Meskela (seen in the white cap) poses with excited Abyssinian Fund staff after signing the contract to release $41,000 in funds to road construction.
All it takes is one drive down the rocky, rugged and hilly roads surrounding Chaffee Jenette, Ethiopia to understand the crucial need for reconstruction. Thankfully Rev. Nicholas Richards and the Abyssinian Fund staff in Ethiopia were persistent in advocating this project and encouraging Tadesse Meskela, General Manager of the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU) to help with funding. $41,000 has been issued by Meskela and the road construction has commenced.
Rocks and dirt currently litter the roads

The rocky terrain makes it difficult and dangerous for villagers to reach the nearest city center, Deder, where the health clinic and central marketplace are located, 14 miles away. Paved roads will help cut-down on the number of deaths that occur due to lack of proper transportation to the health clinic. The road is also crucial for transporting goods, especially coffee, to the city center where farmers make a higher profit.
Help contribute to the road construction project by donating TODAY. Click the Donate button and help us help reduce poverty and transform lives in Ethiopia.
Peace and Blessings,
Rev. Nicholas S. Richards
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On July 2, Rev. Richards and a group of Harlem high school students from International Youth Leadership Institute (IYLI) chatted with Ethiopian Ambassador Tekeda Alemu. The students are traveling around Ethiopia for the next month and while there they will visit the Abyssinian Fund offices and farms in Chaffee Jenette. In order to gain some insider knowledge and a deeper understanding of Ethiopia, the students enjoyed an intimate sit-down with Dr. Alemu.

A former professor in Ethiopia, Dr. Alemu explained how education is crucial for the continued expansion of the country and of Africa as a whole. He also spoke about the transformation Africa is experiencing and it's huge economic growth. A graduate of UCLA, Dr. Alemu felt an obligation to Ethiopia especially as he watched his people and country grow in numerous ways. In the past 10 years Ethiopia went from having just one university to 22 with plans to build 10 more. The university enrollment rate also increased from 28% to 95% within the same time-frame. Ethiopians want to be educated, they want to do better for themselves but one major factor that prevents this are the lack of roads.

*Dr. Alemu said it himself, "85% of my people live in rural areas, on the outskirts of where most these changes are being made. Without proper paved roads, these villagers often miss out on the education growth because they simply cannot be reached." This puts things into perspective and helps you understand that reconstructing paved roads not only helps the coffee farmers, it's crucial for the whole of Ethiopia.

Bet you didn't know, Abyssinian Fund hosts numerous events and friendraisers throughout the year. This June we were honored to see so many show their support from the group of "Pilgrims" who visited Ethiopia together in 2007 to a new group of friends we made through one of our helpful connections. If you or a friend would like to help host a friendraiser, be sure to let us know by contacting us at We want to continue to spread the word about Abyssinian Fund's mission so we can continue reducing poverty in Ethiopia.
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