1) Adams Thermal Foundation Ethiopia (ATFE)

In August of 2015, the government of Ethiopia officially recognized Adams Thermal Foundation Ethiopia as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). The Foundation maintains an office and administrative staff in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia which support the schools and "Self-Help" programs in Hosanna and Ottoro. Foundation staff based in Canton, South Dakota USA oversee and manage the operations in Ethiopia.

Leader
Tsegaye Haile Soramo, Country Director

Recent Updates

The Poverty Cycle Broken: Another Life Changed

Published Sun, Dec 01, 2019.

Her name is Etenesh Hadicho and she's got skills . . . and gratitude . . . and hope.
 
Etenesh is a recent graduate of our Self-Help Sewing Training program in Hosanna. Just a few months ago, everything seemed to be hopeless for Etenesh. Her husband and brother both died and she was diagnosed with cancer. Her days were filled with weeping and sorrow. And then came an opportunity for hope. 
 
Etenesh, along with nine other women from local Self-Help Groups, made the decision to learn how to sew. Rather than spending her time at home alone and crying, she committed herself to learning how to use a sewing machine and to create uniforms that can be sold to Adams Thermal Academy for our students. On October 17th, Etenesh celebrated her graduation from the sewing program and shared her story on video. Long-term, our hope is that Entenesh's children will graduate from our school and earn a degree on their way out of the cycle of generational poverty. Short-term, Entenesh will begin earning income for her family and discover a dignity that can only come from self-sufficiency and financial independence. 
 
We are grateful for the success of the Self-Help Groups in Hosanna and Ottoro and their impact on women, families and children. We're also grateful for a local church that decided to fund the next group of ten women who will learn to sew uniforms as well. If you're interested in supporting these Self-Help programs in Ethiopia, contact Adams Thermal Foundation at 877-678-1099 or email info@adamsthermalfoundation.org

Church Ladies Keep Girls in School

Published Sun, Oct 27, 2019.

As female Ethiopian students grow older, opportunities for education decrease, especially in poor, rural areas. While Adams Thermal Academies enroll only the "poorest of the poor", one of the barriers that can keep young girls out of the classroom is feminine hygiene and overall menstrual health. In developing countries like Ethiopia, school-aged girls often miss several days of school each month sitting on all manner of unsanitary materials and often going without food unless someone brings it to them. In addition, adolescent girls are often bullied or humiliated in school due to a lack of hygiene resources as well as training. 

Back in 2014, nurses at Adams Thermal Academies began to call attention to absenteeism in both Hosanna and Ottoro due to issues of feminine hygiene affecting female students. Administrators began to seek out solutions which would include supplies, training and disposal management for several hundred students. Answers were not easily found and most solutions only provided temporary relief. 

Then we discovered "Days for Girls", an international organization committed to mobilizing girls and women by increasing access to menstrual care and education in more than 125 countries around the world. "Days for Girls" has designed safe, washable, long-lasting hygiene kits and menstrual health training for girls in developing countries. In addition, these kits are hand-made by more than 50,000 volunteers around the globe, organized by chapters, teams, clubs and individual sewing enthusiasts. 

It was not long after we discovered the "Days for Girls" organization that a local church-based sewing club from Inwood, Iowa contacted us about the opportunity to produce hygiene kits for our schools in Hosanna and Ottoro. The ladies in the sewing club meet on a regular basis to sew and assemble "Days for Girls" kits in one of the rooms at a local church. One member of the club is 96-years-old and rarely misses her turn on the sewing machine. Since Inwood is only 11 miles away from our offices in Canton, SD, we drive over and deliver empty suitcases to the sewing club. In a few weeks, the club sends the suitcases back full of hygiene kits ready for travel to Ethiopia on our next trip. To date, more than 400 hygiene kits have been delivered to our schools. 

We're deeply grateful for the "Days for Girls" organization (https://www.daysforgirls.org/) and the church ladies from Inwood, Iowa who help to keep our young ladies in the classroom! Thank you!

Late Nights and Dirty Shoes

Published Fri, Oct 11, 2019.

What happens when love and ambition collide? Spoiler ALERT! Love wins. 

 

This is the story of a young man who chose late nights and dirty shoes over a university scholarship, all for the love of his mother. We'll call him Desta. But his real name and identity are hidden for privacy and protection. 

 

Our Ethiopia travel team from the United States first met Desta in June of 2019 when we visited the Adams Thermal Academies in Hosanna and Ottoro. Our first night in Hosanna, we invited some college students to join us for dinner. All of these students attended Adams Thermal Academy Hosanna and were now pursuing their post-secondary degrees at local universities. It was so exciting to hear their stories and see them succeeding academically. But one story in particular stood out. That was Desta's story.

