Meet Barkot – a smart young student with an exciting future ahead of her!

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!”

A Peek Inside our Meeting in Angecha, Ethiopia

As soon as we walked into our meeting with Sentayu and Tamesgen, the Roots Ethiopia Community Facilitators in Angecha, Ethiopia, we could sense the leadership skills and dedication to our program. These two men manage the 10 School Sponsorships and 15 IGA’s that are currently being supported by Roots Ethiopia.

Both men recently traveled to Hosanna for Program Training. Sentayu said;

“I learned many skills. Mostly skills related to learning to create jobs and setting expectations for the IGA recipients. I also learned how to face challenges and manage these businesses properly.”

Sentayu leads the Roots Ethiopia Program in Angecha, Ethiopia

Sentayu spoke at length about the IGA recipients in Angecha. He feels that they are all moving in the right direction and showed us three different bank books that recipients are using to save money. All are making monthly deposits and excited to have learned the skills needed to save money.

One of the bank books being used by an IGA recipient

Tamesgen updated us about the recent IGA training that was given to all of our recipients:

“Most of the people in the Angecha IGA Program had no business knowledge or skills before coming to the training. Now they have learned how to generate income, manage a business, and save money.”

Tamesgen plays a major role in supporting our work

In Angecha, corn, potatoes, and kidney beans have failed. At this point, they are hopeful that barley and teff will be harvested successfully in the area.

Sentayu reported that nutritional support has already been distributed to the families of our school sponsored children. Grains and cooking oil have been given to each family according to family size. He thinks that this will be sufficient to sustain them during the current nutritional crisis.

As of today, all 126 of Roots Ethiopia sponsored students and their families have received grain and cooking oil to support stressed nutritional needs. Our next initiative will involve food relief in a remote, drought-stricken village in Hadiya, Ethiopia. We are dialed in deeply to the nutritional needs of each community. Your support helps Ethiopian families sustain themselves during this critical time.

Finally, we were able to inform Sentayu and Tamesgen about Roots Ethiopia’s plan to fund a Learning Resource Project in Angecha. They were honored to add this Program and are committed to its success. Our Program Director has worked with the local woreda leadership to identify a school in the region. Community and school leaders are working on the proposal and we are eager to share it with you!

As you plan your end of year donations, please support Roots Ethiopia with a monthly recurring donation. Your end of year giving continues to give life to community-led programs in Ethiopia.

Locally Made Ethiopian Desks You Have to See to Believe

Great news from our Program Director in Ethiopia! He just reported that 25 desks were delivered to The Gedra Village School which completes the existing budget for this Learning Resource Project! The quality of these locally made desks is remarkable and we are so proud to offer this update to those of you who helped complete this project. One of our supporters described them as looking as if they were from a “Viva Terra catalogue: rustic + industrial. Beautiful.” We couldn’t agree more and love sharing the hard work and impressive skills of furniture makers in Ethiopia.

Read more about the efforts put in back in October by Team Gedra! This team of families enthusiastically raised enough funds to deliver over 450 books, 6 blackboards and loads of sporting equipment to this rural school. We cannot wait to report how this school is performing in the upcoming months!

Learn more about how Learning Resources Projects are transforming Ethiopian schools by providing critical resources for teachers, students, and classrooms.

Roots Ethiopia is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working in Africa, specifically helping Southern Ethiopia. Roots Ethiopia supports community identified solutions for job creation and education.

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Duna Sadicho School in Ethiopia is Funded!

Duna Sadicho School in Ethiopia is officially FUNDED! Phase 1 is complete and students are already using the textbooks that were purchased. Our awesome Program Director, Tilahun, was able to stretch the budget to include SCIENCE supplies for the school (this was not in the original budget!)

The goals of this Learning Resource Project were to equip the library with books, furnish the classrooms with desks and chairs, and provide structural enhancements to the school to provide a safe learning environment. Windows and roof repair will help the children thrive. In addition, schoolyard equipment will provide students with the ‘play’ that they long for!


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There were several sources that contributed to its success and we want to thank them all!

The Snyder Family Razoo fundraiser played an enormous part is funding this school in Ethiopia! Over 50% of the budget was raised through this initiative.

The Vandrovec Family Razoo fundraiser/silent auction. Both of these efforts were an enormous success. The Vandrovec’s went above and beyond to throw together a silent auction on Facebook that yielded incredible results AND it was super fun. We will post more information about how they accomplished this auction very soon!

The Long Island #GrowingMinds event was a huge success and we were able to apply a portion of the money raised towards the Duna Sadicho School in Kembata, Ethiopia. We look forward to sharing updates at the 2016 #GrowingMinds Event on Long Island.

The Roots Ethiopia General Fund contributed a portion of the money needed to complete this project.

We are looking forward to a visit in October when the entire project will be complete and we can see the impact! We are especially interested to see how these resources improve the gender inequality that is present at this rural school in Ethiopia!

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Roots Ethiopia is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working in Africa, specifically helping Southern Ethiopia. Roots Ethiopia supports community identified solutions for job creation and education.

*UPDATE* Books and Shelving Delivered in Ethiopia!

In late February our Program Director delivered books and shelving to the Haile Babamo Junior School in Ethiopia. Tilahun was able to use his budget to supply the school with SIX shelves instead of the three that were planned for.

How did he do it? Local knowledge and collaboration! What Tilahun did was buy the parts for the shelves from a local wholesaler and ordered them to be cut into standard sized pieces. He then picked up the shelves personally and brought them to the school for the teachers to build themselves. He reported that the teachers were highly motivated to use their wisdom to accomplish this for their school.

