BENEFITING: WEGENE ETHIOPIAN FOUNDATION
Have you ever taken a moment to pause and think how reliant we are on technology? How many times a day do you check your smartphone for a new text or Facebook message? At work, how much of your day is spent in front of your computer screen sending out emails?
The reality is this: Many of us simply cannot live without our electronics. I myself, am a self-proclaimed “gadget addict.” If I spend too much time away from my phone, I feel as though something is missing. It’s as though I have developed a psychological connection with a four-inch screen, a feeling to which I’m sure you can relate. I’ll be the first to admit that these devices can sometimes be a distraction, but they also have an extremely powerful ability-- providing a wealth of information at just a click away.
Personally, I use my laptop every day while doing homework for any academic subject. Today, a computer is an indispensable asset in education because it’s a gateway to invaluable tools and the Internet. I use mine daily, whether it’s to write a paper, research a topic, read the news or Google a term that I don’t completely understand. In all honesty, I can’t imagine how my own education would be hindered if my computer was not in the picture.
Unfortunately, there are millions of people around the globe in this situation. In Ethiopia, where my family is from, many college students and aspiring scholars lack computers, which limit their ability to learn and perform to the best of their ability in academia. The fact that they have managed to fulfill their high school graduation requirements with no technological support speaks volumes to their determination and thirst for education. Providing each student with a laptop would facilitate his or her desire to excel in order to help others that have walked the same path.
The Wegene Ethiopian Foundation (WEF) (www.wegene.org) considers education an utmost priority for every child, and has taken many steps to help improve the quality of education for kids in Ethiopia. The foundation provides education by enrolling children from disadvantaged families into government or private schools, and covers all of their expenses. Their “Laptops for Success Program” realizes that owning a laptop has become a critical tool for success for high school and university level students. Recipients of laptops in Ethiopia have moved on to medical school, graduated college and gotten jobs in various respective fields. The WEF’s success stories are a true testament to just how much of a difference a laptop can make in these student’s academic careers, and their lives.
In partnership with WEF, I would like to help expand the cause. This spring, I will be running in the Color in Motion 5k run in Washington, DC, and would love to be joined in raising money for this cause. I welcome everyone to run alongside myself to give a voice to these amazing, determined students. My goal is to raise enough money to purchase 10 computers in the next 6 months, in time for their high school graduations.
The “Laptops for Success” program is a cause with a lot of promise, and any help would be greatly appreciated. Think about how many electronic devices you have in your house. Can you even remember all of them? So many students in Ethiopia don’t just want a computer for school; they need one. Is that really too much to ask?