African Connection (Fall, 2015)

Trip Report – Ethiopia and Kenya

Jim Reese, co-founder and board member and Seifu Ibssa, also co-founder and Executive Director travelled to Ethiopia and Kenya to make site visits, open two new preschools and reestablish our partnership with two nonprofits with whom we worked together a few years ago. The following is their trip report supported with pictures. We hope you will enjoy reading. EAVO Board Members

Lana Reese Preschool Dedicated!

Jim Reese dedicating Lana Reese Preschool in Adere

Adere, Ethiopia: Jim cut the ribbon opening the Lana Reese Preschool, a school named after one of the co-founders of EAVO. After various speeches by government dignitaries, Jim spoke passionately about investing heavily in the education of their children. Citing Ethiopia as "the emerging hub of Africa", he said that it is vital for the "next generation" to make Ethiopia even stronger. This includes educating the girls much more than has been done in the traditional past. He challenged the community to consider this seriously.

He then asked Worknesh (far right - in picture) to join him as he told "her story". Briefly, she was in our first class of students when we began our education program in 2006. At the end of our first meeting with invited prospective students, uninvited Worknesh with tears in her eyes asked Hailu if she could get educated. She only wanted to be able to support herself. Basically an orphan, she had returned to Acheber relying on others for support. Having a physical disability, she had little hope for the support that marriage might provide. She is now our head teacher. The school has four large classrooms an office and a pre-enrollment of 120 children. Walls need to be plastered and a quality latrine constructed. Water is on site thanks to Rotary Club of Sacramento.Although totally unplanned, the dedication came exactly two years since Lana's passing.

“One life really CAN impact so many others for good. Lana was tireless in sharing her heart for Ethiopia and Kenya with her friends here in the U. S. To God be the Glory!”
- Mary Staples, co-founder and Board Member in her recent email message to EAVO Board members.