Tilahun also encouraged the students to make serious use out of the donated books. He told them, “A gift is not a gift unless you properly make use of it.”

Here is a picture of the original bookshelves at the school. These were the only bookshelves before the project was initiated:

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Here are the new bookshelves that were a result of your giving, local knowledge, and community collaboration:


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Recently, Tilahun visited The Haile Babamo School and was able to deliver this amazing report,

“The Haile Bubamo school library has become very busy, seeing about forty students in the library is common, teachers are highly motivated with updated reference books, computers, and sports materials. The entire school community is working hard for the best outcomes. Hopefully, the test results will improve significantly.”

We hope you enjoy the updates of our program work as we love sharing them with you. We take enormous pride in our model of smart and strategic work, based on community-driven ideas with the needs of the children and communities at the forefront.

Please email us at if you would like to hear more about leading a project like this in Southern Ethiopia.

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Roots Ethiopia is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working in Africa, specifically helping Southern Ethiopia. Roots Ethiopia supports community identified solutions for job creation and education.

Funded! Helping Ethiopian Education One School at a Time

The Mugunja Primary School is an Ethiopian School where 80 children regularly cram into one classroom hoping for a seat. The kids that do get a seat commonly share it with three other students. In addition to the lack of seating, there is no furniture for the staff, hardly any books and minimal teaching materials. The teachers struggle to teach which results in kids struggling to learn. As is the case in many Ethiopian villages, test scores are low and kids are not passing national exams. It’s a cycle that we are committed to breaking one school at a time in Southern Ethiopia.

We are happy to announce that with to the help of one generous family over $12,000 dollars will be donated to equip the Mugunja Primary School in Ethiopia with books, furniture, learning materials and sporting equipment. The education project was donated in honor of a lost loved one who inspired this family to look outside of themselves to find organizations that are committed to sustainable impacts in Ethiopian education. We are honored to partner with this family and look forward to measurable results in the months and years ahead.


To learn more about helping Roots Ethiopia improve Ethiopian education click here:

Donate to our current program in Kembata, Ethiopia which is focused on closing the gender gap at The Duna Sadicho School:

Roots Ethiopia is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working in Africa, specifically helping Southern Ethiopia. Roots Ethiopia supports community identified solutions for job creation and education.

What Causes Gender Inequality at Rural Ethiopian Schools?

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As a boy, Desta Seyoum lived a traditional rural farming life in the same Ethiopian Kebele as The Duna-Sadicho School. He remembers passing through Duna Sadicho village on his way to Secondary School giving him many chances to witness the needs of the community.

Desta, who now lives in London, just returned from Ethiopia after a prolonged family visit in the region and was able to talk to us more about inequalities in Duna Sadicho, specifically addressing the problems that girls face in the region. He is very worried about gender inequality at Duna Sadicho School, and quickly pointed out the number of girls drops even lower at the secondary school level as girls are unable to pass the required national exam to continue their education.

Desta explains:

“Many girls in the region face challenges of gender inequality that exclude them from school. Extreme household poverty, walking distance to school, inadequate school resources, lack of sanitation facilities, child labor and marriage, and female genital cutting are among obstacles that prevent girls from education. Lack of education means girls forced into informal labor market at an early age. They will never reach their potential to become positive forces in their communities, and remain trapped in a vicious circle of poverty.”

While data seems to show that gender inequality is narrowing at other area schools, the gender gaps remain a problem at Duna Sadicho. Desta feels that the gender makeup at Duna Sadicho may be largely associated with what happens in the school as well as in the community. According to Desta,

“the lower number of girls may have a direct correlation with the poor quality of resources they have in the school. It may also reflect the level of poverty and poor living standards of the community.”

Desta points out that a gender audit may be required to deepen our understanding of girls’ education in the region. But for now, one thing is very clear to Desta,

“providing basic learning resources is imperative so that girls may have an equitable chance of continuing their education.”

By providing school children with essential learning materials, Roots Ethiopia will help rectify the gender inequality at The Duna Sadicho primary school. These basic learning supplies will give girls what they need to stay in school, pass their national exams, have the opportunity to continue education, stand a chance of going to college, securing an employment and eventually becoming significant contributors to their community.

Help Ethiopia by donating to The Duna Sadicho project today! We are 40% of the way there and need your help in taking step one to rectify the gender imbalance at this rural Ethiopian School.

Roots Ethiopia is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working in Africa, specifically helping Southern Ethiopia. Roots Ethiopia supports community identified solutions for job creation and education. 


Leave It to the Kids and Donkeys! An Example of Local Collaboration in Ethiopia

Duna Sadicho is a remote village in Kembata, Ethiopia. How remote is it? Very remote! After our team arrived via a 4WD vehicle on a quite arduous route we were discussing how to get supplies (hundreds of cumbersome textbooks) up to the school once they are purchased locally. The community elders saw no issue with transport at all!

In fact, they suggested that the students themselves could walk down to Doyogena and each carry back an armload. It was as simple as that. AND, they would find donkeys to help with the job as well! So there it is. Something that is a puzzle to us is solved quickly with local knowledge and experience.  A lovely image of community cooperation and a community knowing how to get things done their way.

Learn more and help fund The Duna Sadicho Primary School TODAY!

Lead your own Learning Resource Project in Rural Ethiopia:


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The Duna Sadicho Primary School sits on a beautiful ridge overlooking Doyogena, Ethiopia.

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A typical donkey cart that is used to transport goods and people in rural Ethiopia.  This one was on the way to Duna Sadicho!