My connection to Ethiopia is personal and one that I carry close to my heart. I am a part of the first generation of my family to be born and raised in the United States yet despite the geographic distance to my ancestral homeland, my family instilled in me the significance and value of my cultural heritage. Cradling this dual identity comes with its challenges–it definitely has not been easy–but one way I manage to do so is by supporting causes and organizations making an impact in Ethiopia.
Ethiopian Orphan Relief is one of the first, if not the first, organization I connected with that works directly with individuals back home. And while the circumstances bringing about the establishment of EOR may not be pleasing, this issue (how to better the lives of the orphaned population) is one that cannot be ignored; rightly so, EOR has taken on that challenge. What I appreciate about Ethiopian Orphan Relief is the manner in which they go about making an impact: by working directly with communities and various groups in order to fulfill their needs.
I have been connected with Ethiopian Orphan Relief for more than three years now and have supported the organization primarily through donating, hosting a fundraising event (via the Ethiopian and Eritrean Student Organization at The Ohio State University), and volunteering at annual events. Since then, I’ve been able to meet some of EOR’s members who are simply incredible and as a result, I have been exposed to a community here in Ohio I never knew existed.
The future is bright for Ethiopian Orphan Relief. This has already been seen through the expansion and scope of their projects to causes not necessarily directed to the orphaned population but also to the wider realms of education, nutrition, access to clean water, and the like. Only time will tell where Ethiopian Orphan Relief will go next but I’m assured it will be nothing short of amazing.