Origin Story

Essay by Lense Eshete, 2013

Not many people have the opportunity to escape poverty, it is something that only a few exceptional people achieve. My story doesn’t begin with me but instead with my exceptional uncle. Born in poverty like the majority of the population of Ethiopia, it didn’t take long for my uncle to realize that education was his only way out. With this realization, he spent every possible minute studying. Eventually, his dedication paid off and he received a full ride scholarship to Russia and eventually to the United States of America. Finally out of the cycle of poverty, my uncle was able to adopt my brother and I and provide us with the opportunity of a better, brighter future.

In 2012, I had the opportunity to go visit Ethiopia and try to provide help to those in need. Shortly after this trip, I realized that I needed to do something to bring awareness to the fact that through education, we can progress and eventually leave the cycle of poverty. This is something I am very passionate about. With the money I plan to raise, I want to build a small elementary school in the countryside of Ethiopia, Oromia. Here there are no educational institutes available. Children who want to learn have to walk 14 kilometers in order to reach the nearest school. Many of the younger kids under the age of thirteen can’t make this long journey. Due to this, by the time they are old enough to walk to school, they have already missed the fundamental concepts thus feel frustrated and stop attending altogether. I plan to build a school near the village so that the younger kids, who can’t make the walk, are taught the fundamentals. This way when they are old enough to make the walk to the nearest school, they are not behind in their educational path.

It was due to an exceptional man that I was able to escape a life of poverty. Now I feel it is my turn to provide that same opportunity for others. And as much as I would love to go build a school, I can’t do that all by my self. It is also up to you to donate to this cause so we, tougher, can provide these kids with the opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty that they were born in.