Last year, I had the opportunity to be a part of a non-profit organization called imagine1day.  Their ultimate goal is to provide all Ethiopians with access to quality education funded FREE of foreign aid by 2030.  Since their beginning in 2007, they have funded 123 schools, helped 51,347 boys and girls attend school that haven’t in the past, and trained 1,700 teachers.  From the moment I learned about this non-profit, I knew I had to be a part of it.  This video also got me hooked: OurStory

With an enormous leap of faith and some uncertain tears, I decided to take a year leave of teaching and join 14 other passionate individuals on a trip to Ethiopia.  Together we raised $100,00 to fund the Alose Primary School (Grades 1-4) in the Oromiya region of Ethiopia. 100% of the money raised  ensured that the students will have clean water to drink, amazing books to read, chalkboards that will be full of beautiful words, teachers that enrich their minds, and a school that provides the walls and windows necessary to achieve this.  In October, we traveled together to Ethiopia to meet the community that we raised the money for.

I couldn’t possibly sum up the experience using any combination of words that will do it justice.  All I can say is that it shook me, in a way that I will never forget.  The people I met were some of the most beautiful and generous that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.  The kids were full of life and love and so appreciative of everything that we tend to take for granted.  I’ve started to rethink the thought of “they have nothing.”  What I saw, instead, was a community that had their priorities straight: Parents that would give up anything to provide their children with opportunities that they were never presented, neighbors that were willing to share their daily ration of food just to welcome us, women that brought us into their homes and taught us how to cook the meals that sustain them.  It was refreshing and incredibly emotional.  What I’ve come to realize is that in the midst of  their “nothing” we have more to learn from them than we could possibly provide.

I will forever be grateful to the beautiful country and people that embraced us with open arms and held our hands.  I left a piece of my heart in Ethiopia and I hope to return someday.  DSC_9653DSC_88744girlsHere’s a link to my smugmug album from the trip, if you are interested: Smugmug

This year, my sister Boo, has decided to join imagine1day with a group of amazing individuals to fund another school in Ethiopia.  What she has done to raise money deserves a post of its own, so I will follow up with that.  I’m so proud of her!

If you would like to support her goal, she is selling her greeting cards on Etsy until this Friday, Sept 13th.  All proceeds will go to imagine1day.  You can check it out here: Buy a Card + Help Build a School!buy a card

“I strongly believe that anyone who wants to pursue education should have the right to do so and should have access to the resources they need to pursue their goals.”Zabeba Aman

  • Travel Handmade » Little Luvins
    Posted at 14:21h, 14 October Reply

    […] Boo left for Ethiopia last Thursday to start her journey with imagine1day. *You can read more about the trip here* […]

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