Art Aid for Tesfa's Stephanie Schlatter is featured in Rapid Growth's Do Good section!
One of Stephanie Schlatter’s favorite quotes is by theologian Saint Augustine and reads, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
If true, then globe-trotting Schlatter would be considered an avid “reader” of the world.
The first international trip for this former hairdresser was to the Grand Canal in Venice -- a place that not only triggered tears of joy, but a love for travel that eventually inspired a new career involving it and art.
After noticing poverty in subsequent trips to India, Thailand, Mexico, Nepal and other places, she founded Art Aid for Tesfa in 2006 to bring art to the children of Ethopia. If art programs in America are the first to get cut, Schlatter figured these kids didn’t have a chance. She personally believes art is more important than math and that colorful art helps children survive in a sometimes difficult world.
“I got involved because I believed in the power of art,” Schlatter says.
I am very pleased to announce today that I will be supporting the Tesfa Foundation's newest initiative in Ethiopia - their 5x3 project to build five new schools in the next three years. And you can help me! -Liz Hughes
Blogger and Bookseller Liz Hughes is supporting education in Ethiopia by donating part of her business profits to schools 3 and 4 of our 5x3 initiative! Please click here to read about how her daughter helped inspire this fundraiser and then help Liz help support education in Ethiopia.
Tesfa is excited to share this news about 5x3's fourth school. We are grateful to the East Family who will lead the way! Meet Theresa, John, Eva, and Macy Birtukan.
The Easts have been a family of four now for two and a half years. Macy Birtukan has added so much joy to their family. The Easts have continued to make connections to Ethiopia, including attending a Tesfa fundraising event in Los Angeles to help build a school in southern Ethiopia. A year later, when the opportunity to get more involved in building schools in Ethiopia presented itself Theresa says, “It felt right. I heard that voice again. ‘Remember Ethiopia, do not forget.’ And I felt such an overwhelming sense of honor to be a part of this project. We are humbled. For Ethiopia has given so much more to us. We now have extended family in Ethiopia. Our hearts are there too.”
families run One Moon Ethiopia, a parent-established, parent-led organization whose goal is to unite families and friends of adoption, honor children's heritage and support projects in Ethiopia. One Moon Ethiopia has previously partnered with Dr. Rick Hodes, Lola Children's Fund, Mudula Water, Selamta, PLAN and Project Eden. From One Moon:
The Tesfa Foundation is thrilled to have One Moon, their families and friends lead the way on 5x3’s school number 3!
Ethiopia Reads staff and start scouting for their location. They plan to raise funds for school number two as well, beginning with a fundraiser on April 11th in Iowa. Read their story below.
Liz: My grandfather had an 8th grade education. He worked hard his entire life, living frugally and simply on the same farm for over 60 years of his life. He loved to see his two daughters and his six grandchildren live out life through education and travel. He rarely stayed in a hotel, preferring the comfort of his own bed. And, never took a vacation far from home, except if it was a day trip to watch a harness race for one of the horses he trained. He left a legacy of deep faith.
Four years ago, Jon and I started to fall in love with Ethiopia. It grew as we brought our two sons home from Ethiopia (3 years ago and 1 year go). And it grew deeper as we traveled and met the beautiful people in this amazing land. I truly have left part of my heart in Ethiopia each time I left this country I have grown to love. I dream about it, think about it, and read as much as I can about Ethiopia. Ethiopia has changed my life--much more than just our two sons. When we traveled there last January, we went away committing ourselves to doing more in the future. We came across the Tesfa Foundation -- actually through a chance meeting at the Addis Ababa airport with Mike Schumacher from Wisconsin, who supported Tesfa School #7 -- and we were intrigued. We have been dreaming and praying about this opportunity for the last year.
My grandparents both passed away in the last five years. Not only did they leave a legacy of faith, but they left money for their children and grandchildren. We don't understand how and why they lived on so little for so long, leaving us with so much. We truly see this as a gift and want to give some it of away. With Ethiopia in our hearts and in our life, with a desire for everyone to have access to education, and with an ever growing faith, we desire to partner with Tesfa to build schools in Ethiopia. We are committed to this long term. The people of Ethiopia have changed my life...we're just humbly trying to change a few other lives.
The 5X3 program is committed to building five schools with libraries in the Kembata-Tembaro region within three years. If you would like to donate to 5X3 School Number Two, you can do so here. And if you would like to apply to be one of the five leads on school fundraising, please fill out our application here.
Today construction concludes on Tesfa’s eighth school, in the village of Kololo in southern Ethiopia. Many people came together to make our eighth school a reality. An empty plot of land was transformed into a beautiful school in just a few months. Our Tesfa team, while working in Kololo, noticed a few things: the people are welcoming and warm, that the landscape is dramatic and beautiful, and that there is a dire need for education in all the nearby villages.
Now, the Tesfa Foundation is excited to announce its newest initiative, 5x3! Five schools built in three years in the Kembata Tembaro region.
Imagine clusters of villages in which no school is available. Through the 5X3 initiative, we propose to offer five new schools in the region, linked with effective new teacher recruitment and training, linked with deep rural literacy programming to reach even further into the countryside, using our new schools as bases. Moreover, we propose that these schools will provide bases for regional public health education efforts. Schools are more than schools in rural Ethiopia; they are platforms for community development.
Interested? Building new schools requires strong communities. We are currently recruiting for five funding communities to support five schools. Please click here to let us know that you would like to help build schools in Ethiopia or click here to simply make a donation now.
Completed Kololo school and library
Please join us our Build Schools Ethiopia group on Facebook!
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