Throughout the month of July and August, Seeds of Africa Board Members, Board Advisors and staff members flew to Ethiopia and visited our programs. It was the experience of a lifetime for the Seeds family. Here’s what some of them had to say about their trip. If you are interested in visiting our campus next summer, please email Info@SeedsofAfrica.org.
During my visit to Seeds of Africa I saw so many changes from the last two times I was there. The students were just as happy as before, but now there were more grades attending. The meal program there was a huge success, it ensured that all of the students get at least one hearty meal a day. I was inspired by the recipients of the business loans. It was encouraging to see people with such an entrepreneurial spirit. I wish more people could see what its like at Seeds to see the genuine impact they have made in the community and the children’s lives.
Colleen Williams (SistaSoccer)
Stephanie Bond & Devin Benton
In July, my husband, Devin, and I were honored to make our second visit to Adama to witness lives being changed throughout the Seeds of Africa community. In a year, we were thrilled to see such great progress from the physical grounds and structures, to the children’s English, to an ever-improving staff, and financial stability for those in the micro-loan program.
However, the real joy comes from seeing the excitement in a child’s eye when she solves a math problem, or when he nails his English translation, or when she unveils her science project. That feeling is further driven home when you talk to a mother who rises daily at 3am to run her Seeds-supported business so she can give her children a better life. In the end, a child’s thirst for knowledge and a family’s hope for a better future are universal and it was so heartening for us to see Seeds’ programs addressing those needs and more. There were countless positives on this trip and no shortage of things to make us truly excited for the future. More than ever, we are convinced that the programs and services offered by Seeds of Africa will continue to transform families and lives for generations to come.
I had imagined before my trip to Ethiopia that meeting the Seeds students would invigorate my drive as it pertained to my work with the organization. I could have never imagined that this trip would change every facet of my life.
It’s almost as if I can mark my life in two halves: before I walked through the gates of Seeds of Africa and after. The SOA students are the most intelligent, kind and inspiring people I have ever met. Despite what their lives are like outside of school, they show up every morning with a big smile; eager to learn. The Seeds campus provides a sanctuary for 192 children, a place where they can come everyday and just be a kid. I now know just how much I took the carefree nature of my childhood for granted. Not everyone is expended that luxury, but I am proud to say I work for a place that provides a safe space for kids who really need it most.
Not only did the students blow me away, but I have made lifelong friends in the staff members as well. I left feeling awestruck by the dedication the teachers and administration have for their jobs. I can’t thank them enough for the hard work they do day in and day out.
I wish that everyone could have this experience. This journey has taught me so much about the world, and about myself. But most importantly, it has taught me that when you are given adversity, it’s all about your outlook. When the rest of the world looks at you like you have nothing, you can face them back and show them you actually have it all.
I always knew Seeds was a special organization from the very first time I was introduced to Atti by Shawna Hamilton. And throughout the years, I began to get a better understanding of its impact through reports on the Seeding Education and Sowing Community programs. Everything became clear during the first day of my trip to visit the School in Ethiopia. It wasn’t the smiles on the kids faces that did it, or how intelligent they were. It was the tears from a mother whose son was not eligible to attend. While most of us only get to see those who are lucky enough to qualify and be accepted to the school, we often don’t get to see the pain and anguish a parent goes through when they realize that their child won’t have an opportunity to gain the tools that will transform their lives. That moment outside the school gates, hearing and seeing a mother weep because her child was over the age limit for entry, will forever last in my memory. It confirmed, without a doubt, how important the work being done at Seeds of Africa Foundation truly is. I’m forever grateful to have had the opportunity to witness first hand how special Atti and the Seeds of Africa family truly is.