

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And then you stepped in, and Tsehainesh’s life changed. Your donation made it possible for her to receive a small business grant through the Roots Ethiopia IGA program. She put her first installment of funds into building her small roadside shop with a wood frame covered with tarps. Adding chairs, she has a simple 2-3 person capacity outdoor coffee shop.

Open 6 days a week, she sells coffee and a local favorite barley drink called shameta. Her nutritious barley drink is so popular on market day she sells out within 2 hours! She will use her second installment of IGA funds to buy more barley and sell more shameta.

Tsehainesh hopes to add tea, fruit, and bread to her shop. “One day,” she says, “I’ll open a shop in a building and I’ll have other people working with me. I am working hard to build my future for my baby so she can have her own plans and know they can become real.”

I met Tsehainesh last week in Ethiopia. Can you believe a life can be transformed within weeks of a business start-up grant? Your support makes this transformation possible.

YOU make an impact! Your donations create these changes time and time again — $325 means a whole new future for a family. I think you’ll agree that this is the kind of donation that offers an opportunity of great magnitude for hardworking families who are ready to change their own futures.

Please give generously during this giving season. Your donations are put right to work for the children and families of Ethiopia. Your support means so much to Roots Ethiopia, but more importantly, it means so much to the families who are ready to work!

My warmest wishes to you this holiday season,
Meghan Walsh
Founder and President, Roots Ethiopia


Almaz: A plan for success

Almaz is a single mom.  She and her 4 children were suffering from lack of opportunity.

She struggled to support herself and her children.  Almaz yearned for self-reliance, but could not access any resources to purchase necessary materials for market work.  Roots Ethiopia shared resources and skills with Almaz. She wrote her business plan with the help of Roots Ethiopia field staff, attended a business training where she learned basic accounting and planned for success. Now Almaz purchases vegetables in bulk and is able to sell items like taro in local vibrant markets. She is able to pay her rent, feed, and educate her 4 children.

“We are safe. I work hard and all of my children now go to school. Now our stomachs are happy and our minds are working.”

Almaz’s story is typical of our Income Generating Activity grants. Roots Ethiopia’s IGA program provides women like Almaz the resources and confidence they need to move from dependence to independence.  Our field staffs are expert community leaders and social service providers who understand the needs of the community and support change at the most basic and sustainable level in the communities where they work and live.

Zena’s Story: S.H.E. Inspires

Zena has a beaming smile, and she has a lot to smile about! She is an inspiration, and this is why!

Zena has turned a small business grant through our Self-Help Entrepreneurs (S.H.E.) program into a stellar success.   She represents the best part of the work of S.H.E.  Our organization holds a campaign every year to put new grants for small business into the hands of hardworking women.  With your help these women become forces for change in their families and communities as soon as they have the resources to make a difference.  Help make an impact and donate now.


“I am Zena. I am the mother of 7 children. Before my husband died, my life was very nice. We had everything we needed to eat, everything we needed to live. But after his death, we suffered a lot.

After getting some support from Roots Ethiopia now my life has been changed…The program has provided training on how to use the money, how to run a business. Then I started saving after I learned in the training. I am now a business owner and a mother.

I sell bread and injera and a local soft drink at the market for 2 days every week. On other days I sell injera at my home. People come every day for my business. The profit of this business is feeding my children, paying house rent, and paying school fees for all of my children.

My wish now is for all my children self-sufficiency after completing their education. I want to help them get a good education, be self-sufficient. Now I want to go on and help people just like me.”

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(photo of Zena in front of her home, selling bread, injera, and a local soft drink)