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


“Kirempt” – Rainy season field report

The rainy season in Ethiopia, called “kirempt” is coming to an end. In mid-September, students will return to school and robust foot traffic and bus traffic will resume on the roads in rural Ethiopia.

Our team reports that the conditions in the field have been difficult this season. Roads have been impassable and moving from one place to another for the market, visiting, and communication has been very slow and arduous. In some more remote areas, travel has nearly stopped.

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Our field team writes:

“Most of the days of the week it has been raining for about 8 hours. Most of the time it starts early in the morning and ends at 3pm. The temperature is cold… it has been in between 6 C (43 F) and 10 C (50 F) evening and morning. About 15 C (59 F)  afternoon for some days. It has felt cold and wet every day.”

In Hadiya, the farmers have started planting their fields with wheat, bean, peas, and teff. The challenge for the farmers in the area is the muddy soil. All farmers struggle to work through this season with hand-hewn tools and the heft of their own labor.  One will rarely ever see a mechanical field tool in use in this area.

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Our field team has also shared with us that many farmers and families are already discussing the harvests expected this fall.  We are told the harvest for coffee is good in Kembata Tembaro. Unfortunately, the harvest for cereals is not expected to be as good this year. In other troubling news, the ginger harvest has been impacted by disease and we are told: “many farmers are in worries.”

Roots Ethiopia has a busy season planned. We, like our team members in Ethiopia, are at the ready to strengthen and grow our program with new IGA’s (income generating activities) and adding students to our school enrollments. We will also be purchasing textbooks to complete Phase I of our Amacho Wato School Learning Resources Project — so that books are ready to be put in students hands when they walk through the building.

You can be a part of our work. Please donate or let us know if you’d like to lead a fundraising event. We can help you get started by emailing us at info@rootsethiopia.org