Absolute Michigan’s Andrew McFarlane is involved in this effort and (since he has the keys to our blog) we let him post this!
Starting on January 8, 2011 and continuing to the 20th, a small group of runners are running 400 kilometers across Southern Ethiopia as part of a campaign to generate awareness and funding to build & maintain schools in Ethiopia. The Run Across Ethiopia aims to raise $100,000 for Ethiopian education projects, including the construction of schools in other coffee-growing communities. You can tune into RAE Live for daily updates and also get updates at the Run Across Ethiopia Facebook.
More than 600 years ago, merchants trekked through the mountains and valleys of Ethiopia to export the world’s first cultivated coffee beans, but in modern-day Ethiopia many coffee farmers and their families live in dire poverty. Education, health care, and access to water are all very limited. 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. Life expectancy is 53 years.
You can get video updates on YouTube from Jacob Wheeler of the Glen Arbor Sun and also from On the Ground Global (here’s Michigan musicians Seth Bernard & May Erlewine at the New Hope Academy in Ethiopia!). Here’s a great video by James & Jamaica Weston that explains the who, why and how of this effort! You can contribute to their documentary at Kickstarter!
Photo used by permission of Timothy Fitzgerald Young and are (c) copyright 2010 On The Ground, Inc. All rights reserved.