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Ethiopia, Day 4: These Dear Souls Will Not Be Forgotten

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Tomorrow morning we hit the road bright and early for tribal Ethiopia. South Omo, here we come!

ImageBUT … I will miss the sweet souls of Kololo, Ethiopia: their warmth, eagerness to learn and gratitude. It makes leaving the community — as well as the little bundles of joy that stole my heart — bittersweet.

Today was our last day with the students, and the children created a mural-sized painting to decorate each of the classrooms. It was a joy-filled day as the kids worked in large scale and on canvas for the first time.

The school has 277 students, and we could not work on the canvases all at once, so the children who were not painting worked with crayons and paper and dance. I thought them the “Hokey Pokey” which was meet with squeals of delight, huge smiles and laughter. Then they thought me some traditional dances. Um, let’s just say they are really good dancers. This girl from the West could not keep up, but the kids shared a great deal of laughter as I had a go at it. Joy abounded; the day was definitely a success. It was sad to leave, and these dear souls will not be forgotten.

ImageI am filled with gratitude to each and every person who took part in making this school a reality. Education is not a foregone conclusion here, but it should be. Education is valued here in a way that transforms entire communities. Generous donors both large and small came together to fulfill the words of Nelson Mandela, whom I quote often because he is so right. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Yeah!

Love from Ethiopia,
Stephanie

Interested in supporting education in Ethiopia? Click here to donate, or “like” my Facebook page to see daily featured SSA items, 100% of proceeds from which will go to Ethiopia Reads!

A Human Right, Not a Birthright: Help Support Education in Ethiopia

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stehwithkidsDear Friends,

I so completely agree with the words of Nelson Mandela, who we sadly lost this year but whose vision lives on. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” he once said, and it is this belief that compelled me to board an Ethiopia-bound plane for the first time. And now, I’m excited — truly excited! — to have the opportunity to teach and learn in this beautiful and complex African country once more.

I firmly believe that education is a basic human right, not a birthright. And when I act on this belief by traveling to Ethiopia to work with youngsters there, I still feel that I’m acting locally, despite the physical distance, because in the end, all of humankind is connected.

Ensuring education, this basic human right, requires money, but less than one might think. A mere $21, for example, educates a child for a month; $252, a year. These sweet children in Ethiopia desperately want an education, yet most families lack the means to fund one. If everyone reading this contributed $21 to send a child to school for just one month — well, we would begin to move mountains.

I’m traveling more than 7,500 miles, rolling up my sleeves and getting dirty to help. Rough terrain, food poisoning, bedbugs and fleas are all very real possibilities as I make my way in Ethiopia. Believe me, I get more than I give when I interact with these sweet children, but it won’t be easy.

I’m asking you to help in your own way. Think about what you life would be like if you were born somewhere where the opportunities and education you’ve enjoyed were virtually impossible if not for outside intervention. Then click “donate now” to assist me in my efforts. Let’s give everyone, regardless of where they were born, a fair shot at education.

[DONATE NOW by clicking here]

I know how busy we all are, so when I reach out again, please know it is coming from a sincere and humble place of wanting to remind you, as I myself often need reminders.

With deepest gratitude,
Stephanie