 

Desta finished the 10th grade two years ago when Adams Thermal Academy Hosanna did not offer grades 11 and 12. But the Academy prepared Desta well and he finished his high school education at another school in Hosanna. Desta took the university entrance exam and earned a scholarship. But there was a problem. His mother was homeless and unable to work. Occasionally, Desta's mother would sell items out on the sidewalk to those who passed by. But essentially, she was unable to care for herself. Most of the students at Adams Thermal Academies come from a poverty-stricken home. Their hope and inspiration is to live a different life than previous generations. But Desta could not allow his mother to continue suffering. So he turned down the university scholarship which he had rightfully earned through his own hard work and determination. 

Instead, Desta chose to start his own business cleaning and shining shoes so that he could pay rent and care for his mother. In addition, Desta is going to Wachemo University in Hosanna at night, studying to earn a degree in business administration. Rather than using the scholarship he had earned, Desta has to pay for his university classes out of his own pocket because he is attending at night. But Desta is glad to put his mother's needs ahead of his own plans. Ultimately, Desta hopes to work in a bank or elsewhere in the financial services industry when he gets his degree. 

We were grateful to have met Desta and to celebrate not only his achievements but his integrity and his heart as well. The day after our dinner meeting with Desta, we took the often perilous trip to Ottoro in the middle of the rainy season. Not surprisingly, we ended up hiking the last 5 kilometers through the mud. We were joyfully welcomed, as we always are, by the students at Adams Thermal Academy Ottoro. And Desta had a lot of shoes to clean when he got back to the hotel that night. As is often the case when we visit Ethiopia, there were blessings around every corner during our last trip. Maybe you should consider joining us on one of our future excursions. 

If you'd like to travel to Adams Thermal Academies and meet your sponsored child in Ethiopia, let us know well in advance so we can help you plan and prepare. Call 877-678-1099 or send us an email at info@adamsthermalfoundation.org

Remembering the Rain & Recognition

Published Fri, Aug 23, 2019.

"Breaking the cycle of poverty". We often communicate that goal to our stakeholders, supporters and followers. But the actual work of "breaking the cycle" happens every day of the school year, in every classroom through the determination and hard work of every student at Adams Thermal Academies. This work is slow and tedious and requires a future vision for success. So it's important that we take the opportunity at the end of the school year to recharge that vision and remind our students of what success looks like.
 
On a rainy day in July, parents, teachers, administrators and friends gathered to celebrate the victory of perseverance and achievement. Students from kindergarten up to grade 11 were recognized and encouraged through performances, words of encouragement, photo opportunities and small gifts. 
 
The ceremony began with Kindergarten graduation, complete with mortarboards, gowns and sashes. While opinions vary throughout the developed world regarding the necessity of graduation ceremonies for young children, at Adams Thermal Academies this ceremony helps to develop a powerful memory and to increase the motivation to remain in our program. Just a few days prior, the kindergarten students witnessed the ceremony for our graduating high school seniors. Statistically, a large percentage of Ethiopian school children will never have the opportunity to experience a graduation ceremony again. And so we seek to reinforce the goal for children and their families to finish both the primary and secondary grade levels. 
 
Then the event shifted to recognition of the high academic achievers at each grade level. Visitors from the Adams Thermal Foundation staff in the United States were given the privilege of congratulating many of the students, sharing a smile and a hand shake along with some encouraging words and a gift. Then came the photos to document the special day and preserve a memory that will motivate next year's study habits. Again, a vision of success is established and the pathway out of poverty is illuminated. 
 
Finally, students were recognized for their participation in one or more of the clubs that are offered at Adams Thermal Academies. These clubs are often civic-minded or focused upon self-improvement. Club participation prepares students to become problem-solvers and to work in teams for the benefit of their community. Some of the activities taken up by the various clubs include environmental protection, health & sanitation, sports, ethics and the pursuit of teaching as a future career. Boys and girls from grades 3 up through grade 11 were acknowledged for investing their free-time in club activities throughout the past year.
 
While the activities of the day could not have been more perfect, the weather left much to be desired. July is the middle of the rainy season in Ethiopia and the outdoor event was interrupted midway through by a cold front and torrential rain. Attendees and guests huddled together in the middle of their respective tents and mud puddles created an obstacle course for every student that was called to the front for recognition. Still, the agenda was completed and every name was read out loud before everyone ran to more hospitable shelter. It was just another timely lesson on the virtue of perseverance.

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