Project Ethiopia focuses on raising awareness on the importance of education and works toward the development of schools for young children in Ethiopia. Education, health care, and access to water in Ethiopia are all extremely limited. Despite the country’s coffee exports accounting for nearly 60 percent of the national GDP, many coffee farmers and their families live in dire poverty. Education, health care, and access to water are all still very limited in Ethiopia. In the Yirgacheffe region, where some of the world’s most unique and sought-after coffees originate, little more than half the region’s children complete primary school, the adult literacy rate is 36 percent and life expectancy is 53 years.
9 Months After the Run
To launch Project Ethiopia the Run Across Ethiopia(RAE) was organized. In 2011 ten American and six Ethiopian ultra-marathoners ran 400 kilometers (250 miles) in 11 days during RAE to raise awareness and funds for education in the country. Joining the organization and runners was Seth & May musical ambassadors of Earthwork Music which resulted in the creation of the album, New Flower.
In 2013 OTG and Project Ethiopia hosted the first (40 mile) overnight Solstice Run, in northern Michigan, to again raise awareness and fund education in Ethiopia. The result funded the construction completion of the Hase Gola Library.
Hase Gola Library
The library will be outfitted to support over 700 students and hundreds of adults who will be using the facility for literacy classes. We are eager to remind everyone how much more a library is to this community than we can realize. A library works as a community center in this area where 39% of the population makes below the international poverty line of $1.25/ day. The literacy rate hovers just under 50% and average life expectancy is at 59 years. Upon completion, the library will house nearly 1000 books that meet Ethiopian Ministry of Education standards and will also be home to an adult literacy class, serving not just students but the whole community.
Your support will go directly toward building schools and awareness for education equality in Ethiopia. Funds provide maintenance and support for the schools OTG has built, along with additional services. These schools provide ripple effects to surrounding communities for miles around and provide hope for an education to thousands of children and families.
50% of proceeds from New Flower support Project Ethiopia. Seth & May from Earthwork Music accompanied the Run Across Ethiopia, engaging in a cultural exchange and writing the album, New Flower. They played music in schools, learned traditional scales and melodies from incredible Ethio-jazz musicians, sang for the runners, played for the people and wrote an entire album inspired by the experience. PURCHASE NOW $15
Project Ethiopia Impact
Run Across Ethiopia (2011-2012)
- 3 schools constructed, outfitted and directly serving over 1500 children in Hase Gola and Kololo
- School nutrition program for the Mercato Kindergarten, where over 40 children will receive a nutritious meal each day they attend school
- Job training, experience, and wages for 10 street teens as part of the Gorumsa Project
- Supporting the work of the Tesfa Foundation and the Oromia Cooperative Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU), a union of 129 fair trade coffee cooperatives that, together, represent over 800,000 families.
- Final RAE Impact Report
Hase Gola Library (2013)
- Library built and outfitted to support over 700 students and hundreds of adults who use the facility for literacy classes
- Age-appropriate literacy materials for learning to read and health-related educational materials such as information on AIDS and typhoid
- Centralized community meeting space
In 2011, OTG partnered with Ethiopia Reads, Tesfa and Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union to assist with sustaining and management of the schools constructed with funds from the Run Across Ethiopia.
- Ethiopia Reads collaborates with Ethiopian communities to build schools, plant libraries, teach teachers, boost literacy and provide youth and families with the tools to improve their lives.
- The Tesfa Foundation strengthens families and communities, funding school construction, supporting education, and investing in sport for development.
- Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union - In the southern part of Ethiopia, OTG worked with the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU), a union of 129 fair trade coffee cooperatives that, together, represent some 800,000 families. OCFCU has tremendous reach and trust within the villages and rural areas of the Yirgacheffe region partly due to its charismatic and well-respected director, Tedesse Meskela. Meskela was the subject of the powerful 2009 documentary “Black Gold” which details the inner-workings of the global coffee market and its influence on the farmers who actually grow the crops. OCFCU is a well-respected force representing coffee famers in Ethiopia. OTG contracted with OCFCU to build two schools in the village of Hase Gola.